Funding focus on regional roads to tackle tragic road toll
AUSTRALIANS are being urged to consider how they can help ensure everyone gets home safely as National Road Safety Week begins on Sunday, November 15, to honour and remember the 1,200 people who lost their lives on our roads.
Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said National Road Safety Week brings focus to how we can work together to save lives and prevent serious injuries on our roads.
“The beginning of National Road Safety Week is an important date to me, as I’m sure it is to Australians across the country, as we reflect on the profound impact road crashes have on the community,” Mr McCormack said.
“To start this week on Sunday 15 November, we will pause to remember the approximately 1,200 lives lost on Australian roads each year.”
Mr McCormack said road safety was everyone’s responsibility and the Australian Government was working hard to put Australia on a path to achieve ‘Vision Zero’ by 2050.
“We take our role in this seriously which is why we committed $500 million for targeted road safety upgrades as part of our infrastructure stimulus package in June, as well as a $2 billion Road Safety Program in the 2020-21 Budget.
“A significant part of the new infrastructure program will apply lifesaving measures to roads in regional areas starting in the New Year, making a very real benefit to road safety.
“We have also committed $5.5 million over four years for a new National Road Safety Data Hub to assemble an invaluable national picture on safety to make sure we are targeting the area’s most in need.”
Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz said, “every year across the world, around 1.35 million people will die in road traffic deaths.”
“Those statistics represent more than just the tragic loss of life. They represent a horrifying number of people left hurting – children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and first responders,” Mr Buchholz said.
“We will remember the lives lost on our roads and we pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.
“While the first responders in Australia should be acknowledged and thanked every day, I am proud that this week they will receive the national recognition they deserve.
“But ultimately, the way we can repay the best, is to drive safe every single time we get behind the wheel, be it a car, bike, bus or truck.
“So this week, the aim is to keep road safety front of mind, so if you see a local or national landmark being lit up in yellow, remember those lost on our roads and take the opportunity to talk about the importance of road safety.
“Let the yellow landmarks remind us to look after ourselves, our passengers and others on the roads.
“Even one death on our roads is one too many, which is why the work we are doing on the next National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, in conjunction with our investments in safer roads, is so important.”