Federal Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on Road Safety has released the final report for its inquiry into road safety, Driving Reform. RA provided a submission to the inquiry and also gave evidence at one of its public hearings in October 2021.
This inquiry has run throughout the past year, examining the factors contributing to fatal and serious injuries on Australian roads and considering opportunities to improve road safety outcomes. The final report tabled in Parliament this week makes 61 individual recommendations for enhancing road safety in Australia.
The report identifies a need for effective leadership and oversight in relation to road safety at the national level, noting that historically measures to improve road safety have been frustrated by poor governance, a lack of clearly defined responsibilities and an absence of targets against which progress could be measured.
The report particularly calls out the lack of meaningful, nationally-consistent data available to properly asses the impact of policy interventions and to inform decision making.
RA is pleased to note the inquiry has adopted several key recommendations put forward in our original submission. The final report recommends that:
- the Office of Road Safety work with Safe Work Australia to improve reporting of data on work-related fatal and serious injuries involving road and vehicle use;
- the Australian Government work with state, territory, and local government, and road safety stakeholders with relevant expertise, to develop and publish best-practice national guidance on ensuring safety for road workers around construction sites. This should include implementation of enforcement measures such as speed cameras;
- the Australian Government investigate options to make funding for infrastructure projects conditional on funding recipients adopting measures to ensure the safety of road workers at the site and standards to protect all road users in construction activities; and
- the Australian Government invest in targeted campaigns to increase public awareness of the importance of road worker safety, with a focus on encouraging drivers to lower speeds around work sites and increasing hazard awareness.
See further details about the inquiry here.