Today’s opening of the Australasian College of Road Safety National Conference was officiated by the College Patron, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO. The assembled crowd of over 200 road safety experts working in both the public and private spheres were inspired and encouraged by the messages conveyed by Ms Bryce.
Key points from the Governor-General’s presentation include the following:
- Road Safety is a vital issue globally, as evidenced by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. This Decade of Action provides a much needed focus for action on a global scale.
- This is a truly global problem that deserves our attention – nearly 1.3 million people die, and 50 million are seriously injured in road trauma worldwide each year.
- It is commendable that the expertise in Australia is being extended to our neighbours to assist them in their burgeoning efforts to decrease their own national road tolls.
- Road Safety is of major significance nationally as, apart from the $27bn cost to our economy each year, the cost to our families and communities is immeasurable.
- The ripple effect of 33,900 deaths and serious injuries from road crashes every year in Australia permeates every community, with the devastating effects felt for lifetimes. (Note: there are around 1400 people killed and 32,500 seriously injured on Australia’s roads every year).
- Australia’s own National Road Safety Strategy aims to support achievements in 4 specific areas: Safe Speeds, Safe Road Use, Safe Vehicles and Safe Roads, and it is particularly encouraging to see the College taking an active role in expanding on these areas to ensure some of our most vulnerable road users benefit from road safety research and improvements.
- Her Excellency is inspired by the incredible amount of work being undertaken in road safety across Australia and in our region internationally, and congratulates the College for creating such a collaborative and inclusive environment in efforts to further decrease the road toll.
- Congratulations to the winners of the 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award to be announced at the Conference dinner – a well-deserved recognition of excellence in road safety innovation.
In closing, her Excellency commended all attendees and members of the College for their important
work to reduce the road toll both globally and in our region.