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Speech on road safety

Asked by Snigdha Cute(student) , on 11/2/13

  Speech

KS03/2012

04 May 2012

Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia
Burwood Entertainment Complex, Perth

 

Good morning everyone.

Thank you for the invitation to join you for breakfast—and thank you for the warm welcome Tim (Shanahan, President Royal Automotive Club Western Australia President).

Before I begin I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and offer my respects to their elders past and present.

I would also like to acknowledge:

  • Ms Freda Crucitti (National Road Safety Council, RAC Councillor)
  • RAC WA Councillors
  • State Members of Parliament
  • Local Government Mayors and Councillors
  • Mr Gary Budge (WA Assistant Commissioner of Police)

I am here this morning in my capacity as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport. In that role, I have particular responsibility for promoting and implementing the Australian Government 's road safety initiatives.

It is a task I am passionately committed to and a task I take very seriously.

Your attendance here this morning is proof that you share my commitment and I thank you for coming.

In your roles as members of WA 's motoring fraternity, as members of the police force, as private citizens, as leaders of industry or as government officials, I know that you acknowledge that road safety is a shared responsibility and that each and every one of us must take this responsibility seriously.

Safe Roads

Firstly, safe roads.

The Australian Government is playing a significant role with our $36.4 billion Nation Building Program currently funding major upgrades and constructing new, safer road networks in Australia.

Of this commitment, $3.7 billion has been committed for land transport infrastructure in Western Australia.

This investment will see a significant number of projects delivered by the Australian Government on the National Network and Off Network.

So far, eight major projects have been completed and a further thirteen are underway or nearing completion.

I am sure that Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Australia 's National Coordinator will have more to say about these projects when he addresses a breakfast in this series in Albany in July.

On a local level, the Australian Government is providing $256 million under the Roads to Recovery Program to Western Australian councils and shires to maintain and upgrade local roads.

And let me assure you the Australian Government has no plans to withdraw this financial support.

The administrative arrangements for the program remain simple, with councils free to choose the projects to be funded.

Western Australia will also receive $55.3 million under the Black Spot program through to 2014, with 257 projects across the state already approved and 149 of these completed.

Across the country, the Black Spot program is making a real difference by targeting those road locations where crashes are occurring.

The Black Spot Program has a proven track record of saving lives, with an evaluation showing that it prevented at least 32 fatalities and more than 1,500 serious injuries in its first three years.In addition, I understand that the WA Office of Road Safety is working with the WA Road Safety Council to identify and redesign intersections within Perth and is looking at a range of measures to improve roads in regional areas.

Safe Speeds

The next pillar of the road safety strategy is safe speeds.

I know everyone in this room recognises the link between excessive, or inappropriate, speed and death or serious injury on our roads.

Australia has relatively high speed limits across much its road network compared with the speed limits on similar roads in most developed countries.

The strategy highlights the potential to reduce crash rates by ensuring speed limits are appropriate for the road.

In many cases this means improving road infrastructure so vehicles can travel safely at the speed limit.  In other cases it means reducing the speed limit to a safer level on higher-risk roads.

By 2020, we want to be confident that the speed limits across our road network provide an appropriate balance between safety and transport objectives.

next is in down(plz note it)

 

Posted by Nasrin(student)on 11/2/13

More Answers

 

Safe Vehicles

The third pillar in the strategy is safe vehicles.

The Australian Government has a critical role in vehicle safety regulation, helping to develop improved crash standards and bring in advanced safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control.

My Department administers the Australian Design Rules, which set national standards for vehicle safety and emissions, in cooperation with international counterparts.

The National Road Safety Strategy sets an ambitious agenda for the adoption of new vehicle safety standards.  Over the next two years we will evaluate the case for mandating a range of measures.

These include:

  • Electronic Stability Control for light commercial vehicles;
  • Brake assist technology for passenger cars;
  • ABS technology for motorcycles;
  • ABS lane departure warning systems and advanced emergency braking systems for heavy vehicles; and
  • A standard for protecting vehicle occupants from side impacts with narrow objects such as poles and treesan area in which Australia is leading the world in research and development.

