New Road Safety Commission needed to reduce road toll

April 4th, 2018

Bicycle Queensland has today called on the State Government to consider the creation of a Road Safety and Active Transport Commission.

The proposed Commission would spearhead efforts to reduce the state’s road toll and promote a healthy and safe transport future for all Queenslanders.

The call coincides with a Parliamentary Committee hearing this morning into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said the Commission would lead the drive towards zero deaths on Queensland roads.

“Every life lost or limited through road trauma is a preventable tragedy,” Ms Savage said.

“The rise of technology has rapidly changed the way we drive, resulting in distracted driving that can cause deaths and serious injuries.

“We must find new ways of approaching road safety, bringing different authorities and experts to one table under the guidance of a dedicated Commission, to realise the goal of zero deaths on our roads.”

According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, each person taken to hospital as a result of a road crash is estimated to cost Queenslanders about $500,000.

Each serious brain injury is estimated to cost the community up to $4.8 million and each spinal injury costs about $9.5 million.

“Road trauma has lifelong repercussions for individuals, families, workplaces, and communities,” Ms Savage said.

“New approaches are needed to ensure high-level oversight and coordination of strategies across different disciplines, bringing together researchers, policy makers, enforcement authorities, and infrastructure safety experts.

“In the 12 months to February 28 this year, there were 242 deaths on Queensland roads.

“The number injured and seriously hurt is equally unacceptable – for every single fatality, over 24 people are hospitalised because of road crashes.

“A Road Safety and Active Transport Commission is urgently needed to create a healthy and safe transport future for Queensland.

“A Commission would enable greater coordination of efforts to combat tragedies on our roads through innovation and engagement – bringing together key players to share knowledge and find solutions.

“Importantly, it would drive a wholly collaborative approach across the public, private, and community sectors, harnessing existing knowledge to deliver improved road safety outcomes for all Queenslanders.

“All deaths and injuries on Queensland roads are avoidable – we must do more to ensure that nobody in our community has to suffer the unbearable grief and impairment caused by road crashes.”

Ms Savage said Bicycle Queensland would further discuss the proposal with the State Government following the Parliamentary Committee hearing.

Click here to read Bicycle Queensland’s full written submission to the Committee and here to read a transcript of  CEO Anne Savage’s introductory remarks in the Committee hearing.

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