|Effectiveness: Improved safety of Australia's roads and, thereby reduced cost to the community of road trauma
Quality: A reduction in the number of serious crashes at identified and treated sites with a consequent reduction in the cost to the community of road trauma
Quantity: Approximately 400 projects approved for funding
Cost: $44.5 million
Location: 50 per cent in rural and regional Australia
The National Black Spot Programme continued to contribute to national road safety objectives in 2002-03. The programme aims to reduce the social and economic costs of road trauma by identifying sites with a history of casualty crashes and funding cost-effective treatments-for example, installation of roundabouts, traffic signals, improved warning signs and edge sealing.
Originally intended to run for four years, the National Black Spot Programme has been extended twice as a result of its effectiveness. Commonwealth funding has been guaranteed to 2006. Black Spot projects are key to the success of the National Road Safety Strategy. Safer roads are estimated to contribute just under half of the targeted reduction in the national fatality rate. Black Spot projects are expected to contribute to over one-third of this reduction.
During 2002-03, programmes of works were approved for all states and territories, involving projects at 384 locations. A total of $44.5 million was paid to the states and territories in 2002-03 for expenditure on Black Spot projects. One hundred and eighty three approved projects, valued at $27.87 million, were in rural and regional Australia.
The National Black Spot Programme has been in operation with significant success since July 1996. In this period, $272.3 million has been spent on improved safety of Australia's roads to reduce the social and economic cost of road trauma. States and territories experienced a reduction in the rate of serious road traffic accidents involving casualties per 100 000 of population from 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which data is available) and the National Black Spot Programme has made a significant contribution to this reduction.
Road traffic Accidents involving casualties per 100,000 population by state and territory
The Bureau of Transport Economics evaluation of the National Black Spot Programme estimates that the treatments have prevented at least 32 fatalities and more than 1500 serious crashes in its first three years and returns an average $14 in benefit for every $1 invested. Prior to the programme's planned conclusion in June 2006, it will be evaluated again to determine both its effectiveness in reducing crashes and the economic benefits and costs.