These new safety measures will build on the recent efforts such as the requirement for seatbelt reminder systems for the driver 's seat of all new passenger cars, passenger vans and sports utility vehicles.

Safe People

The fourth pillar of road safety strategy looks at the human element: Safe People.

The strategy recognises that anyone can make a simple mistake or misjudgement.  However, irresponsible and illegal behaviour on the roads continues to contribute to far too many deaths and injuries.

Speed, alcohol and drugs remain major causes of serious crashes - and we continue to find that up to a third of people killed or injured in crashes have failed to wear a seatbelt.

The findings of a national survey conducted last year show that Australians generally have a good awareness of the major factors involved in road crashes. And on the whole they approve of existing traffic regulation and enforcement practices.

However, it seems that responsible attitudes towards road safety don 't necessarily translate to responsible driver behaviour.

Many people admit to behaviours such as illegally using hand-held mobile phones, and exceeding the speed limit.

I know that the adequate preparation of new drivers is an issue that particularly concerns you, and I note that the RAC has recently sponsored research by the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre on the effectiveness of advanced driver training.

As we are all aware, young drivers continue to face higher risk on the roads. Last year, 48 people aged 17 to 25 were killed on Western Australian roads. The national figure for 2011 was 279. These figures are unacceptable.

The Australian Government funds the keys2drive program, a ground breaking initiative to provide free driving lessons by accredited driving instructors to learner drivers. Parents are encouraged to participate in the program.

Research shows that the best thing that can be done for novice drivers is to help them gain a theoretical understanding and real-world, on-road supervised driving experience before they go solo. This is what keys2drive is all about.

To date 85,000 driving lessons have been delivered nation-wide.  And there is almost 1,000 accredited driving instructors across the country.

I would urge those of you with young people learning to drive, or friends and family of learner drivers to take advantage of this program.

Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program

Before I conclude, I would also like to touch briefly on the suite of productivity and road safety reforms we have introduced around heavy vehicle freight transport.

Long distance trucking is a fact of life in WA and we are also working to deliver improved safety and productivity outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry and other road users through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSP).

Under the program, Western Australia will receive $6.3 million to fund 41 projects including the construction or upgrade of rest areas and parking and decoupling bays.  Thirty six of these projects have been completed.

We have also established a single, national regulator for heavy vehicles, and we are setting up a Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to set ‘safe pay rates’ and remove incentives for drivers to resort to unsafe practices behind the wheel.

 

Posted by Nasrin(student)on 11/2/13

 

Conclusion

Immediately after this session, many of you will be moving on to attend the 2012 WA Transport and Roads Forum hosted by Main Roads WA and the WA Local Government Association.

This prompts me to mention the recent announcement of the winners of the 2012 National Awards for Local Government—in particular the Excellence in Road Safety Award sponsored by the National Road Safety Council and supported by my Department.

The award was won by NSW 's Lismore City Council for their ‘Drive to Conditions’ project which used an extensive review of crash data to determine the top ten roads in Lismore for crashes and speeding.

The project then developed a range of targeted and complementary countermeasures, including an extensive media and community consultation campaign and successful applications for additional funding under the Black Spot program.

Finally, in closing, I would like to remind you that the first anniversary of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety—of which Australia is a co-sponsor—will be marked with a ceremony on 11 May at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

I was honoured last year to host the Australian launch of this global initiative—an initiative which recognises the immense scale of the road trauma problem and the challenges faced by other nations.

The launch included the announcement of Australian Government funding of $6.2 million to the World Bank 's Global Road Safety Facility.

As a nation with a record of achievement in improving road safety, Australia has both the capacity, and responsibility, to assist in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on the world 's roads.

As you look at the challenges faced here in Western Australia, I urge you to share ideas and also to look at the global situation and the search for sustainable, global solutions.

Thank you.

 

Posted by Nasrin(student)on 11/2/13

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