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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Call For Road Safety Partnership - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Call For Road Safety Partnership - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The State Government today called for a concerted effort from all sections of the Tasmanian community to help combat the toll of death and injury on the roads.

Commenting on the release of the 2005 road toll statistics, the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Bryan Green, said that while government clearly had a role to play, reducing road trauma was really everyone’s responsibility.

“We already have in place across the State several very successful Community Road Safety Partnerships, which are applying local grassroots solutions to local road safety issues.

“What I would like to see is a statewide version of such a model - a Tasmanian partnership involving the community generally, the news media, the RACT and all political parties – to see if we can make a positive difference on road safety issues.”

Mr Green said that although the 2005 road toll was down on 2004, there was no room for complacency, with driver behaviour continuing to be the dominant factor in road crashes – whether through speed, inattention or drink driving.

“While it is tempting for some in the community to continually blame road conditions for crashes, the statistics suggest otherwise.

“Ninety serious injuries and 21 fatalities in 2005 were attributable to drivers either exceeding the speed limit or travelling at an excessive speed for the conditions.

“This vindicates the Government’s decision to conduct a major review of speed zoning last year and work on this is ongoing.

“Inattention accounted for 98 serious injuries and 17 fatalities, with distraction accounting for a further 12 serious injuries.

“Drink-driving accounted for 10 fatalities and 63 serious injuries.

“Road conditions accounted for two fatalities and 17 serious injuries.

“It is important to bear in mind that more than one factor may be associated with a road crash,” Mr Green said.

He added that young drivers continued to figure disproportionately in the statistics, while vulnerable road users, such as motorcyclists (7 fatalities and 63 serious injuries), pedestrians (4 fatalities and 33 serious injuries) and cyclists (1 fatality and 15 serious injuries) made up a disturbing proportion of the total road toll figure.

Another clearly noticeable aspect was the number of daylight crashes in rural areas, where vehicles had either collided or run off the road.

Mr Green said that the Government’s five-year Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy, launched at the end of 2001, would be reviewed this year, and there would be an opportunity for community consultation.

“What I would really like to see is a fundamental change in attitude throughout the Tasmanian community to the seeming inevitability of death and injury on our roads,” he said.


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