Feb 3, 2010

New National Road Safety Council starts work

New National Road Safety Council starts work

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 3 2010

Members of the new National Road Safety Council have commenced work, today holding their inaugural meeting at Parliament House in Canberra.

The Council is chaired by Roger Cook AM and includes seven road safety experts and community leaders. The work of the Council will be supported by National Road Safety Ambassadors: Melissa Doyle, Lindsay Fox AC, Neil Mitchell AO, Chief Superintendent John Hartley and David Wirrpanda.

These three year appointments underscore just how serious we are about bringing in individuals from outside government who want to contribute their energies and expertise to eliminating the human tragedy of road deaths.

I appreciate them giving of their time to take on this challenge and wish them well in their deliberations.

Over the next 12 months, their key task will be to assist the nation’s transport ministers develop the next 10 year national road safety strategy which will take effect from 2011.

Unfortunately, their work has been made that little bit hard by the fact that the current National Road Safety Strategy (2001-2010) will not achieve its target of reducing the rate of road deaths by 40 per cent. To date, a 26 per cent reduction has been achieved, with more 1,500 road deaths recorded last year.

The Council was set up with the support of the states and territories, providing for the first time a truly national approach to tackling road deaths.

The establishment of the Council complements other measures we’re taking to reduce the national road toll, including the biggest ever Federal investment in roads, the construction of more rest stops for truck drivers and the provision of some 200,000 free driving lessons to learner drivers and their parents.

Together these initiatives will help construct better roads, train smarter drivers and build safer vehicles.

But ultimately governments can only do so much. All drivers need to take greater responsibility for their own conduct when behind the wheel and avoid risky behaviour such as speeding, driving under the influence, driving distracted and driving tired.