Urgent Call for Road Safety Summit

Friday 2 January 2004

Sydney - Friday 2 January - With just one day to go until the end of the holiday period and a NSW road toll of 21 compared to 16 last year, the NRMA and the Pedestrian Council of Australia are calling on the NSW Government to participate in an NRMA hosted Road Safety Summit that will address the major causes of road trauma and investigate fresh solutions to the problem.

NRMA President Ross Turnbull said that an urgent summit was needed that encompassed a whole of government approach.

Nationally road crashes cost the community $15 billion a year and around $5 billion in NSW.

“While the RTA and Police are doing good work in education and enforcement, the 2003 road toll in NSW of 552 significantly exceeds the government’s expressed targets and shows no sign of decreasing in the short term,” Mr. Turnbull said.

“Road trauma affects everyone in the community and crosses over the boundaries of government departments. Clearly, road-related injuries and fatalities affect health, police, local government and justice portfolios as well as roads and traffic.”

Mr. Turnbull said that a workable medium term approach could include the expansion of the current Ministerial Road Safety Task Force to include a greater number of stakeholders such as Attorney General’s, Health, Premier’s and Education Departments.

The Task Force should also have delegated authority to develop programs and campaigns targeted at high risk groups.

Harold Scruby, CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia said that the Motor Accidents Authority, who are responsible for the Compulsory Third Party ‘green slip’ insurance scheme should also play a greater role.

“The revenue from traffic infringements should be directed to a trust fund specifically for road safety countermeasures,” Mr Scruby said.

“The expanded Task Force should have a say in the trust fund expenditure.” #ends#

For further information: Harold Scruby (0418) 110-011 – Gina Kelly (0439) 133-238