The federal, state and territory road and transport ministers  from around Australia have announced they have reached agreement to support the shared goal of reducing road trauma across the country agreeing to the first National Road Safety Action Plan (2023–2025) for the National Road Safety Strategy 2021–30.

The Ministers say that the Action Plan focuses on ‘delivering tangible and measurable actions, clear responsibilities and timeframes, with consistency and linkages between the Strategy and Action Plan’.

It sets out the actions the Australian, state and territory governments will take to implement the nine priority areas in the strategy over the next three years implementing actions, including improving regional and remote road safety through targeted road safety infrastructure programs, progressing the uptake of new vehicle safety features and technologies through new Australian Design Rules, and building and upgrading heavy vehicle rest areas.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government minister Catherine King said that the Australian Government is working to reduce road deaths and serious injuries across the country, engaging closely with state, territory and local governments, as well as other stakeholders, to implement the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.

“This thorough consultation process has resulted in a National Road Safety Action Plan with achievable and meaningful actions for the Australian and state and territory governments to deliver to 2025 in pursuit of our shared priorities,” said Minister King.

“No deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads by 2050 is the Australian Government’s ‘Vision Zero’ commitment, but we all need to play our part,”  she added

Meanwhile Minister King’s colleague, Federal assistant minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Carol Brown said the Action Plan addresses many concerns raised by stakeholders on the previous draft version of the Action Plan.

“We are supporting a range of projects aimed at reducing deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads,” Minister Brown said.

“This includes delivering programs of national significance, including the roll-out of lifesaving road treatments across the urban, rural and regional roads network and projects contributing to greater protection for vulnerable road users,” she added

The  statement issued by the Ministers said that development of the Action Plan included extensive consultation between the Australian, state and territory governments, the Australian Local Government Association, and a broad range of road safety stakeholders.

They went on to say that an annual progress report against the Action Plan will be provided to infrastructure and transport ministers and publicly released each year, providing transparency on the road safety activities of all governments.

Thanks he statement claims that local governments manage 75.3 per cent of all roads across the network and that this Action Plan includes actions from the Australian, state and territory governments to ‘support and build the capacity of local governments to deliver stronger safety outcomes on their networks’.

The  statement adds that the Action Plan recognises the importance of robust road safety data, committing the Australian, state and territory governments to developing a National Road Safety Data Collection and Reporting Framework.

‘This framework will provide a clearer way to build a national data set for road safety that provides insights into where serious injuries and deaths are occurring and their contributing factors,” the statement said..

The Action Plan also includes the development of a National Research Framework to improve coordination, test new concepts and ideas, develop best-practice approaches and consider emerging issues. This process will commence with a review into the research, funded by the Australian Government, which is currently being undertaking by institutions across the country.

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