Federal budget needed to coordinate road safety action

Australasia’s peak membership association for road safety experts, professionals and members of
the public today called for Australia’s leaders to acknowledge and address Australia’s most serious
public health issue which kills 25 people and seriously injures another 600 every week across the
country, and costs the nation over $27b each year – more than our defence budget.

“Image the benefits to all Australians if we had a comprehensive national budget to reduce road
trauma”. Mr Lauchlan McIntosh, Australasian President of the College, said.

Now is the time for an increased federal program and budget to assist in coordinating a road safety
program to meet our United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and
Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 responsibilities, and to provide a
comprehensive program for the inaugural federal Minister for Road Safety, Hon. Catherine King MP.

The College urges the federal government to:

  • Enhance existing work programs of the National Road Safety Executive Group and Austroads to ensure government infrastructure programs have safety targets.
  • Enhance existing programs where the federal government already cooperates with others to further develop the safe systems approach with safer roads, safer cars and safe drivers; i.e. the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP), the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the Keys to Drive program, and other national programs such as the P-plate research initiative, the naturalistic driving study, Truck Safe, seat belts in school buses, intelligent transport and enforcement systems and other community based programs.
  • Initiate support with a $5m grant over 5 years towards a Partnership program with the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australasian College of Road Safety and others for a nationally coordinated Road Safety Research partnership. This research is vital to ensure Australia can end the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in the year 2020 with road safety trauma rates which equal, or are better than, world class.

ACRS has today released a comprehensive manifesto suggesting the nationwide benefits of a
coordinated and cooperative approach to reducing road trauma.

The College urges all federal politicians to raise the profile of road trauma across our nation and
internationally, and provide strong leadership and support for this coordinated approach towards
road trauma reductions.