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Progress implementation of the Commonwealth's responsibilities under the National Road Safety Strategy and the new action plan

Key strategy Performance indicators Achievement
Progress implementation of the Commonwealth's responsibilities under the National Road Safety Strategy and the new action plan.
(Contributing divisions: Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Transport Programmes, and Transport Regulation)
Contribution to a demonstrable reduction in the road toll and other road crash costs. ATC agreement to a new National Road Safety Action Plan for 2003 and 2004. Substantially achieved

Key achievements

National Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan

The National Road Safety Strategy 2001-10 came into effect from January 2001, with the aim of achieving a 40 per cent reduction in the road fatality rate over 10 years, from 9.3 to 5.6 fatalities per 100 000 population. In approving the strategy, the ATC agreed that it should be supported by a series of two-year action plans setting out specific road safety measures.

During the period of the first action plan (2001 and 2002) Australia's annual fatality rate fell to 8.75 per 100 000 population, 6 per cent below the benchmark rate of 9.3. An even lower rate of about 8.1 was required to maintain steady progress toward the 2010 target of 5.6.

A key challenge for all jurisdictions in 2002-03 was to address the need for more rapid progress on the road toll through production of a highly focused second action plan. The ATSB coordinated development of the plan for 2003 and 2004, and obtained ATC endorsement in November 2002.

The new plan identifies action items with potential to achieve a significant impact on road trauma within the next few years, and others that will lay the foundation for longer term gains. Priority areas include:

  • more effective speed management
  • expansion of road-based safety treatments
  • enhanced drink-driving deterrence
  • measures to reduce fatigue-related harm.

The National Road Safety Strategy and the Action Plan for 2003 and 2004 also address equity issues specific to indigenous road safety. In 2002-03 the ATSB supported continued collaboration among jurisdictions on indigenous road safety issues by:

  • providing $20 084 to reprint and distribute a video of road safety resources for use in indigenous communities
  • commissioning the Australian Road Research Board to undertake a transport research scoping study of indigenous road safety, which examined current databases and research and identified priorities for action.

The ATSB's road safety activities attracted 36 compliments and no complaints.

Research reports

During the year, the ATSB released five major research reports including reports on community attitudes to speeding and the potential cost-effectiveness of seat belt reminder systems. The ATSB also released 13 road fatality statistical reports and five special-issue statistical reports including reports on the Christmas holiday road toll.

Most of these reports attracted a considerable amount of public attention at the time of their release and helped to stimulate discussion on important road safety issues. As well as assisting the provision of informed road safety advice to the minister and parliamentary secretary this material made a positive contribution to policy deliberations in other jurisdictions.

National Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy

The ATSB contributed to developing the National Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy 2003-10 in partnership with the National Road Transport Commission (NRTC) and other stakeholders. The ATC approved the strategy in May 2003; the minister launched it the following month.

The strategy focuses on a range of key objectives including increased seatbelt usage by heavy vehicle drivers, construction of safer roads and more effective speed management.

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