The Road Ahead : June July 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 42 THE ROAD AHEAD JUN/JUL 2012 MOTORING ROAD SAFETY AS THE UNITED Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety marks its first anniversary, a plan of action is being formulated to address the dangerous Peak Downs Highway, aiming to develop a road safety model that can be applied in communities worldwide. As part of the UN's international Decade of Action to make roads safer and reduce carnage, a 'Day of Action' road safety workshop was held recently in Mackay, bringing together more than 90 community members, road safety experts, industry and government leaders from across Australia. The workshop, an initiative of 33,900: The Australian Road Safety Collaboration and Mackay Road Accident Action Group (RAAG), focused on developing immediate and long- term actions to improve road safety management, deliver safer roads, drivers and vehicles and improve post- crash care. The Peak Downs Highway claimed 14 lives in the five years to the end of 2009, with a further 71 people hospitalised. RACQ Technical and Safety Policy executive manager Steve Spalding said immediate action must be taken to reduce this unacceptable rate of deaths and serious injuries, particularly when traffic on the Peak Downs Highway was expected to double in the next five to 10 years due to mining development in the Bowen and Galilee Basins. "This local initiative is paving the way for other communities in Australia and overseas -- particularly those connected to mining -- by developing a collaborative model that can be used as a blueprint in other regions," Mr Spalding said. DECADE OF ACTION -- ONE YEAR ON The Decade of Action for road safety was launched on May 11, 2011; a worldwide call to arms aiming to save five million lives in the years to 2020. A year on, and the Decade of Action is in full swing in Australia, with the continued development and implementation of road safety strategies such as the AusRAP ratings (identifying the highest risk roads) and the creation of organisations such as 33,900, which are dedicated to reducing the road toll and working closely with Australia's motoring bodies such as the RACQ. "Road safety is not just a transport issue, but a public health issue -- road crash injuries are one of the three leading causes of death for people aged five to 44 around the world," RACQ senior road safety advisor Joel Tucker said. Crashes claim the lives of nearly 1.3 million people every year worldwide -- more than 3000 per day. A total of 33,900 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of crashes in Australia in 2010, with an average of almost four people killed each day on our roads. www.raag.com.au www.33900.org.au plan of action for highway Mackay workshop focuses on making Peak Downs Highway safer. STORY CAMERON MCPHERSON IMAGE: PEAK DOWNS HIGHWAY, SHOWING WARNING SIGNS ERECTED BY THE MACKAY ROAD ACCIDENT ACTION GROUP (RAAG).
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