The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) final quarterly report benchmarking the performance of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 (NRSS) shows the Strategy’s key targets, to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent, have not been met.
In 2020, the national road toll was down by 6.7 per cent compared to the previous year, with most attributing the recent decline to greatly reduced traffic volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two states bucked the downward trend – Queensland and Tasmania – and saw alarming spikes of 26 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said the most recent available data showed that almost half the Strategy’s 33 targets were not on track to be met, many agreed targets could still not be measured, while for several safety indicators targets were not even set.
“Over the course of the decade, more than 12,000 lives have been lost on our roads,” Mr Bradley said. “And the toll in human suffering, especially on those left behind, is immeasurable.”
Mr Bradley said it is critical that the lessons of recent years be learned – the main one being that a national emergency requires a national response, with a clear leadership role for the Commonwealth Government.
“We’ve endorsed the Government’s initiatives of the October 2020 federal Budget, including a major new Road Safety Program, with infrastructure funding made conditional on the states and territories providing essential road safety data, and funds provided on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis,” Mr Bradley said.
The AAA represents over 8.5 million motorists through its member clubs – NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT.