The ATA has called for the national road safety strategy to adopt a zero death and serious injury ‘Towards Zero’ approach.
The goal is just one of a number of issues and priorities the ATA identified in its submission to the Australian Government’s inquiry into the next National Road Safety Strategy.
“A Towards Zero culture promotes that the only acceptable road safety target is zero. This strategy incorporates developments in safe roads, safe vehicles, safe speeds and safe people,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.
“Target setting is essential to this, which is why we have recommended governments move away from the traditional ten year strategy and implement a series of more achievable five year plans.”
The ATA’s submission to the inquiry sets out 19 recommendations. These include:
- mandatory fitting of Electronic Stability Control to all new trucks and trailers, with only limited exemptions
- the Australian Transport Safety Bureau providing independent, no blame, safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles
- better roads and truck rest areas
- fatigue law reform and
- better education for learner drivers about how to share the road safely with trucks.
“The trucking industry has seen great improvements in safety, but when we look at all road crashes we can see that 1,225 people died on Australia’s roads in 2017. This is the equivalent of seven passenger jet crashes in a single year,” Mr Crouch said.
“Australians wouldn’t accept this number of deaths if they occurred on planes or trains. We must not go on accepting these deaths on our roads, either, or the untold number of serious injuries.
“The hardworking trucking businesses who strive for safety excellence in their day to day operations need better roads, safer vehicles and better driver education. That’s how we can make sure that everyone returns home safely at the end of the day, regardless of what they are driving or riding.”