The ARSF applauds the federal government and the country's transport agencies for the new road safety action plan that concentrates on three crucial areas for reducing road casualties.
The National Road Safety Action Plan, developed by the federal government and state and territory transport agencies, has received a warm welcome from the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF).
The action plan, aimed at reducing the alarming road toll statistics, aligns relevant stakeholders to save lives.
ARSF founder and CEO, Russell White, expressed encouragement in the plan’s focus on the three core gaps within the existing approach to reducing road trauma.
The first being the funding of community education on sharing roads with heavy vehicles, as approximately 17% of road crash deaths involve heavy vehicles.
White stressed the importance of individual education and awareness of the dangers and safety measures when sharing the road with heavy vehicles.
The National Action Plan also addresses the education gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are three times more likely to die in road crashes than other Australians. White praised the plan’s recognition of the importance of foundational learning and early education in equipping all Australians to face the true road risks.
“We have a road network across Australia totalling more than 877,000 km – more than 21 times the earth’s circumference – with many connected through high-speed roads above 80km an hour,” White says.
“Combine that with the inherent risk of death and serious injury associated with the greater mass of heavy vehicles and you can start to understand how this has become a major issue across the nation.
“It is, therefore, a critical life-saving piece of the puzzle to facilitate greater individual education and skills capability around the unique dangers and safety measures that ought to be adopted when sharing the road with heavy vehicles,” says White.
The third core area, workplace road safety, is also acknowledged by ARSF as a crucial factor in reducing death and injury on Australian roads.
The plan outlines steps for improving safety culture in organizations and encourages businesses to take responsibility for vehicles and roads within the workplace. White highlighted the significance of funding programs that support businesses in reducing the road trauma statistics and building positive road safety cultures.
The National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25 is the first action plan under the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30, agreed upon by the federal government and all state and territory governments in May 2021.
The plan sets out the key actions for all governments to undertake to 2025 and will be monitored through an annual progress report on the National Road Safety Strategy website.