Un-met Road Safety Election Promises would Boost Budget Outcome

Taking a national, aspirational national leadership approach to road safety could save $37bn and save at least 1500 lives and 35,000 serious injuries over a decade” reports the President of the Australasian College of Road Safety,  Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, at today’s 2015 IRF/RA Regional Conference in Sydney.
Australia has fallen behind in every major measure of road safety performance when compared to the OECD over the last decade, and we need to invest what is a modest amount now to at least be back in the top 10 by the year 2020.
‘An almost insignificant reallocation of the substantial roads infrastructure funding in the Federal Budget, for road safety coordination, could bring a substantial benefit’, said Mr McIntosh.
‘The Federal Coalition released a strong policy in August 2013 to improve road safety, but many components remain unfunded. In this International Road Safety week it is time make funds available in the Budget’.
‘Imagine if our current number of road casualties – 1100 killed and over 30,000 seriously injured each year – were killed or injured by war, plane crashes, or an epidemic” Mr McIntosh said. “There would be a national outcry and a national budget immediately.  As our Patron, Sir Peter Cosgrove said recently, as a nation we are largely unaware of the ‘innocent war on our roads’.  It is realistically possible to imagine a time when no one should die on the roads.  Technology is rapidly delivering vehicles with crash avoidance, onto smarter roads with better-informed drivers and other users.  Coordination and collaboration of all road safety programs is essential’.

‘Road trauma costs are felt across all of the community and while the transport sector may bear the infrastructure and enforcement costs, the benefits flow through into improved national productivity, a reduction in health costs, and enhanced social well-being’.
‘Leadership and a holistic systems approach from the Federal Government can make a difference’, he said.
The College’s submission to the Treasury is for a modest contribution of $1.55 million per year over three years to improve national communication networks, implement a national road safety research framework, develop a coordinated focus on collecting and analysing injury data, encourage the community to recognise economic benefits of trauma reductions, reward best practice and support increased international collaboration across all sectors.

The Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) is the region’s peak membership association for road safety professionals, advocates, and members of the public who are focused on saving lives and serious injuries on our roads.  Current membership includes experts from across all areas of road safety: policy makers, academics, community organisations, researchers, federal, state and local government agencies, private companies and members of the public. 

Further information about the ACRS, the IRF/RA Conference, the UN Road Safety Week (5-10 May 2015) and the associated #SaveKidsLives Campaign can be found here.