All Australian states and the Northern Territory are on track to miss government road safety targets, according to the Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) quarterly Benchmarking of The National Road Safety Strategy.
The report, which tracks progress against the agreed target of reducing road deaths by at least 30 percent between 2011 and 2020, has recorded the most modest progress made since 2011. In 2017-2018 there were 1,222 deaths on Australian roads, just one fewer than 2016-17.
In the year to June 2018, all states and the Northern Territory recorded “red light warnings”, meaning they are on a trajectory that makes them unlikely to meet the 2020 targets.
“This is the worst result so far recorded by the AAA’s benchmarking process and underscores the need for greater federal road safety oversight to help reduce deaths on the nation’s roads,” said AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley. “These results reflect our current approach to road safety, which lacks transparency, consistency and accountability.
“Critical elements such as data collection and research are not being coordinated or harmonised, and jurisdictions face no consequences for failing to deliver agreed outcomes.”
The report found that cyclist fatalities have increased, with 45 cyclist deaths in 2017-18. The total for the previous year was 25 deaths, and the strategy’s baseline (the average of 2008, 2009 and 2010) is 32.
“Road trauma currently costs the national economy more than $29 billion annually and the observed lack of progress reflects Australia’s uncoordinated and disorganised approach to road safety,” added Bradley. “The social and human cost of these deaths and injuries is immeasurable, however the costs to the budget and the economy are well understood, which is why the AAA will continue to call on the Federal Government to reinstate federal oversight of road safety data collection and the strategy’s implementation.”