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Media release

Trucking association backs road funding transparency


The Australian Trucking Association has joined the AAA’s Data Saves Lives campaign, aimed at compelling governments to end secrecy about data revealing the causes of car crashes and the state of the nation’s roads.

The Australian Trucking Association has joined the Australian Automobile Association’s Data Saves Lives campaign, aimed at compelling governments to end secrecy about data revealing the causes of car crashes and the state of the nation’s roads.

The ATA is the 17th industry or community organisation to endorse the AAA’s commonsense proposal for the Federal Government to require states to publish data they already hold about road safety. This would help Australians and policymakers understand why road deaths and trauma are increasing after many years of decline, providing a basis for effective policy changes and road investments.

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent 59,000 businesses and more than 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. The ATA joins motoring clubs and organisations representing motorcyclists, pedestrians, caravan owners, insurers, fleet managers, tow truck operators and road safety experts as supporters of the campaign.

“The ATA’s first priority is safety,” ATA chief executive Mathew Munro said.

“To make good, evidence-based safety decisions, governments first need to get the evidence. It’s out there, but it’s fragmented across the Australian Government, six states and two territories.

“We need to bring all the data together. We also need better information about the causes of crashes that can only be provided through no-blame safety investigations into truck crashes where there are lessons to be learned.”

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “We are very pleased to welcome the ATA as a new official supporting organisation for Data Saves Lives.”.

He noted that Australia’s road toll is rising but the data needed to tackle this problem is not being reported.

“State and territory governments collect crucial crash-related data. But they don’t share this information with each other, the Federal Government, independent experts, or the public.

“The Data Saves Lives campaign calls on the Commonwealth to require states to publish this data in return for road funding so it can be used as an evidence base for more effective road safety policies.”

The Commonwealth and the states are now negotiating a new five-year National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects. The Data Saves Lives campaign is calling for the Australian Government to use its $10 billion annual road funding budget to require the states to commit to timely reporting of road quality, crash causation, and law enforcement data.

At datasaveslives.org.au, Australians can see information on the nation’s road safety challenges, as well as where every federal MP stands on linking federal road funding with data transparency and evidence-based policy.

Mr Bradley said the breadth of supporters joining the reform push showed people who used the roads frequently for work, recreation or travel, as well as first responders to car crashes, understood the need to use data to save lives.

“Road deaths are going up, and we must look at the data to understand how we can reverse that trend,’’ Mr Bradley said.

“Data transparency is common sense. It will cost next to nothing. And it will save lives,’’ he said.

The AAA’s Data Saves Lives list of supporters includes: Brain Injury Australia; the Australian Orthopaedic Association; ANCAP Safety; Insurance Council of Australia; Ron Finemore Transport; the Australian Automotive Dealer Association; Nationwide Group; the Australasian Fleet Management Association; the International Road Assessment Program; Safer Australian Roads and Highways; Caravan Industry Association of Australia; the Australian Motorcycle Council; the Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland; the Pedestrian Council of Australia; and the Australian Trucking Association.

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