Governments warned not to relax road trauma reduction efforts

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has called for all levels of government to redouble their efforts to reduce road trauma.

AAA managing director Michael Bradley said despite road fatalities in the quarter ending June 2020 decreasing 14.6 percent, compared with the previous quarter, Australia is not on track to meet its national road trauma targets by December this year.

The targets are part of the National Road Safety Strategy the Commonwealth and all states and territories signed up to in 2011.

“Right now, Federal Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on Road Safety is finalising its recommendations for inclusion in the next National Road safety Strategy,” he said.

“It is critical that the new strategy does not try to be tricky and water down any of the road safety targets because governments have missed them or failed to even measure them in the past.”

The AAA’s latest Benchmarking Road Safety report shows that in the 12 months to June 2020, 1105 people died on Australian roads, a decrease of 7.6 per cent from the 1196 deaths in the 12 months to June 2019 – attributed mainly to reduced capital city traffic volumes during the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In contrast, the report has also shown a spike in cyclist fatalities, with 48 fatalities in the 12 months to June. The number of cyclists dying on Australia’s roads has doubled over the past three years.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figures, regional fatalities remain over-represented in the fatality statistics.