Budget drives road safety in the right direction

The Albanese Government has continued to listen to the concerns of road safety experts and stakeholders in the formulation of the new National Road Safety Action Grants Program (NRSAGP).

The new program was announced in last week’s Budget, along with the commitment of the continual delivery of the Road Safety Program over the next two years.

The NRSAGP has been established to provide grant funding to programs and initiatives which assist in the Australian Government’s commitment to Vision Zero and supports the policy objectives set out in the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 and National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25.

The NRSAGP will deliver $43.6 million over four years from 2022-23 to support data collection, community education and awareness, First Nations road safety, vulnerable road users, technology, innovation and research.

Providing funding which is underpinned by measurable actions was something stakeholders from across the road safety field called for from the former Government.

The Albanese Government is delivering on this request through the Action Plan and by extension, the NRSAGP.

The Action Plan has been agreed to by transport ministers from each state and territory, as well as the Australian Local Government Association.

The Action Plan contains over 70 actions which when delivered will assist all Australians in achieving Vision Zero.

The Action Plan is underpinned by nine key priority areas – data, research, infrastructure planning and investment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, regional road safety, remote road safety, vehicle safety, heavy vehicle safety, workplace road safety, vulnerable road users and risky road use.

The Action Plan can be found here. The Australian Government is committed to the improved quality and accessibility of road safety data.

Seeing an improvement in road safety data will strengthen the evidence base for decisions on the most efficient and effective ways to deliver better road safety outcomes.

To support the progression of improving data quality and accessibility, the Australian Government is investing $18.9 million over 3 years from 2023-24 to procure road safety data, research and evaluate projects.

On top of the NRSAGP and funding for data and research, the Australian Government is investing $16.5 million in the Car Safety Ratings Program to improve testing protocols for new light vehicles and provide safety evaluations for used vehicles.

The Australian Government continues to back the Safer Cycling for Safer Roads program conducted by the Amy Gillett Foundation, which is supporting measures to create safer journeys for cyclists by collaborating with local governments across the country.

The Road Safety Program has successfully delivered 1,400 projects to date. The Australian Government will continue funding the Program over the years 2023-24 and 2024-25, with over $976 million to be invested in new life-saving infrastructure upgrades and treatments.

The Australian Government remains committed to investing:

- $500 million for the Roads to Recovery Program

- $110 million per year into the Black Spot Program

- $85 million per year for the Bridges Renewal Program

- $65 million per year for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program

- $18.9 million for transport research organisations and innovation projects