In 2011, the National Road Safety Strategy was established to create a 10 year action plan, or series of plans, for reducing fatalities on Australian roads.
It's meant to be a combined commitment of federal, state and local governments to meet the ultimate vision of the strategy – for no person to be killed or seriously injured on Australia’s road.
In the transport industry, driving is a major part of the job, so this no fatality goal is especially relevant.
But what exactly are these plans?
We didn’t know either, so we took at look at the nine 2018-2020 road safety priority actions that will be the focus for the last few years of the National Road Safety Strategy – and how they’ll be implemented.
Some Australian road safety statistics
Before we jump into the priority actions, here’s a look at some current road safety statistics so we can see why they were created:
- The road death rate in Australia is 5.4 per 100,000 people, decreasing in major cities to 2.5 and increasing in rural areas to 11.8
- 25% of fatal crashes involve alcohol
- Fatal crases involving drug-induced drivers have increased by 60% since 2012
- 66% of road deaths occur in regional or remote areas
- Road deaths have decreased by 9% since 2010
- Majority of fatal crashes on remote and regional roads happen in high-speed zones
Priority actions for 2018-2020
1. Review the speed limits of high regional and remote roads
- Create a consistant national-wide education message to build awareness of safe and appropriate speeds.
- Communicate with the community about the benefit of decreasing highway speeds to reduce the risk of crashes and its corresponding effect on travel time.
2. Target infrastructure funding towards safety-focused initiatives
- Redirect funding to focus on high beneficial mass action treatments and pilot projects.
- Build more medians, barriers, audio-tactical line markings and other mass action treatments on roads with high risk.
3. Implement safety treatments to reduce trauma from crashes at urban intersections
- Increase the number of speed and red light cameras at intersections.
- Reevaluate the design of high risk intersections.
4. Increase the use of Autonomous Emergency Breaking (AEB) in both heavy and light vehicles
- Increase the uptake of AEB in government and private fleet purchases.
- Examine the international standards for AEB for heavy and light vehicles and finalise standards through the Australian Design Rules.
5. Increase roadside drug testing
- Improve the efficiency of drug testing.
- Improve current testing technology to reduce cost and the time taken at the roadside.
- Create a homogenous national approach to drug testing.
- Determine the effect of drug testing and community awareness as a deterrence.
6. Reduce speed limits to 40km/hr or lower in pedestrian and cyclist areas
- Implement 40km/hr or lower speed limit in high pedestrian areas.
7. Increase use of point-to-point and mobile cameras
- Put more stationary speed cameras on high risk, high volume roads – including heavy vehicle roads.
- Increase targeted deployment of mobile speed cameras to improve compliance with speed limits and reduce risk.
8. Improve heavy vehicle safety by improving license arrangements and fatigue laws
- Change Chain of Responsibility legislation to improve awareness of safety obligations, ensure safety practices are being used, and to share liability and responsibility for safety breaches amongst everyone in the supply chain.
- Improve code of practices and harmonising safety accreditation schemes to strengthen the safety management of heavy vehicles.
- Create a nation-wide heavy vehicle compliance monitoring network, and analyse the data obtained on vehicles and operators to inform a risk-based approach to safety enforcement.
- Review the heavy vehicle fatigue framework.
9. Increase the market uptake of safer new and used vehicles and emerging vehicle technologies
- Encourage companies to purchase 5-star safety rated vehicles through purchasing policies.
- Increase the education of drivers on safe vehicle technology and how to use it.
- Encourage companies to use new safety technologies like AEB, fatigue detection, distraction mitigation, vehicle control and aftermath vehicle warning.
- Create greater demand for vehicle safety technologies.
How it effects you
These action priorities are relevant to everyone, and even more so if you’re a truck driver or working in the transport industry. But, actions like this, while yes as a whole may have a positive effect, never really make a difference to us individually.
So apart from a slight adjustment in your speed and a higher chance of being pulled over for a drug test, what's the main change you should take notice of? Action 8.
Action 8 involves changing fatigue laws and Chain of Responsibility legislation. This will have direct implications for everyone working with the transport industry – making anyone part of the supply chain liable if a safety breach occurs.
Make sure you and you're business is up-to-date on everything transport and CoR by checking out our other articles.
Let us know, do you think this action priorities will actually improve road safety?