The Turnbull Government must refocus on road safety to address the disturbing reversal of the decline in the national road toll.
It should start by reversing its cuts to the critical Black Spots Program, designed to deliver safety improvements to the most dangerous traffic hot spots in the nation.
Despite having vowed it would invest $220 million on Black Spots in its first full three years in office, the Coalition has spent $115 million – $105 million less than the amount promised.
Reversing these cuts will not only provide more jobs in road construction, but also improve road safety on hundreds of dangerous sections of road around the nation.
The Government should also address safety in the trucking industry after last year’s abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, created by the former Labor Government to remove incentives for truck drivers to speed or cut corners to earn a living wage.
While the Government played politics on scrapping the RSRT ahead of last year’s Federal election, it has failed to outline any alternative policy to maintain safety on our interstate highways for truck drivers and other motorists.
It has also cut $107 million out of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, created by the former Labor Government to build new roadside facilities for truck drivers, including rest stops.
And despite promising in May to conduct an inquiry on road safety which would report its findings by November, it was only late last week that the Government appointed a panel to conduct that inquiry.