Road Safety Anniversary Marked By Cut In Federal Funding
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has criticised the Federal Government for drastically cutting road funding in the same week it marks the anniversary of the start of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.
"The Federal Government has marked the first anniversary by slashing road funding in the Budget," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
Land transport infrastructure investment is projected to be just $3.64 billion in 2012‑13 compared to $7.36 billion in the current financial year.
"This is not good enough and will mean important road safety improvements across the nation simply won't be done," he said.
In May last year the Australian Government, along with state and territory governments, also endorsed the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), which set a target to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in road crash fatalities and serious injuries by 2020.
"Our analysis shows that after just one year, the rate of progress in reducing road fatalities and serious injuries has been insufficient to keep pace with the target," Mr McKellar said.
"Of greatest concern, we've seen increased fatalities in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is worth noting that these states that did not receive any significant new infrastructure investment in the Federal Budget."
"We also note when looking at the breakdown of user groups, the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities is also alarming," he said.
"Motorists would expect if the Federal Government was serious about playing its part in meeting its NRSS target it would put its money where its mouth is."
"Governments too often gloss over the importance of increased investment in roads yet this can have the biggest single impact on cutting the road toll and improving mobility," he said.