The Road Ahead : April May 2008
6 APR/MAY 08 Suspect safety STORY BARRY GREEN PHOTO JIM McEWAN Each year, more than 300 people are killed on Queensland roads and a further 5000 admitted to hospital with serious injuries. There is no single reason why this is so, nor is there a 'silver bullet' remedy. Accordingly, the National Road Safety Strategy, agreed to by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments in 2000, involved three major responses. It recognises that a combination of better driver behaviour, vehicles built with smarter safety technology and safer roads would save as many as 700 lives Australia-wide every year. Component 1, 'fixing the driver' has been prominent among governments' traditional responses. The evidence is ongoing public road safety awareness campaigns and cracking down on drink driving, not wearing a seat belt and speeding. The RACQ believes that, without a doubt, these types of campaigns that educate or target unwise or illegal behaviour must continue. So, too, must Component 2: the drive to build affordable motor vehicles with a comprehensive safety inventory as standard. Items such as traction control, airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and particularly electronic stability control (ESC). But it is estimated that Component 3 -- safer roads -- could save as many lives as the other two combined: around 330 a year nationally or 70 in Queensland alone. The importance of recognising the role roads play in safety was the impetus for the RACQ to develop AusRAP -- the Australian Road Assessment Program -- in conjunction with the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and other state auto clubs. AusRAP is a sister program to the Australasian New Car features Queensland roads are being rated to identify where safety could be improved. Queensland roads are being rated to identify where safety could be improved.
February March 2008
June July 2008