|Excerpt from the Foreword to STAYSAFE 47 (1998)
"Review of the road safety situation in NSW in 1997":
“The STAYSAFE Committee was particularly surprised at the admission by senior Government road safety officials that they were likely to fail to achieve the Premier’s year 2000 road safety targets. In 1995, the Premier committed his Government to achieving road trauma targets of fewer than 500 deaths and fewer than 5,500 serious injuries by the year 2000. The Minister for Roads has endorsed these targets as part of the Road Safety 2000 strategy. Further, the Roads and Traffic Authority’s own strategic planning documents continue to propose the targets established by the Premier and the Minister for Roads. It is both extraordinary and disturbing that Roads and Traffic Authority senior road safety executives have now apparently accepted that these targets will not be reached, and do not seem to perceive a political or even an ethical imperative that they should reach and better the Premier’s targets.* (pp.5-6)
A “WAKE UP” CALL
1.5 In the view of STAYSAFE, there is a need to “wake up and shake up” the road safety administration in New South Wales to ensure that appropriate and sufficient policy and program development is in place and in operation to challenge a complacency among road safety administrators that they are doing enough and need do no more.
1.8 As well, there are a wide variety of initiatives being openly canvassed in other jurisdictions, both within Australia and overseas. In particular, the Swedish “Vision Zero” concept (Tingvall, 1998) provides for a radical reappraisal of the fundamental design of road transport systems from systems that emphasise mobility with safety as a secondary consideration, to systems that emphasise safe use of road transport and as a secondary consideration seek to maximise mobility. Research programs are starting to address fundamental road safety issues that have been inexplicably ignored for decades, such as the major research program into the safety of older road users currently underway in Victoria. And road safety theory is beginning to reassess and modify long held tenets, including the impact of deterrence theory on driver behaviour (drink-driving, speeding), and the very way in which road safety is conceptualised (see, e.g., the discussion of lifestyle, business and tourist-recreational road safeties in STAYSAFE 43, 1988)
1.9 There remains the urgent need to put in place sufficient policies and programs to ensure that the Premier’s targets are reached and bettered. STAYSAFE directs the attention of Minister for Roads to previous STAYSAFE reports and suggests that he might direct the Roads and Traffic Authority to return again to the findings and recommendations in those reports for innovative actions that might be taken that would have both a high chance of success and high community acceptance. Hopefully, the commencement of the development process for a road safety strategy covering the decade 2000-2010 will enable the identification and consideration of many more initiatives by the New South Wales road safety administration.* (pp.14-15)