On 14th August, Policy Adviser Fiona Brooke and Policy Consultant Andrew Phillips testified before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety in Australia.
The Alliance asked the Committee to consider in its report and recommendations, the particularly high social and economic costs of road-related deaths and injuries in rural and remote Australia.
Reducing the cost and impact of road accidents and deaths will require success on a range of fronts, including behaviour change, regulation, and investment in infrastructure. Although complex, the remedial action the Alliance seeks will return significant economic, social and health dividends.
In our submission, we highlighted the disparity that exists between the road toll in major centres of population and in more sparsely populated areas. Those who live outside the major cities make up 30 per cent of the population, yet account for 52 per cent of deaths due to land transport accidents. If the fatality rate of major cities was replicated outside of them, about 500 lives would be saved each year. While land transport accidents do not rate in the top 20 causes of death in major cities, that are the 17th leading cause in inner regional areas, the 13th leading cause in outer regional areas, the 8th leading cause in remote areas and the 4th leading cause of death in very remote areas. We also provided Committee members with copies of our road safety infographic.