A Sound Strategy For Less Death On Australian Roads

Improved vehicle safety is just one part of The National Road Safety Strategy that’s been designed to lower the number of accidents on our roads.

An Australian Transport Council (ATC) initiative, The National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) is an agreed set of principles, objectives, targets and actions with the purpose of making Australian roads safer.

Originally released on 20 May, 2011 with a list of objectives stretching as far as 2020, a scheduled review of the strategy is expected to take place by the end of this year.

Road accidents in Australia result in approximately 1,400 deaths and 32,500 hospital admissions annually. Aside from the obvious emotional burden to those affected by the toll, these accidents are also estimated to cost the economy as much as $27 billion every year.

Accordingly, The National Road Safety Strategy has been put in place to substantially improve these statistics, with the aim to reduce annual road crash deaths and serious injury by at least 30 percent by 2020.

Included in the Strategy is a multifaceted approach, and the upcoming 2014 review will play a key role in ensuring that performance indicators are being met.

Safe Roads, Safe Vehicles, Safe Speed, Safe People – These are the four cornerstones of the NRSS and help guide the range of short and long term objectives that have been
mapped out.

As you’d expect, Safe Roads refers to the continued maintenance of Australian roads, including identifying road safety improvement opportunities and ensuring that all road projects comply with safety standards.

Safe Vehicles pertains to the improvement of new vehicle safety standards, consumer information, reducing the average age of the Australian fleet and improving the safety of light and heavy commercial vehicles.

Safe Speed is all about thorough evaluation of Australian speed limits as well as ensuring they are followed, whilst Safe People focuses on promoting reliable and consistent behaviour from road users through better education, licencing and law enforcement.

It’s hoped that by achieving the combined objectives set out in the NRSS, the death toll on Australian roads can be significantly reduced.

AADA’s submission in October 2014 to the Review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 made reference to the NRSS statement that:

‘Improvements in vehicle safety have contributed significantly to road trauma reduction. These improvements reflect steady advances in automotive safety design, including occupant protection performance, braking, handling and lighting and the inclusion of life saving safety features such as seatbelts and airbags.’

The current threat of large-scale importation of used and parallel (grey) imports into Australia would erode these improvements in community protection and consumer safety standards.

Considering that on average four people die and 90 people are seriously injured on our roads every day, ensuring that Australia’s fleet remains as advanced (and safe) as possible is of great importance to us all.

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