The thirteen undersigned organisations from transport and medical fields, have a dedicated interest in road safety and wish to make this joint submission to draw the Council’s attention to learnings from government responses to COVID-19 and road safety.
Normally, it would have been good news for households, with the AAA’s Transport Affordability Index confirming that average transport costs in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 2.1 per cent compared to the previous quarter. Unfortunately, however, many Australians could not take full advantage of these cost decreases due to the impacts and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic progressively taking effect during the period.
The AAA’s first Road Safety Benchmarking report measuring 2020 shows there was relatively no change in the nation’s road toll for the 12 months to March, compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. In the 12 months to March 2020, there were 1,154 fatalities on our roads compared to 1,161 fatalities in the 12 months to March 2019.
The tragedy of our road toll and our failing National Road Safety Strategy is further underlined with the revelation of two particularly horrific spikes in our road toll in 2019: the road toll in Victoria increased by 25.8 per cent on the previous year, and in South Australia by 42.5 per cent.