Page 5298 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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Further details are contained in the strategy document. Examples of some key initiatives to be progressed under the action plan include the development of a strategy for the gradual expansion of the ACT safety camera program and the introduction of point-to-point cameras—which this Assembly endorsed earlier this year—implementation of best practice road safety engineering programs, including trials of reduced speed limits in areas with high conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists with motor vehicles, participation in national programs encouraging the purchase of safer vehicles, an ACT road safety education strategy, awareness campaigns targeting priority road safety issues, best practice traffic enforcement, random roadside drug testing, compulsory pre-provisional training for novice motorcycle riders, development and implementation of national models for graduated licensing for novice drivers and novice motorcycle riders and enhanced road safety liaison and coordination arrangements building on the previous strategy.

As I mentioned previously, the strategy and action plan are also designed to support ACT implementation of the national road safety strategy. In this context, the next action plan will be for a three-year period to align with the period for short-term measures under the NRSS. Both the national and ACT road safety strategies recognise that a number of serious and contentious measures will need to be taken to achieve more than business as usual in terms of road safety and the road toll over the next 10 years. Examples of ambitious measures in the NRSS are the implementation and extension of best practice speed enforcement measures, better alignment of speed limits with the risk profile of the road network, significant investment in safety targeted road infrastructure measures and strengthened regulatory measures in the road user area.

It is recognised at both the national and ACT levels that benefits from more ambitious road safety strategies will only be realised if there are significant levels of stakeholder and community support and commitment by governments to implement action, particularly in the areas of speed management and road infrastructure. This will be a challenge for us all. Additional speed management measures are likely to be highly effective, but they do encounter mixed responses in the community.

Investment in road infrastructure and speed management and enforcement needs to be balanced with other important budget demands. Many of the actions identified in the NRSS are already being planned or will be considered under this strategy. These include network risk assessment programs, point-to-point cameras, intelligent speed adaption and reduced speed limits in areas of high pedestrian activity.

Over time the ACT will also need to be prepared to seriously consider a range of stronger road safety measures under the NRSS. These include ACT government fleet purchasing policies, potentially extending zero BAC to more drivers, alcohol interlocks, wider use of vehicle sanctions, national best practice graduated licensing controls for novice drivers and riders and incentives to encourage the purchase of safer vehicles. The ACT will continue to contribute to national discussions on these initiatives and relevant issues have been identified in our strategy and action plan for development and implementation at a local level.

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