A recent report has prompted auto insurer RAA, along with AAA, to call on the government to take greater action to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Australian roads.
The AAA report, titled Cost of Road Trauma in Australia
, revealed that road accidents are costing Australians almost $30 billion each year. A majority of those costs were due to loss of life and wellbeing, vehicle damage, and disability care.
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The study also found that road crashes are costing the government $3.7 billion annually in lost taxation, income support, and health and emergency services.
Charles Mountain, RAA senior manager road safety, said federal and state governments must work together to deliver better outcomes for motorists.
“To achieve significant action, it’s important for there to be a national approach to road safety,” Mountain said. “Improved road safety would not only save lives, but would also save money for reinvestment in our communities. Already this year, we’ve lost 65 lives on South Australian roads, with another 400 people seriously injured in crashes. It’s clear that governments need to invest more to improve road infrastructure and road safety education. Along with the personal impact that road trauma has on South Australian families, it’s clear there is also a significant impact on the local economy.”
AAA also released the National Road Safety Platform, which outlined the steps on how the government can help save lives on Australian roads, such as:
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- Enhance data collection to identify the true extent and underlying causes of death and injury on Australian roads;
- Re-establish the National Office for Road Safety to support best-practice research and driver education;
- Review data collected by first responders at crash scenes to identity and understand emerging trends;
- Provide Australians with greater access to safer cars by removing tariffs and other car industry protectionism; and
- Implement coordinated education programs that focus on national issues, such as older drivers, international drivers, driver distraction, and the promotion of safer vehicles and new vehicle technologies.