Roadworks, Transport News

Government responds to damning road death report with improved data collection

Recent “devastating” road safety statistics in Australia is pushing the government to improve its national road safety data collection methods

A road safety report released earlier this week has spurred the federal government to act by pledging to improve data collection methods and ultimately make roads safer.

The BITRE released the Road Deaths Australia bulletin earlier this week, showing a higher than average number of road deaths for July in a result that federal assistant transport minister Carol Brown says is “both devastating and disappointing”.

“Road safety matters are complex and don’t have quick solutions, which is why the federal government is working with states and territories on a number of road safety measures to halve road deaths by 2030, on the path to zero by 2050,” Brown says.

The federal government plans to respond to the bulletin by improving the national road safety data collection and reporting methods in Australia.

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Brown admits there are many complexities involving in producing a nationally consistent road safety data set, with the data owned and recorded by individual states and territories and the collection of road safety data not usually being the primary reason for research.

Brown says Australian states and territories also have differences in how they record and report this data.

The federal government will complete a National Road Safety Data Collection and Reporting Framework alongside a minimum national dataset for 2024 as part of its National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25.

Brown says this plan will prioritise quality and timely data to inform road safety action, with the federal government to work with all Australian state and territory governments on this privacy-protected dataset.

“Already, the working group is cataloguing the nation’s current road safety data holdings, with a first iteration of the catalogue published on the Road Safety Data Hub in May,” Brown says.

“The government looks forward to continuing to deliver on this framework and our range of other road safety commitments to help save lives and reduce road trauma in Australia.

“This includes the $43.6 million new National Road Safety Actions Program, which will support projects targeting a number of critical road safety focus areas such as research and data.”

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