The first recommendation of a new Senate road safety inquiry report is for the Government to provide the $150,000 per annum needed to keep the Australian Trauma Registry operational, backing calls from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

AAA chief executive Michael Bradley said: “The AAA and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons have for some time been advocating for the Government to make this very small investment, which could enable the Australian Trauma Registry to provide data on the number of serious road crash injuries occurring in Australia.

“Australia’s state and federal governments signed on to a National Road Safety Strategy in 2011, which seeks to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent through the decade to 2020.

“It is almost inconceivable that five years on, there remains no mechanism available to consistently or meaningfully measure road injuries on a national basis, let alone determine whether the Strategy’s goals are indeed being met.

“The AAA is very pleased to see the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s first recommendation is the provision of funds that can help provide this important picture.

“This is becoming more urgent as AAA analysis reveals that in the year to March 2016 there was an 11 per cent spike in road fatalities.

“While we can accurately measure road deaths, because different jurisdictions measure and record road trauma differently, we have no national measure of the number or severity of road crash injuries.

“In 2011, the National Road Safety Strategy estimated that around 32,500 Australians were seriously injured each year in road crashes and that this costs our economy about $27 billion annually. But the truth is without a continuing national data set, we just can’t know.

“What we do know is we cannot fix a problem that cannot be measured, and so the AAA joins with the Senate Committee in urging the Australian Government to make this modest funding available.”