The Australian Government’s announced road safety governance review is a good first step in its response to the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.
Australia’s peak motoring body has welcomed the Government’s announced governance review of its road safety activities as a very positive first step in its response to the recently completed Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) strongly supports the Inquiry’s key recommendations, including an urgent governance review and a subsequent significant upscaling of the federal government’s engagement in this critical area of public policy.
The Deputy Prime Minister last night told the Australasian Road Safety Conference annual dinner that the governance review was underway and that the Inquiry’s recommendations were being properly considered.
AAA CEO Michael Bradley said: “The Inquiry was not dismissive of the road safety efforts being made at state, territory and federal levels, however it clearly found that appropriate measures are not being deployed at a rate commensurate with the public health crisis unfolding across Australia, and they lack the scale required to deliver agreed road safety goals.
“The AAA is very pleased the Federal Government is taking seriously the task of determining how best it can lead and manage a road safety response that is proportionate to the scale of the problem.”
More than 100 Australians are hospitalised daily due to road trauma and a further 100 die each month in car crashes. In addition to the incalculable family and community suffering, Australia’s current level of road trauma costs the Australian economy $29 billion every year, and it costs government nearly $4 billion annually.
The AAA has for some time been calling on the Federal Government to establish a national road safety organisation to improve transparency and accountability of the Strategy’s implementation and scoping the management structures, accountability requirements, resourcing and budget needed for such an entity is the critical first step.
Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 was agreed by all Australian governments and had the twin goals of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent through the decade. After eight years, Australia’s annual road fatalities have not significantly reduced from the level observed at the time of the Strategy’s signing, while it is still not even possible to measure Australian road-related serious injuries due to definitional and reporting inconsistencies across jurisdictions.
The AAA very much supports the Inquiry’s recommendations and its core tenet that Australia’s recent road safety actions have been inadequate and a better managed, more targeted, and more appropriately resourced response is urgently needed.
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