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Greens Road Safety strategy will save lives

Media Release
Christine Milne 3 Aug 2010

For too long, the Commonwealth government has placed the responsibility of reducing road deaths and injuries firmly in the laps of state and local governments, says Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne.

"Today, the Greens will address the needless deaths on our roads with the launch of our ‘Towards Zero' national road safety strategy.

"Our strategy aims to radically reduce road deaths through joint, cooperative actions between all government tiers, advocacy groups and road users.

Road crashes are the number one killer of young Australians.

"Young people below the age of 25 represent a third of all road deaths nationwide. That's an average of about 600 young people, dead, every year.

"Our vision will extend road safety ratings from federally funded highways to narrow, winding country roads; it will place safer vehicles on our roads, and will move the increasing burden of road freight onto the rail network.

"The Greens road safety strategy will support and enhance the federally funded keys2drive program which equips parents and supervisors with the skills needed to coach young drivers.

"We will allocate $10 million to increase awareness of the keys2drive program; we will assess the possibility of initial mandatory professional tuition for learner drivers, and we will assure ongoing funding beyond the Federal government's current five year commitment.

"The Greens will also radically improve the current Australian Road Assessment Program which currently only provides star ratings for the federally funded AusLink network plus a handful of state roads.

"Just 15 percent of fatalities occur on AusLink roads, so it is common sense to expand the assessment program to all roads. This is a long term commitment, and the Greens will commit $20 million to fund AusRAP to ensure that it is done.

"Safe roads are central to reducing death and injury. The Greens will therefore aim to see all new roads and major upgrades, plus every regional road, achieving a four star rating by 2020.

"It is also vital that drivers be aware of the roads they are driving on. We will ensure road safety ratings are visible and available to all road users through road signage and mapping."

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