Page 4870 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005

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Question so resolved in the negative.

Road safety

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.46): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises that driver inattention and speed are major contributors to road accidents;

(2) expresses concern that some drivers continue to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol in spite of the overwhelming evidence that these substances reduce drivers’ abilities to judge, concentrate and react to road situations;

(3) acknowledges that keeping ACT roads safe is a shared responsibility;

(4) urges drivers, riders, cyclists, pedestrians and anyone else who uses our roads to remain vigilant regarding road safety, particularly during holiday periods;

(5) notes that the 2005-2006 ACT Road Safety Action Plan identifies key actions that aim to reduce deaths and injuries on ACT roads; and

(6) recognises the important role educational road safety programs and initiatives play in increasing road users’ skills and raising awareness about road safety practices in the ACT.

This year, Canberra’s road toll has been horrific. Twenty-six lives have been lost on ACT roads, with the latest tragedy occurring last weekend when a motorcyclist was killed on Barry Drive. One life lost is too many and our thoughts go out to all those affected by the loss of loved ones on the roads. While the ACT has always been well below the national average for road death rates per 1,000 population, this year’s toll and the upcoming holiday period emphasise the need for the issue of road safety to be raised in this place and again highlighted in the community. We know that the ACT is not alone in the deaths and injuries caused by road accidents. Road deaths and injuries continue to be national and global problems of massive proportions.

In Australia, on average, five people die in road crashes every day, with more than 171,000 people being killed on Australian roads since the advent of motorisation in the late 1890s. Worldwide, more than 3,000 people die in road crashes every day. These are horrendous figures. Hundreds of thousands more are seriously injured and disabled every year as a result of road crashes. It is estimated that, globally, there are about 100 million families trying to cope with the death or disability of a family member involved in a road crash.

Road traffic injuries also have disproportionate effects on young people. More than 50 per cent of the road deaths worldwide occur among young adults aged between 15 and 44. Males are almost three times more vulnerable than females. In 2002 the rates were 27.6 per 100,000 males and 10.4 per 100,000 females. As people in the most economically active age groups are also those most affected by road crashes, there is an

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