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Road Safety Strategy 2010 Weak Says AA

Road Safety Strategy 2010 Weak Says AA

The Automobile Association is delighted that the Road Safety Strategy 2010 has finally been published but is extremely disappointed with its insipid content.

“Much of the vision contained in the draft Road Safety Strategy 2010 originally written in 2000 has vanished. In its place is a Road Safety Strategy 2010 which largely repackages the existing 2003 Road Safety Programme and does not look much beyond the next election,” AA Policy Manager Jayne Gale said.

Specifically the draft Strategy’s analysis that an extra $200 million a year was needed for road safety engineering around the country has vanished from the final Strategy.

“We believe the Minister when he says he wants to do more for road safety but no serious progress can be made without raising more money. However the Minister can’t increase petrol tax again because the public has a justified belief that it is being swindled,” Ms Gale said.

Of the 103 cents charged for petrol at the pump 53.3 cents is tax. Of this only 17.7 cents is spent on transport and only 12 cents is spent on road maintenance and construction. If all engineering solutions to road safety were introduced the cost would be the equivalent of five cents a litre on fuel and road user charges.

“Without extra road funds, this Strategy is just about decreasing speed limits and increasing fines. The Government has to do better than work out ways of adding to the 1.4 million infringement notices it issues each year. The last ten years of road casualties accounts for 5000 people dead and 30,000 severely injured. This is a public health problem of considerable significance and the Government needs to face up to its responsibilities by providing taxpayer value on road safety,” Ms Gale said.

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