National Road Safety Strategy isn’t working – study

Road toll data shows the strategy is nowhere near on track to meet its 2020 goals.

No state or territory is on track to meet its road-toll reduction target under the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), according to new road trauma benchmarking from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

Developed in 2010, the NRSS is aiming for a 30 per cent reduction in road fatalities by 2020. We’ve seen a 10.3 per cent reduction in the annual national road toll since the program started, well behind what’s required if that target is to be met.

The strategy was subject to a Federal inquiry earlier this year, which found it had suffered from “implementation failure” since its creation in 2010. The 12 months to ending in September 2018 saw no real decrease compared to the its equivalent ending in 2017, with just eight fewer deaths recorded nationally. That’s a reduction of just 0.7 per cent.

According to Michael Bradley, AAA chief executive, Australia needs “more resourcing from all levels of government to curb road trauma”.

Bradley highlighted the fact we have no system in place for accurately measuring injuries from road accidents, making it hard to accurately track the all-round national impact of crashes.

“With two years of the strategy to go, road fatalities remain much higher than the rate needed to meet the NRSS targets,” Bradley said.

Going around the grounds, New South Wales (+5.7 per cent), Western Australia (+3.6 per cent), Tasmania (+19.4 per cent), the ACT (+28.6 per cent), and the Northern Territory (+18.4 per cent) all recorded road toll increases over the 12 month period ending September 2018.

Victoria (-12.4 per cent), Queensland (-1.2 per cent), and South Australia (-15.5 per cent), all recorded decreases, though.

Nationally, pedestrian deaths rose by 13.8 per cent over the 12 month test period, but motorcyclist deaths fell 13.2 per cent.

“Australian motorists do not think it acceptable that 100 Australians are hospitalised every day due to a road crash, or that a further 100 die every month on our roads,” Michael Bradley said of the findings.