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50km/h limit is a good start, but more must be done

Media Release
Christine Milne 15 Apr 2010

Hobart City Council's plan to reduce speed limits to 50km/h within its municipal boundaries should be congratulated, and it is a perfect cue for all tiers of government to step up their efforts in saving lives on our roads, says Greens Acting Leader, Christine Milne.

"This is a very positive step towards creating healthier and safer city spaces. Slowing down traffic in Hobart will no doubt slow the rate of accidents, but with 64 needless road deaths in Tasmania last year, we clearly need something more.

"Hobart City Council's actions must be met by other city councils, as well as the State and Federal governments in order to extend additional safety measures beyond our cities and onto the open road where dangerous driving has become a real concern.

"It's a sad reality that some in our community actively go out of their way to drive dangerously, and others consider their clamped vehicles to be a badge of honour. We need more than a simple speed limit and clamping system. We need a concerted effort from all parties involved, including road users and all tiers of government.

"Currently the Australian Greens are in discussion with road trauma victims and the Tasmanian community looking at forging policy initiatives that allow the Federal government to play a key role in saving lives.

"I am talking here of assured efforts to not only make it illegal to drive without care, but also to make it difficult. Young inexperienced drivers form one quarter of road deaths nationwide; let's tackle this terrible statistic right now before more parents must endure the utter horror of losing their children.

"Among my proposals I suggest the Federal government enter discussions with insurers to literally price young drivers out of excessively powerful cars, and to insist on the completion of a skilled driver course as a condition of being granted a license.

"There are many other measures we can take, and it is time we start the discussion.

"2010 marks the final year of the Federal Government's ten year action plan to reduce deaths on our roads. Their aim was to reduce deaths to no more than 5.6 per 100,000. Last year ended with the figure being 7.1, with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania each showing an a rise in fatalities.

"Last year Tasmanian road deaths rose by a staggering 60 percent to a rate of more than 13 fatalities per 100,000."

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