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State Budget needs commitment to road safety

Monday, 19th Jun 2017

In the lead up to this week’s State Budget, RAA is renewing its calls for a Safety Camera Commissioner, along with a greater investment in road infrastructure and road safety education.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said there needs to be more transparency around why safety cameras are installed at certain locations.

“Without transparency, the often cited ‘revenue raising’ cliché will not go away,” said Mr Mountain.

“We suggest South Australia needs an independent Safety Camera Commissioner who would review both existing safety cameras and any applications for a new camera, rather than just relying on crash statistics.

“Behavioural data on speeding and red light running should also be collected to support any application for a new camera.

“Continued monitoring of this data, as well as crash figures, should be used to determine whether a camera has been effective or not.”

A recent RAA-led study on the effectiveness of safety cameras at intersections found the effect of these devices on road safety is inconclusive.

“When looking at safety camera locations as a collection, and comparing the number of crashes that occurred before and after their installation, there was a significant reduction in casualty crashes,” said Mr Mountain.

“However, at an individual camera level, the crash volumes are too volatile to make any meaningful conclusions.

“It further shows why it’s important for a Safety Camera Commissioner to independently monitor and report on South Australia’s fixed and mobile safety cameras to ensure they are operating accurately and reliably.”

To meet South Australia’s road safety targets, RAA also wants to see the State Government increase their investment in road infrastructure.

“Our members are concerned that the overall condition of our roads is deteriorating with apparently insufficient resources being allocated to road maintenance and upgrading,” said Mr Mountain.

“We feel an increase in maintenance funding is fundamental to reducing road deaths and serious injuries.

“Our Risky Roads survey revealed Main South Road is of greatest concern to SA motorists, particularly its uneven surface, narrow lanes and a lack of overtaking lanes.

A number of key regional routes, such as the Horrocks Highway, Princes Highway and the Copper Coast Highway were also nominated in the Risky Roads survey.

“With their uneven surfaces, pot holes and narrow lanes, it’s vital for these roads that provide a link to South Australia’s key tourist destinations, be upgraded,” said Mr Mountain.

RAA is also calling on the State Government to make a greater investment in road safety education, particularly the Street Smart Primary program which is currently delivered to around one quarter of all SA primary schools.

“A commitment of $400,000 per year would allow this joint RAA and MAC program to be available to every school in South Australia with a primary enrolment,” said Mr Mountain. 

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