Time for strong government action as roads claim 99 more lives
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is calling on government to renew its focus on road safety as a new report shows 99 more Australians were killed in the year to June 2016 than in the previous year. Alarmingly, the Government’s target of reducing deaths and serious injuries by 30 per cent through the decade to 2020, is slipping further out of reach.
The AAA today released its Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) which shows there were 1,269 fatalities on Australian roads in the year to June 2016, an increase from 1,170 a year earlier.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy, signed by all Australian governments, aims to reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent between 2011 and 2020. Regrettably, since the road safety strategy commenced, we have seen only a 6.1 per cent decline in the 12-month road toll, which is much lower than the rate required to achieve the 2020 target.
“The annual economic cost of road trauma is around $27 billion, while the social and emotional cost associated with having 100 Australians killed every month on our roads cannot be measured,” he said.
“Clearly we are heading in the wrong direction and there is the need for all governments to step-up their efforts by developing policies and programs that deliver a safer transport network, safer drivers, and safer vehicles.”
The AAA’s Benchmarking Report finds that every jurisdiction recorded an increase in fatalities over the past year except Western Australian and South Australia, but that road deaths in these two states remain above that required to meet the 2020 target.
The report also finds that compared to the previous year, in the year to June 2016:
- 612 drivers were killed, up from 539
- 168 pedestrians lost their lives on Australian roads, up from 153; and
- 228 motorcyclists were killed, up from 199.
The full report can be found at http://www.aaa.asn.au/news-and-publications/reports/