TThe Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has doubled down on its calls for ‘urgent’ safety improvements on local roads after a rise in the national death toll.
It follows new data from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics, which shows that the number of roads has increased in most states and territories, with the largest increase in the Australian Capital Territory. (up 100 per cent), Tasmania (up 60.6 per cent), Northern Territory (up 45.7 per cent), Victoria (up 13.5 per cent), and New South Wales (up 12.1 per cent).
The motoring body, which represents state and territory-based motoring clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT), said it was concerned about the lack of progress towards the agreed National Road Safety Strategy targets. Concerned about
These targets, first implemented in 2021 as part of a 10-year plan to “dramatically reduce road trauma on Australian roads” include; Reductions in the national number of deaths, serious injuries, deaths of children aged seven and under, metropolitan deaths, and high-speed road deaths.
The strategy aims to reduce the average number of national road deaths from 1142 to 571 by 2030, with zero in metropolitan areas and for children aged seven and under.
However, AAA has revealed that 1191 people died on Australian roads between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022 – a 6.2 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
The number of deaths among children aged seven and under fell to 17 over the same period – a 19 per cent reduction – however, this is short of the 2030 target.
AAA’s managing director, Michael Bradley, said it was concerning because there was no data available for serious injuries, metropolitan deaths, or high-speed road deaths.
“It is deeply concerning that three of the five key targets of the strategy have yet to be achieved, and the deteriorating number of Australian roads reflects badly on our national approach to road safety, which I lack clarity and coherence.”
“Australia’s poor measurement, analysis, and reporting of road safety performance remains a major barrier to evidence-based solutions and well-targeted funding.”
It follows previous calls by AAA, with a report in 2017 that the national road toll rose by 7.9% to 1,300 in 2016, despite a target to reduce road deaths by 1,000 by 2020.
At the time, AAA’s pre-budget submission to the Federal Treasury called for safety funding and policy, including the removal of remaining tariffs and taxes designed to protect the now-defunct local automotive industry, ANCAP’s Continued funding for, and a requirement. To use risk assessment tools for infrastructure upgrading for all governments.
To reduce road accidents, the federal government has made autonomous emergency braking (AEB) mandatory for all vehicles, while proposed new Australian design rules could mean lane-keeping systems become mandatory from 2024. will
AEB, which can bring a vehicle to a complete stop or reduce its speed if it detects an impending collision, will be introduced for new vehicles from 1 March 2023 and in Australia from 1 March 2025. It will be mandatory for all cars sold.
Currently, the only mainstream vehicles sold in Australia without AEB are the MG 3, Fiat 500, LDV T60, G10 and V80, Mahindra Pik-Up, Suzuki Ignis, and entry-level MG ZS, Kia Rio, Honda CR- version. V, Mitsubishi Triton and Peugeot Expert.