Dec 22, 2009

The lives of you and your loved ones are in your hands

The lives of you and your loved ones are in your hands

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 22 2009

Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, has joined forces with Australia’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, in calling on drivers to take care over the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

With the Australian road toll on the rise, Mr Albanese and AAA Chief Executive, Mike Harris, urged drivers and their families to exercise caution when on the roads over the festive season.

Mr Albanese had a simple message for all motorists.

“The safety of you and your family is in your hands so take your time and focus on arriving safely,” said Mr Albanese.

“My plea for road users to take greater personal responsibility is particularly timely given the release of new figures confirming that 1,390 people have died on the nation’s roads so far this year – more than 6 per cent higher than for the same period in 2008.

“A recent survey of community attitudes found that while Australians are well-informed about road safety issues, the personal conduct of many leaves a lot to be desired.

“For example, a quarter of respondents (28 per cent) considered it acceptable to speed if they are ‘driving safely’, almost one in six (17 per cent) had dozed off at the wheel at least once, and two-thirds (61 per cent) admitted to using their mobile phone while driving.

“For our part the Federal Government is making a record investment in the construction of safer roads and the training of new drivers. We’ve also established the National Road Safety Council to advise Australian governments on practical road safety initiatives, with its inaugural meeting set to take place at Parliament House on 3 February 2010.”

Mr Harris said the biggest cause of road accidents remains risky driver behaviour – speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving distracted and driving while tired.

“Acknowledging your limitations, driving responsibly and obeying the law are the surest ways of getting to your destination safely,” he said.

“Taking a bit more time and focus may mean the difference between avoiding a crash or being part of one.”