National Road Safety Action Plan welcomed – with more measurable actions needed

The Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) welcomes the release of the long-awaited National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25 this week. The Action Plan describes what must be achieved in the next 3 years to support the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30 (NRSS) goal of reducing fatalities by 50 per cent and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2030.

With over 80 actions included in the Action Plan the scope is wide ranging, across 9 priority areas originally laid out in the NRSS 2 years ago. The Action Plan includes efforts which ACRS is encouraged by, including the creation of a framework for national road safety data collection and reporting which will be vital to determining the success of the plan. There is also a welcome focus on research and increasing road safety expertise within local governments.

However, the Action Plan leaves some questions unanswered when it comes to governance, reporting and funding. Some of the described actions lack measurable accountability and a solid timeframe.

“We are very pleased to see the release of the Action Plan after significant delays. This should be followed up by well structured public reporting to ensure that the intentions of the plan are successfully implemented,” ACRS President Prof (Em) Ann Williamson stated.

“We strongly support the collective goal of the Australian governments to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050. This Action Plan will be crucial to the next 3 years of working towards that goal,” Prof Williamson continued.

ACRS CEO Dr Ingrid Johnston stated that “In 2022, 1,187 people died on Australian roads – this is the highest number in more than 5 years. To reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent in the next 8 years there is no time to waste, and we must make sure what we are doing is saving lives. The National Road Safety Strategy and the supporting Action Plan need to be fully funded, implemented and unambiguously monitored.” “We look forward to working with all governments involved to ensure that this occurs.” Dr Johnston concluded.