The Joint Select Committee on Road Safety today tabled the final report for its Inquiry into Road Safety.
The report examines factors contributing to fatal and serious injuries on Australian roads and considers opportunities to improve road safety outcomes through measures which:
support the design, construction, and maintenance of high-quality road infrastructure that minimises the likelihood and severity of road crashes; encourage the uptake of modern vehicles fitted with proven safety features; effectively manage speeds to safe levels and deter unsafe behaviours; ensure all road users are equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond appropriately to road safety risks; embed road safety as part of ‘business as usual’ in public and private sector organisations; promote safety for gig economy participants who use the road as a workplace; enhance road safety in the heavy vehicle sector; and contribute to effective post-crash response and trauma support.
The report also identifies a need for effective leadership and oversight in relation to road safety at the national level, noting that efforts to improve road safety in the past have been stymied by poor governance, a lack of clearly defined responsibilities for reducing road trauma, and failures to report progress towards set targets in a meaningful way.
In addition, the report highlights the importance of high-quality research and reliable, accurate data to understanding the road safety environment and to the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative measures to improve road safety outcomes.
The report includes 61 recommendations relating to these matters.
“Road trauma touches the lives of all Australians, whether as victims of a road crash or as family members, friends, first responders, or members of the wider community,” said Committee Chair, Darren Chester MP.
“The causes of road trauma are complex and demand innovative solutions supported by strong leadership, reliable, accurate data, and high-quality research. The committee’s report outlines a series of measures that may be taken to improve road safety in the short term, while also highlighting some of the steps that should be taken if we are to achieve sustainable reductions in road trauma into the future,” he said.
While the committee’s report outlines several areas where road safety can be enhanced, what is crucial, according to Chester, is that governments at all levels take responsibility for reducing fatal and serious injuries on roads — including implementing as a matter of urgency recommendations of this and other inquiries.
“As this report coincides with the federal Budget, the committee also calls on the Government to invest in safety for all Australians by committing sustainable funding to measures which reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” he said.
The committee thanked all who contributed to the inquiry by lodging submissions, giving their time to provide evidence at hearings, providing additional information, or expressing views via correspondence.