Road Tolls, Safety, Transport Industry News

Medical association calls for greater road safety data transparency

A number of industry associations are calling for the federal government to include data sharing obligations in upcoming legislation.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for greater transparency around the release of road safety data, pushing the state and territory governments to enforce a mandate.

It believes that sharing road safety data will help to stop Australia’s road toll from rising, giving drivers and other transport industry workers greater access to information on high risk areas and how to best approach them.

The association has written to federal transport minister Catherine King to request that data sharing obligations be included in the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects (2024–2030).

AMA president Professor Steve Robson says that the road toll continues rising by five per cent year-on-year, with 1200 people killed on the road in the past 12 months.

“Medical practitioners, along with paramedics, ambulance officers and nurses, frequently witness the health consequences of road trauma,” Robson says.

“Accidents take lives and cause serious injuries. To understand what’s really happening and to develop effective policy we need a data set that gives the big picture.

“A national data set would provide a better understanding of the causes of crashes and help guide investment in more effective road safety and transport infrastructure policy.”

Robson says that the data sharing obligations the AMA is petitioning for is already common across a number of other industries, and should be enforced for transport as well.

“The kind of agreement we are calling for is already commonplace in federal-state funding agreements for health, education, and housing.

“The National Road Safety Strategy objective to work towards the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050, will not be achieved if states and territories gatekeep their data.

“We echo and support the calls made by the national peak body, Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and affiliated partners, that states and territories must share their road safety data with the federal government.”

The AMA is supporting the AAA’s statement made in December, which said that the federal government did not prioritise road safety in its recently released Infrastructure Policy Statement.

AAA managing director Michael Bradley says the government needs to work to make the cause of crashes and the quality of the roads more available.

“The Australian government is right to support improved funding integrity, transparency, and accountability, but this will require an evidence-based approach to transport safety and project funding that currently does not exist,” he says.

“Taxpayers expect and deserve a data-driven allocation of public funds, but too much data relating to roads funding and crash causation remains secret.

“Without good data, Australia has no credible plan to understand its current road trauma problems or prevent their continuation.”

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend