Minister announces drive for new Road Safety Commission
The vision of zero deaths on Queensland roads could be one step closer to reality today, following confirmation the State Government is working towards the establishment of a Road Safety and Healthy Travel Commission.
The move follows calls from Bicycle Queensland to step up the fight against preventable deaths and road tragedy.
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 has significantly escalated the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
“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.
“We have lost 193 Queenslanders in road crashes this year, representing a 35 per cent increase in driver fatalities and a 48 per cent increase in fatalities involving heavy vehicles.
“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 end our road safety crisis and 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 had called a meeting with Minister Mark Bailey to discuss establishment of the Commission.