Australia, Road Toll News, Transport News

AAA calls on governments to take action to limit road toll

Australia’s peak motoring body is calling on the federal government to make changes to help reduce Australia’s road toll

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is calling on the federal government to provide data that can help explain the reasons behind Australia’s road toll. 

New figures released show that Australia’s road toll increased in the past year up to January 31, 2024 by 5.4 per cent to 1,257 deaths. The figures also show a 30.8 per cent increase in road deaths in New South Wales and a 39.7 per cent increase in South Australia. 

“Data needed to understand the causes of Australia’s increasing road toll is collected by state and territory governments, but it isn’t being reported or shared,” AAA managing director Michael Bradley says. 

“This critical information describes the quality of Australian roads, the causes of crashes and the effectiveness of each state’s road rules and enforcement regime. 

Bradley says without this data, Australia will have no plan to help understand and prevent its current road trauma. 

“Data sharing will save lives, as it will reveal which state’s road safety measures are the most effective and the safety interventions that are most needed,” Bradley says. 

“It will also end the politicisation of road funding, as it will reveal whether governments are investing in the roads that most need safety upgrades.” 

The AAA’s campaign, called Data Saves Lives, has been backed by 18 other national bodies. Both the AAA and these bodies have called upon the federal government to compel states to publish this data via the new National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects. 

The agreement is currently being negotiated with state and territory governments and will dictate how $50 billion in federal road funding is allocated over the five years beyond July 2024. 

Its proposal has been supported by all Liberal, National, Greens and Teals MPs in the House of Representatives. 

AAA says its research also shows that data transparency gains overwhelming community support. 

“Our polling shows Australians think this a commonsense approach that would not only save lives but also enhance accountability by reducing potential for pork-barrelling,” Bradley says. 

“Publishing road safety data will allow Australians to see whether politicians spend their money on roads to save lives or to win votes in marginal electorates.’’ 

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