Urgent need for better crash information as road toll strategy runs years behind
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today renewed its call on the Turnbull Government to invest $150,000 per year in road crash injury reporting to better target safety efforts as new analysis reveals the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), established to reduce road deaths and injuries by 30 percent over ten years, is running around four years behind in some states.
The AAA today released its report, Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy which shows there were 1,273 fatalities on Australian roads in the year to September 2016, an increase from 1,187 a year earlier. It also shows some states are years behind in achieving the steady reduction required to deliver the targeted lower numbers of road deaths.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “The NRSS, 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. Despite progress in the first few years, we are again seeing increased fatalities on our roads.”
Mr Bradley said current estimates indicate around 625 Australians are also seriously injured each week on our roads, but without proper national data, it is impossible to know for sure. It is also not possible to know if the trend is up or down.
“We can accurately measure road deaths, but because different jurisdictions record road trauma differently, we have no national measure of the number or severity of road crash injuries.
“Australians have every right to be concerned that after five years of the NRSS’s rollout, there is still no national measure of road trauma in Australia, much less any clarity on whether the rate of injury is rising or falling.
“To reduce road deaths and injuries we must have a fuller picture of where crashes occur and their severity. The AAA and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons have been working with the Australian Government to secure an investment of just $150,000 a year to fund the Australian Trauma Registry to provide detailed information on severe road crash injuries. We are hopeful this funding will soon be forthcoming, but with the death toll continuing to climb, this funding cannot come soon enough,” Mr Bradley said.