Australian Government Must Lift The Bar On Lowering National Road Toll: AAA Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Feb, 21 2011 | 7 Comments

The Federal Government's target of a 30 percent reduction in road fatalities and serious injuries over the next decade is not good enough, according to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

Brian Negus, RACV General Manager for Public Policy, says the Government's draft National Road Safety Strategy 2011-20 (NRSS) should look to adopt the 50 percent target proposed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in its call for a global 'Decade of Action for Road Safety'.

Mr Negus said it was disappointing that the Federal Government has proposed a target even lower than the 40 percent of its previous NRSS.

“The strategy in its current form lacks an inspiring and meaningful vision to reduce road trauma in Australia. The new NRSS will be very important in helping to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Australia’s roads," Mr Negus said.

“While each state and territory has its own road safety strategy, the NRSS should provide strong leadership at a national level. The NRSS sets a direction for all of the states and territories."

The AAA has also called for increased infrastructure funding, which Mr Negus described as a "key failure" in the previous ten-year strategy.

He added that there are fears that the Government's plans for reducing the national road toll relies too heavily on simply reducing speed limits even further.

"Increased road funding is critical in achieving any target in the new strategy. A lack of funding is the key reason why the 40 per cent reduction target in the previous 10-year strategy was not reached. This is difficult to justify,” Mr Negus said.

“We acknowledge that speed limits must be suited to the particular road, however improving infrastructure is the preferred option to lowering speed limits in situations where mobility is important.”

Mr Negus said that RACV also does not support a total ban on hands-free mobile phone use - a topic currently under discussion by the country's leaders - and does not support reducing the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers.

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