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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1332

Senator DAVIDSON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Has the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport noted the tragic number of road deaths on both the Easter holiday weekend and the Anzac Day holiday? Can the Minister advise whether researches which have been carried out on this matter have revealed any steps that could be taken to reduce the road toll? Does the Minister agree that the problem is perhaps more a human one than an engineering one? Will he also advise whether a programme of education on road courtesy is envisaged?

Senator COTTON - I noted with great personal sadness and horror the number of reported deaths in road accidents, as 1 think every honourable senator would do. I have some general comments to make on the activities of the Department of Shipping and Transport in the general field of road safety. It has set up an expert group on road safety and since the formation of the Australian Transport Advisory Council the Commonwealth has been undertaking road safety publicity in educational campaigns. Another significant Commonwealth contribution towards reducing the road toll includes grants to the States for road research, research into vehicle design and the servicing of the Australian Transport Advisory Council advisory committee dealing with road laws, vehicle safety and performance. Law enforcement, traffic control, vehicle registration, driver licensing and road designs are matters which must involve State and Territory responsibility. Nonetheless, the suggestion that this is a human problem at which a better level of responsibility might be encouraged through an educational programme is a good suggestion and T shall take it up with the responsible Minister.

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