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Road safety must be a priority for the next government as road toll mounts

30.6.2016

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has called for the next Australian Government to make road safety a priority as around 180 Australians have lost their lives on our roads and about 4,500 others have been severely injured during the 55 days of the election campaign.

Releasing the AAA’s Road Safety Priorities document today, AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “On average more than three Australians die in road crashes every day and it’s estimated that another 82 are seriously injured. On top of the huge social impacts, the national economic cost of road trauma is close to $27 billion annually.

“This is a national social and economic crisis that would not be tolerated in any other part of Australian life and the solution requires strong national leadership and strong national investment,” Mr Bradley said.

The latest Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) analysis conducted by the AAA and its member clubs indicates a clear correlation between better quality roads and fewer crashes. The latest analysis is based on actual crash data.

The new AusRAP analysis shows the worst 8 per cent of the rural national highway network currently accounts for 28 per cent of injury-causing crashes, while only carrying 14 per cent of the total traffic. It also shows the best 36 per cent of the network carried 12 per cent of the traffic and recorded just 8 per cent of injury-causing crashes. 

Based on earlier AusRAP analysis, the AAA called on the Government to invest $4.7 billion over the next four years to make the national highway network safer.

The AAA’s Road Safety Priorities document also highlights the importance of ongoing funding for the keys2drive learner driver program and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

Mr Bradley said: “The key to safer roads is adequate and efficient project funding, but historically this area of public investment has lacked transparency and consistency, which continues to inhibit the proper planning and building of the road and public transport projects that deliver economic and safety benefits.”

The AAA’s Road Safety Priorities can be found at: http://keepaustraliamoving.com/the-facts/

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