Applying the brakes to road deaths the focus of road safety conference

Media Release

DC109/2016

08 September 2016

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has issued a call to arms for all stakeholders to play their part in reversing the alarming increase in deaths on Australian roads.

Addressing the 2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference, Mr Chester warned of community complacency on road safety, with death and serious injuries on the rise.

“Australia has done an incredible job of reducing road trauma over the past 50 years but we have to redouble our efforts,” Mr Chester said.

“Hospital data indicates that road crash related injuries appear to have been increasing for some time.

“Tragically, road deaths are also increasing, with 1,292 people killed in the 12 months to July this year, compared to 1,171 people killed in 12 months prior to July 2015.

“This latest data should serve as a call to action for us all—we are not on target to reach the National Road Safety Strategy targets and we are failing in our efforts to keep Australians safe on our roads.

“We have to make this personal and we have to shake off the national complacency and acceptance which I believe is contributing to the growth in road trauma.

“I simply refuse to accept that this is the best we can do.”

The conference, with the theme ‘Agility, Innovation, IMPACT’, is a forum for road safety professionals to share research, technology and policy innovations in an effort to curb the nation's rising road toll.

Mr Chester said he was determined to see the Australian Government's $50 billion infrastructure investment program help improve road safety, as well as improve land transport networks and ease congestion.

“We are building for the future, and I firmly believe that a well-planned and strategic infrastructure investment program will deliver transport projects that can change lives and save lives.”

The 2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference runs in Canberra between Tuesday 6 September and Thursday 8 September.