Australia’s prominent auto clubs have joined forces to launch a campaign for safer roads during the 148 days preceding the federal election.
Spearheaded by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the Demand Better Roads campaign has been backed by the NRMA, RACV, RACT and the RACWA.
With “seven million members and seven million voters” among its number, the group is urging an investment of $100 billion in roads over 10 years.
The campaign has launched a website, with a petition enabling visitors to email their federal member of parliament. The website aims to provide a “report card” on the policies of Labor, the Liberal/National Coalition and the Australian Greens.
Several of the auto clubs have also been on the campaign trail today, online and off.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that many of our roads are not coping," AAA President Ross Herron said.
"We need stronger investment and new approaches to funding for roads and other crucial land transport infrastructure to combat growing congestion in our cities and to provide safer roads in the regions."
AAA Chairman Andrew McKellar flagged the estimated $27 billion cost of road trauma each year as the top reason for government and the public to get behind a plan for better roads.
"With a targeted approach to funding road safety improvements, we can improve the quality of our roads and drastically cut the human and economic costs of road crashes” AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
The website lists the top five transport projects in each state that have been identified as the areas for priority funding.
Australia’s biggest auto club, the NRMA, was quick to throw its support behind the campaign, claiming today that they would launch a grass roots campaign to mobilise its 2.5 million members.
“This is perhaps one of, if not, the most important Federal Elections of our generation when it comes to the future of transport in Australia,” NRMA President Wendy Machin said.
“The Federal petrol tax collected will raise over $15 billion from drivers alone and only $3.5 billion will be returned to roads nationally this year,” Ms Machin said.
Tasmania’s RACT are also supporting the campaign, with CEO Harvey Lennon providing some important national statistics.
“AAA analysis of annual road deaths in the year to December 2012 shows that Tasmania had one of the worst performances of all the states at 6.44 fatalities per 100,000 of population. Only WA was worse at 7.91, with NT at a massive 20.49,” Mr Lennon said.
Motorists can learn more at demandbetterroads.com.au .
The AAA’s Seven Point Plan is:
- Stronger investment in infrastructure
- New approaches to road funding
- Increased focus on road safety
- Safeguard consumer choice in relation to vehicle service and repair
- Clear and accurate fuel price advertising
- Promote consumer awareness about safer vehicles
- Support for safer roads in the Asia Pacific region
Top five road priorities in each state:
- East-West Road Link
- Metropolitan Ring Road
- Metro Rail Tunnel
- Western Highway
- Princes Highway
- Pacific Highway
- F3 Freeway to Sydney Orbital
- Princes Highway
- Newell Highway
- Bruce Highway
- Warrego Highway
- Gateway Motorway North
- Pacific Motorway
- Brisbane inner rail solution
- South Road
- Augusta Highway (Highway One)
- Sturt Highway
- Dukes Highway
- North West Coastal Highway
- Perth to Darwin Highway
- Perth Light Rail
- Bunbury Outer Ring Road
- Tonkin and Reid Highway
- Illawarra Main Road
- Midland Highway
- Brooker Highway
- Bridgewater Bridge
- Stuart Highway
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