Australia’s peak motoring body has welcomed the Federal Government’s renewed focus on road safety and has applauded the decision to establish a new Office of Road Safety.
Australia’s peak motoring body has welcomed the Federal Government’s renewed focus on road safety and has applauded the decision to establish a new Office of Road Safety. “This is a serious and meaningful step towards ensuring a coordinated national focus and roll-out of road safety initiatives,” said Australian Automobile Association Chief Executive Michael Bradley.
The AAA, which represents 8 million members through its state and territory clubs, said Australia was falling well short of meeting nationally agreed road toll and injury targets. The latest data confirms 1,146 people died on the nation’s roads last year. AAA research shows road trauma costs the Australian economy more than $29 billion annually.
“The Federal Government’s commitment to establish an Office of Road Safety should put some real grunt behind national efforts to understand why our road safety strategy has failed, and what changes need to be made,” Mr Bradley said. “Motorists will also welcome the creation of a $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund.”
Six months ago, the experts heading the independent Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy delivered urgent recommendations to the Federal Government to curb the nation’s road toll.
“Motorists will expect the new Office of Road Safety to be resourced and empowered to properly respond to those recommendations and implement them where necessary,” Mr Bradley said.
“The Federal Government’s commitment of an additional $2.2 billion for road safety initiatives – including a life-saving Black Spot Program and funding to local government – is a significant and welcome investment.
“The AAA looks forward to understanding the detail that sits behind these announcements and the funding arrangements of next week’s budget.
“Both the Government and Opposition next week have the opportunity to demonstrate that both sides of politics are serious about road safety.”
Mr Bradley said the federal Government and Opposition must both remember that, when it came to investment in road safety and transport infrastructure, motorists bring their own money to the table.
“Over the next four years, motorists will contribute about $60 billion in federal transport-specific taxes, including through the 41.6 cents in fuel excise paid on every litre of petrol and diesel purchased,” he said.
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