A new parliamentary committee has been appointed to investigate how to reduce trauma and deaths on Australian roads.
The Joint Select Committee on Road Safety will build on the work of the previous committee and will investigate and identify opportunities to improve road safety programs and policy; embed road trauma prevention across agencies; and reduce road trauma in the workplace.
Committee Chair, Pat Conaghan MP, said over a thousand people die on our roads every year while tens of thousands are hospitalised.
‘This inquiry will focus on the practical and immediate steps that can be taken to reduce trauma and deaths on our roads’, Mr Conaghan said.
‘The committee will be focusing on what can be done in the short to medium term to achieve real and tangible results. We need to focus on action and cooperation in the prevention of further trauma and deaths on our road networks. We will also focus attention on ensuring the Federal Government’s 2021-22 Budget commitment of $3 billion over three years to the Road Safety Program continues to be effective.’
For many Australians, particularly those living in rural and regional Australia, our roads are an essential and unavoidable means of travel. Rural and regional Australians are disproportionately impacted by road trauma, with two‑thirds of deaths on Australian roads in 2019 occurring in regional or remote areas.
Vehicles and our roads are also a workplace for many Australians. More than half of all worker fatalities in Australia are related to vehicles.
‘We always have to remember that these are people not just statistics. They are mums and dads picking the kids up from school; truck drivers keeping our supermarkets stocked; cyclists and pedestrians heading to work; farmers driving into town to re-supply; and gig‑economy delivery workers’, Mr Conaghan said.
The Chair said it is important that Australia explores options to meet its road safety targets.
‘We must all work together towards zero deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads by 2050. Everyone deserves to feel safe on our roads,’ Mr Conaghan said.