Better data collection will improve road safety

Tragically, the Road Deaths Australia bulletin released by BITRE today shows a higher than average number of road deaths for July. This is both devastating and disappointing.

Road safety matters are complex and don’t have quick solutions, which is why the Albanese Government is working with states and territories on a number of road safety measures to halve road deaths by 2030, on the path to zero by 2050.

Improving the national road safety data collection and reporting is one such measure.

There are many complexities in producing a nationally consistent road safety data set. Road safety data is owned and recorded by individual states and territories, and road safety is often not the primary reason for data collection. State and territories also have differences in how this data is recorded and reported (from questions through to data presentation).

The Australian Government is working with all states and territories to create more reliable, consistent and accessible data, and then will look at what other valuable road safety data could be collected to inform policy and improve safety for all road users.

Through the National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25, the Australian Government will complete a National Road Safety Data Collection and Reporting Framework and minimum national dataset in 2024.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Carol Brown:

“Quality and timely data is essential to inform road safety action, which is why our Government is leading the charge on this framework – working with all state and territory governments to ensure a consistent and privacy-protected road safety data set.

“Already, the Working Group is cataloguing the nation’s current road safety data holdings, with a first iteration of the catalogue published on the Road Safety Data Hub in May.

“The Government looks forward to continuing to deliver on this framework, and our range of other road safety commitments, to help save lives and reduce road trauma in Australia.

“This includes the $43.6 million new National Road Safety Actions Grants Program, which will support projects targeting a number of critical road safety focus areas such as research and data.”