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RAA calls for action to reach road toll reduction target

Thursday, 1st Aug 2019

South Australia is failing to meet its target to save lives and significantly reduce the road toll by 2020, according to a national report released today.

RAA says urgent action is needed to bring down the state’s road toll after the report revealed 102 people tragically lost their lives on the state’s roads in 2018/19, depressingly well above the target of 83 and three more than those killed in 2017/18.

The 2011 National Road Safety Strategy target to slash the nation’s road toll by 30 per cent at the end of the decade is now unlikely to be achieved.

The report into the strategy, published by Australian Automobile Association, also showed South Australia’s rate of fatalities last financial year was 5.85 per 100,000 population, significantly above the national average of 4.82.

RAA’s Senior Manager of Road Safety Charles Mountain said so far 2019 (calendar year) had been horrendous, with crash deaths surging rather than falling.

“The 2018 calendar year road toll was a record low, but more than 60 tragic crash deaths so far this calendar year has reversed this positive trend and devastated the lives of many families’’ Mr Mountain said.

Of the total 102 road fatalities recorded last financial year, 52 were drivers – well up from the 43 drivers killed in 2017/18.

Distressingly, the number of fatalities among passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists was almost unchanged over the two financial years.

The only good news was a fall in cyclists killed, down from eight in 2017/18 to three last financial year.

“South Australia needs to act now to stop the carnage on our roads, so we’re calling on the Federal Government to adopt all 12 recommendations in the 2018 National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry,’’ Mr Mountain said.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s creation of a national Office of Road Safety, but we need real financial commitments, including $3 billion a year towards a road safety fund.”

Mr Mountain said other recommendations included a rapid uptake of proven vehicle safety technology, investment in transport infrastructure to eliminate high-risk roads and to fund road safety innovation and initiatives.

RAA is a long-term advocate for measures that deliver better road safety outcomes, and has regularly called for action to tackle the issues that lead to road crashes and cause emotional and economic anguish for so many South Australian families.

“We want to see a dramatic reduction in the state’s road toll and will continue to work with all levels of government to cut road deaths and injuries,” Mr Mountain said.

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