Road trauma report positive but TWU scepticism remains

Road trauma report shows positive trends but the TWU remains sceptical of the government’s commitment

Road trauma report positive but TWU scepticism remains
Federal assistant infrastructure minister Jamie Briggs.


A Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report has been released with the aim of reviewing the full impact of road trauma.  

Despite the report showing significant reductions in road fatalities, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has questioned the Government’s commitment to road safety in light of its opposition to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

The road trauma report shows a promising downward trend in road fatalities involving trucks between 2004 and 2013, and that strong progress has been made on the National Road Safety Strategy to reduce road casualties by 30 per cent by 2020.

Since 2004, fatal truck crashes involving rigid trucks dropped by 26 per cent, while those involving articulated trucks dropped 36 per cent.

"National fatality numbers are now 17.4 per cent lower, putting Australia well on track to achieving its reduction target," the Department of Infrastructure says.

Assistant minister for infrastructure Jamie Briggs referred to the 30 per cent reduction target of the National Road Safety Strategy in Parliament, prompting the response from the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

"If Jamie Briggs is serious about reducing road deaths further, he must ensure the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is kept in place," TWU secretary Tony Sheldon says.

Sheldon says that Coles is lobbying government ministers to remove the RSRT.

 "Coles, and its parent company Wesfarmers have delivered $2.1 million in Liberal Party donations in the past financial year," Sheldon says.

"The TWU will continue to campaign until the Government drops its Coles sponsored attack on road safety and locks in its full support for the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal."

The BITRE report also looked at the costs and benefits of various road safety initiatives.

After looking at over 400 submissions from road safety experts, BITRE narrowed it down to four key priorities:  investment in infrastructure, better intersections, a comprehensive mobile phone strategy, and better technology in the form of electronic stability control and autonomous emergency braking.

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