AA Calls Zero Tolerance on Road Trauma Epidemic
AA Calls for Zero Tolerance on Road Trauma Epidemic
To mark the World Health Organisation’s World Health Day, which this year focuses on road safety, the New Zealand Automobile Association has called on Government to show the same tolerance for road trauma that it shows for other infrastructure sourced epidemics such as Cholera: i.e none at all.
“Road trauma is a disease which costs this country over three billion dollars a year. “ AA Public Affairs Director George Fairbairn said.
“The benefits from fixing unsafe roads average around 24 times greater than the cost of doing nothing. Motorists are already contributing $670 million a year from petrol taxes to non-roading revenue which could save lives if spent on safer roads.” Mr Fairbairn said.
“Put simply, because we are not spending enough on preventing people from being hurt or killed in the first place, we have to spend more than necessary on medical and other treatment costs after the accident.” he said.
Mr Fairbairn said the AA certainly acknowledged that drivers, in particular, had an important role to play in preventing crashes but once a mistake had been made the only way to prevent a crash from becoming lethal was to ensure the roadway itself was more forgiving.
“For example we may blame the driver for failing to prevent a crash into a power pole, but was it really necessary to put a power pole where people might crash into it and kill themselves?” Mr Fairbairn asked.
Mr Fairbairn drew a parallel with Cholera epidemics in London and other Western cities during the 19th Century.
“In those days people simply accepted Cholera as a disease which occurred in large cities. It was only when they realised that by ensuring the water supply was safe that Cholera was eradicated in first world nations.
We have to realise that road trauma does not naturally accompany motorised mobility and that we all can do something about it” he said.