Statement on the catastrophic number of road fatalities in 2023
From January to December last year 1,266 people were killed on Australian roads.
This is a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
No words can describe the sheer pain and loss experienced by the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones.
Road safety is the responsibility of all of us, from all levels of Governments right through to individual road users.
It is a responsibility each and every one of us should take with the gravity that our decisions on the roads can be the difference between life and death.
In 2024 please drive so others survive.
The 2023 Road Deaths Australia notice released by the Australian Governments Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) paints a devastating picture of road safety across our networks.
The Australian Government, along with all state and territory Governments, are committed to Vision Zero - that is zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050.
The Australian governments’ commitment to road safety is outlined through the National Road Safety Strategy (2021-2030) and the National Road Safety Action Plan (2023-25).
The Action Plan focuses on delivering tangible and measurable actions, provides clear lines of responsibility and timeframes for actions to commence or be finalised.
Through the Action Plan, the Australian Government is delivering several key initiatives and changes, aimed squarely at reducing road trauma across Australia.
This includes Actions such as:
- Improving regional and remote road safety through targeted road safety infrastructure programs;
- Progressing the roll-out and uptake of new vehicle safety features and technologies through new Australian Design Rules;
- Building and upgrading heavy vehicle rest areas across the country;
- Commencing the review of road safety research to develop a national road safety research picture; and
- Working with state, territory and local governments to develop a framework to support local governments to conduct road safety network risk assessments and implement road safety policies.
On top of the work outlined in the Action Plan, the Australian Government is delivering infrastructure and non-infrastructure funding directly targeting better road safety outcomes.
This funding includes:
- As a matter of urgency, the Albanese Government will host a National Road Safety Conference in the first quarter of 2024. This Conference will bring together Road Safety Ministers and Police Ministers from across the country to engage in the troublesome road safety trends.
- The Australian Government is currently scoping the creation of a National Road Safety Education Campaign to reinforce the country’s road safety culture.
- The Road Safety Program is contributing $976 million to life saving road safety treatment measures across the country with all projects to be completed by mid 2025. The funding is particularly focused on safety measures on rural and regional roads and to provide better protection for vulnerable road users (such as bike riders and pedestrians) in urban areas.
- We are delivering a $40 million per year boost to the popular Black Spot Program, increasing the annual funding from $110 million to $150 million. The Black Spot Program provides individuals, community groups, local and state governments with the opportunity to nominate dangerous intersections or road segments for funding for road safety treatments.
- We have created a new program, the Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program, which brings together funding two former programs: the Bridges Renewal Program and the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. The amount of funding for the new program will also gradually increase such that $200 million will be available per year, up from the current $150 million total annual investment.
- We have delivered a $250 million funding boost to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to assist regional local councils to deliver road maintenance works.
- The first rounds of the new $43.6 million National Road Safety Action Grant Program are being rolled out, with new rounds opening today. This program provides vital funding to non-infrastructure road safety projects and programs across the country.
- The Albanese Government has partnered with the Amy Gillett Foundation to deliver a $6 million Safe Roads for Safe Cycling Program which aims to empower leadership and action for safe cycling infrastructure across the country.
- We have committed $16.5 million over the next 5 years for the Car Safety Rating Program, which will be delivered by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MURAC) for safety rating evaluations for both new and used vehicles.