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AA Welcomes First 2010 Strategy Safety Steps

Media Release 25 September 2002


AA Welcomes First 2010 Strategy Safety Steps

The Automobile Association welcomes the government’s road safety strategy package as the first steps on what will be a long journey.

The package includes a new focus on rural drink-driving, targeting of heavy vehicle safety and more strategic enforcement initiatives. However the Association is particularly pleased to see a greater emphasis on road hazard assessment and a more open approach to providing crash analysis data to those engaged in roading and enforcement.

For some time the Association has argued that a “more of the same” philosophy would not be sufficient to achieve the kind of road death and injury reductions needed to achieve the 2010 targets.

“The government has indicated that it is adopting a learning-as-it-goes approach which is wholly appropriate. It would be foolhardy for anyone to say here and now that they know precisely how to reduce the road toll to 300 dead and 5870 hospitalisations a year by 2010.” AA Public Affairs Director George Fairbairn said.

That said the Association is acutely aware that the package means that even if the government did meet its targets it is still acknowledging that around 2,500 people will die on the roads between now and 2010.

“The October 2000 consultation document on the road safety strategy made very clear that a business as usual approach would not sufficiently reduce the risk to road users. That document placed the annual cost of road trauma at $1.1 billion per year which is an unacceptably high burden on our society both financially and in terms of human suffering” Mr Fairbairn said.

Association membership surveys have consistently found that members consider improving road safety should be the no.1 priority for government.

“Motorists pay annually a large sum through fuel taxes, road user charges and registration fees. Our members are very clear they want improved road safety. The government need not feel coy about committing even higher sums to improving road safety”, he said.

ENDS

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