This report explores and benchmarks National Road Safety Strategy performance to help inform the forthcoming 2013 election.
The Federal Election held on 7 September 2013 provides an opportunity to implement the important policy commitments to improve the safety of the nation’s roads.
During the campaign period, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and its member clubs ran a strong campaign to focus political attention on improving road safety and addressing growing land transport infrastructure concerns. The AAA and clubs also provided information to the public on election commitments from the major parties so that voters could take this into consideration when casting their ballot.
In the seven key policy areas identified by the AAA, it is pleasing to note that each of these received attention from at least one of the major parties during the election campaign. The AAA will now focus on holding the government accountable to fulfil its election commitments.
In terms of road safety, investment in road infrastructure is welcome, as better roads with higher levels of safety are an effective way to reduce both the likelihood and severity of crashes.
The three-year review of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 (NRSS) is scheduled to be undertaken in 2014 and this will provide an opportunity to evaluate progress to date and identify actions that need to be taken to ensure that the target of at least 30 per cent reduction in deaths and serious injuries is achieved.
This report tracks the number of fatalities over the period of the NRSS and shows that there has been an overall decline in the national number of fatalities but the rate of reduction is not sufficient to reach the target by 2020.
Drivers and cyclists are the road user groups that require particular attention and the road toll in Queensland has risen since the commencement of the NRSS. There are fears that the removal of speed limits on some roads in the Northern Territory will lead to an increase in road trauma.
A renewed and coordinated approach is needed to increase efforts to reduce deaths on our roads.