Australasia’s peak membership association for road safety experts, professionals and members of the public today called for the Northern Territory (NT) government to recognise the increased risk of death and injury to everyone who travels on a proposed open speed limit section of the Stuart Highway.
On behalf of all members, College President Lauchlan McIntosh AM has written an Open Letter to the Hon Adam Giles MP, Chief Minister of the NT.
“We strongly urge the NT Government not to proceed with the 200km open limit trial.” Mr McIntosh said.
Mr McIntosh asked the NT government if it was prepared to accept responsibility for the inevitable increase in road trauma due to an open speed limit – where the road is in no condition to withstand it. The Government expects corporations and their directors to provide safe workplaces. As the monopoly owner of the road, the Government and its Ministers take a similar level of responsibility.
“Unfortunately this decision is overshadowing the good work this government has done in improving road safety in many other areas, and this aberration is unnecessary and ridiculous.”
“No one expects Eurostar performance on the NT rail, why are increased speeds on substandard roads any different?” Mr McIntosh said.
“The NT government is putting all those who travel on this piece of road at increased risk of serious injury or death. The impacts will be felt not only by those who choose to drive their vehicles at increased speeds, but also by the retirees, families, truck drivers and tourists who choose to drive at lower speeds more consistent with their abilities and the condition of the road.”
“These are the people who will bear the brunt of this proposal. These people might be your friends, family, work colleagues, and additionally for politicians, members of their electorates. Is the NT government prepared to accept this heavy responsibility?” Mr McIntosh said.
The College would like to work with the Northern Territory Government in this UN Decade of Action on Road Safety to help reduce the crash and trauma rate and to achieve or improve on the targets agreed by Governments across Australia under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, to which the Northern Territory is a signatory.
The Open Letter to the NT Chief Minister can be downloaded here.