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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2660


Senator MAGUIRE —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Does the Government have information on the number of armed service personnel who have been killed or injured in road traffic accidents in recent years? Are service men and women more at risk to road accidents than the whole community? Is the matter of road accidents among service personnel of the greatest possible concern to the Government? What action has been taken or is contemplated to reduce road accidents by service men and women?


Senator GARETH EVANS —The Government is very concerned about the accident rate among all Australians, and no less among service men and women, no matter how relatively high or low that rate may be. Accident rates among service men and women cannot be readily assessed against the rates in the civilian community as the records are not maintained in similar formats. However, I have available some statistics, provided to me by the Minister, covering recent years of the involvement of service personnel in road accidents which I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The table read as follows-

Navy

Fatalities

Injuries

Army

Fatalities

Injuries

RAAF

Fatalities

Injuries

1981* ...

38

311

9

180

1982 ...

8

293

40

275

17

236

1983 ...

6

589

28

334

8

235

1984 ...

2

452

22

371

9

168

1985 ...

15

454

18

283

10

164

1986 ...

1

158

15

252

4

88

* 1981 figures not available on short notice.

Note 1: RAN figures are for Fiscal Year, others are for Calendar Year.


Senator GARETH EVANS —The services are constantly highlighting road safety issues among their members and conduct private vehicle checks prior to leave periods to ensure their roadworthiness. The services also vigorously discourage drink-driving and promote sensible driving habits. As an example, the Army has recently launched an initiative to permit service personnel travelling long distances on leave to utilise Army units for rest stops. These rest stop units have been designated in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.