Nov 7, 2008

Ministers endorse new road safety action plan

Ministers endorse new road safety action plan

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 7 2008

The new road safety action plan approved today by Australia’s transport ministers aims to significantly reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Australian roads.

The National Road Safety Action Plan 2009 and 2010 was endorsed by the Australian Transport Council meeting in Adelaide. It establishes the priorities for national action over the coming two years.

The Rudd Labor Government is committed to working with the states and territories to reduce the unacceptable level of road trauma in this country.

Annual statistics show that more than 1,500 people are killed and more than 30,000 hospitalised as a result of road crashes. The cost to the Australian economy is conservatively estimated at $18 billion.

The new Action Plan recognises that there is no single solution, instead setting out a comprehensive package of measures addressing all parts of the road transport system, including:

  • Development of a national best practice speed management strategy;
  • Creation of a systematic crash risk assessment model for major parts of the road network;
  •  Adoption of holistic ‘Safe System’ principles in road design, construction and maintenance;
  • Regulatory assessment of a proposed Australian Design Rule (ADR) covering stability control mechanisms in cars;
  • Actions to improve consumer awareness and encourage uptake of vehicle safety features including stability control, side impact head protection, seatbelt reminder systems and intelligent speed adaptation;
  • Renewed focus on effective and innovative enforcement of drink and drug driving laws, teamed with targeted public education.

This is the final two-year Action Plan that will be presented under the National Road Safety Strategy 2001-2010 – a strategy which aimed to reduction in the national death rate by 40 per cent by the end of 2010. The reduction to date stands at about 25 per cent, so reaching the 2010 target remains a formidable challenge.

Many of the measures in the Action Plan will require cooperative work, with all Australian governments having a critical role to play in implementing measures in accordance with local conditions and priorities.

The National Road Safety Action Plan for 2009 and 2010 can downloaded from: www.atcouncil.gov.au.