Reflecting on the 2017 ACT Road Safety Report Card, calls for less complacency to achieve Vision Zero

Released 14/02/2017

Reaffirming our commitment to Vision Zero, the latest ACT Road Safety Report Card shows the Government is doing more to help keep people safe on ACT roads.

Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury today released the 2017 report which shows the Government’s commitment to reducing the road toll and crashes that result in serious injuries.

While in 2015 the ACT maintained a lower number of road fatalities per capita than the national average, there has been in an increase in the ACT’s rate of deaths since 2013.

“It is really hard to reflect on our road safety initiatives and achievements, knowing that we’ve already seen a death on our roads in 2017,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“I am also especially concerned that we are also seeing a significant increase in road trauma among vulnerable road users, and cyclists and motorcyclists in particular.”

“This is why we are taking our 93 commitments to improve road safety so seriously. With four years to go under the ACT Road Safety Strategy, we are well ahead of schedule – having already completed 47 commitments, and with another 31 in progress.

“Yet we cannot ensure that our roads are safe without the support of everyone in our community. Our ‘Vision Zero’ philosophy sees road safety as shared responsibility, with no room for complacency,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“’Vision Zero’ is about generational change – a new generation of drivers who automatically recognise that they need to look out for road users who are more vulnerable than they are. A generation of drivers who immediately see cars for what they are – more than a tonne of metal which can kill in an instant.

Mr Rattenbury said the report card provided an update on the implementation status of the ACT Road Safety Strategy.

“New road safety laws were passed in March giving police enhanced investigative powers and stiff penalties to deal with drivers who fail to stop for police. These laws have given police alternative avenues for identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offending drivers rather than undertaking a high risk pursuit.  

“Last year we delivered on our commitment to implement an active streets pilot, including a trial of 30km/h speed limits in schools,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“We had new laws passed to make it illegal to throw objects at bicycles and other road vehicles.

“Once again the ACT was central to arrangements supporting National Road Safety Week and in August the Government introduced a new driver competency in which learner drivers applying for a provisional licence must now demonstrate an ability to drive safely around vulnerable road users.

“These are just some of the commitments the Government delivered with more work underway.”

“Later this year, work will start on a trial of chevron road markings to educate drivers about safe following distances. The community will also have a chance to have their say on options to reform the ACT’s graduated driver licensing model for learner and provisional drivers.”

The 2017 ACT Road Safety Report Card is available on the Justice and Community Safety Directorate's website at www.justice.act.gov.au.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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