At a time when the Australian national road death toll is increasing, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has welcomed the focus on road safety from ministers following their first road safety forum.
The first forum took place in Perth recently, chaired by Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester.
The AAA’s latest Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy report showed 1,273 people died on Australian roads in the year to September 2016, an increase from 1,187 the previous year. It is also estimated that around 625 Australians are seriously injured on the roads each week.
All Australian Governments are signatories to the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) which aims to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2020. After encouraging progress in the early years, the number of road deaths has begun to trend up nationally since early 2015.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “It is heartening to see road safety receive this sort of attention from ministers at state and federal level. We look forward to seeing those actions agreed in this week’s meeting quickly rolled-out across Australia. We also look forward to seeing a reversal in the current increase in road deaths.”
The AAA has been calling on the Turnbull Government to invest $150,000 per year in the Australian Trauma Registry. This would gather important data on severe injuries due to road crashes and help better target road safety efforts.