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SaferRoads targets road deaths and injuries.



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SaferRoads targets road deaths and injuries

Wednesday 31 March 2004 Embargo: 11:30am (Canberra Time) 31/3/04

“Safer drivers in safer vehicles on safer roads” is the focus of a new national road safety initiative launched today in Canberra to coincide with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2004 international year of road safety.

In an unprecedented display of cooperation, the Federal Minister for Territories, Local Government and Roads, Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell joined representatives from the major sponsor organisations, road safety experts and medical professionals in endorsing the SaferRoads project.

Tony Stacey, President of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) together with other key stakeholders—Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS), welcomed the Minister’s participation in the SaferRoads project, which aims reduce deaths and injuries on the roads.

Mr Stacey said that “since 1997, Australia’s road toll has remained almost static. Today like every other day this year, an average of 550 people will be injured on our roads, 60 of them seriously. 5 people on average will die today.”

“The road toll is not just a statistic. It involves sudden loss, pain, suffering and financial hardship. It changes the lives of thousands of Australian families forever. Unless we act now, thousands of lives will continue to be changed for the worse” Mr Stacey said.

“In addition to the enormous emotional strain of road crashes, poor road safety is also an enormous economic burden for our nation. Each and every day, we waste more than $40 million on road crashes. There is on average $11 million worth damage done to vehicles each day, $6.4 million spent on medical costs and $5.3 million in lost productivity in the workplace.”

“This is not just a narrow 'transport' issue that we're talking about. Road safety needs to be thought of as a 'whole of community’ issue. Road safety is, in reality, a preventable public health issue” Mr Stacey said.

Mr Stacey urged a commitment from all parts of society to achieving the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) target of saving, in today’s terms, 700 lives each year by 2010, saying “we need to work together on this. It's a big task that will take a big commitment, not just from governments, or from the car manufacturers or from drivers alone, but from everyone.”

Mr Stacey said “according to the research, fixing the roads has a greater potential to save lives

than most people think.” The NRSS estimates that by 2010 around 332 lives could be saved each year through improved roads, 175 because of safer vehicles, 158 by better driver behaviour and 35 by the use of new technology.

“We all have a role to play in making our roads safer:

● Road users can contribute by acting more responsibly and eliminating the dangers of drink

driving, speeding, failing to wear seatbelts and driving when tired. ● Vehicle manufacturers and importers can contribute by making safer vehicles their main

priority, by improving car design, encouraging safe driving in the promotion of their products and through improving compatibility between vehicle design and road infrastructure. ● Governments can contribute by pursuing best practice road safety options, building safer

new roads, making existing roads more forgiving, demanding safer vehicles through fleet purchase and regulating and enforcing vehicle and driver standards. ● Business can contribute by promoting and rewarding safer road use by employees and

suppliers and through selecting safer fleet vehicles.”

Ends

Media note: Minister Campbell will launch the SaferRoads project at 11.30am in Courtyard C28 at Parliament House, Canberra on Wednesday March 31, 2004

A number of representatives (as per the attachment) from Australia’s major motoring organisations, medical organisations and road safety experts will be available for interview at the launch.

Video footage available in Beta SP format.

List of Partners and Supporters attached.

Contacts Paul Scott (AAA) 02 6247 7311 / 0418 895 854

Greg Smith (AAA) 02 6247 7311 / 0414 859 457

SaferRoads Partners

● The Australian Automobile Association

● The Australian Local Government Association

● The Australian Trucking Association

● The Australasian College of Road Safety

SaferRoads Supporters

● ARRB Transport Research Ltd

● Australian Council for Infrastructure Development Ltd (AusCID)

● Australian Medical Association (SA)

● Australian Road Federation (ARF)

● Bus Industry Confederation (BIC)

● Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS Q), Queensland

University of Technology

● Centre for Automotive Research (CASR), University of Adelaide

● Charles Darwin University, Faculty of Technology and Industrial Education

● Civil Contractors Federation (CCF)

● Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS)

● Engineers Australia

● George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney

● Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC)

● National Farmers Federation (NFF)

● NSW Injury Risk Management Research Center, University of NSW

● Pedestrian Council of Australia

● Planning and Transport Research Centre (PaTReC), Western Australia

● Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

● Rural Doctors Association of Australia

● Transport System Centre, University of South Australia