Safety strategy launched to reduce road deaths


ATC releases road safety strategy to reduce the number of deaths and injuries by 30 percent

By Ruza Zivkusic | December 2, 2010

The Australian Transport Council has released a national road safety strategy, hoping to slash the number of deaths and serious injuries by 30 percent.

The National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 is aimed at changing the way we think and act about road safety.

The draft report suggests all road projects should be designed to reduce the risk of crashes and develop safety-driven fleet purchasing policies, encouraging drivers to buy new, safe cars.

It calls on a national information campaign about safety benefits of appropriate speeds and encourages adoption of Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which would help drivers comply with the speed limit and move towards limiting the speed of novice drivers and repeat offenders.

It also calls on more point-to-point speed cameras, and improvement of speed enforcement through a mix of automated and manual detection.

The changes to speedometer displays to emphasise legally permissible speeds should also be considered, according to the report, including more effective registration sanctions for trucks with non-operational speed limiters.

Up to 1,500 people die each year and 30,000 get hospitalised due to crashes, costing the nation around $27 billion each year.

There were 3,500 people killed on the roads in the 1970s and despite a 50 percent increase in Australia’s population and double the number of cars, the number of deaths has been reduced by 60 percent.

National Transport Commission (NTC) CEO Nick Dimopoulos has welcomed the report, saying the social and economic impact of the loss of lives is "devastating".

"Australia has a strong track record in road safety but these statistics tell us more needs to be done.

"The NTC has long been an advocate for a ‘safe systems’ approach to road safety and we’re encouraged by the focus on this in the strategy.

"A safe-system approach means taking a holistic view of all the factors which influence safety such as the quality on roads and roadsides, producing safer vehicles and ensuring people comply with speed limits.

"A focus on driver behaviour and compliance systems is also essential."

The draft strategy, which can be downloaded here, is open for feedback until February 11, 2011.


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