Page 1464 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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Two interactive road safety displays will be held. The first was on Monday at Garema Place from 10 till 3, and the second is today at Westfield Woden from 12 to 1.30 pm. These events will include an Australasian new car assessment program crash car and other interactive displays by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, ACTION buses, ACT Policing, Pedal Power, the Heart Foundation and the Australasian College of Road Safety. At both events ACT vehicle inspectors will offer education sessions about how to perform a vehicle safety check before going on holidays, and official National Road Safety Week merchandise will be available for purchase at the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s display.

This Road Safety Week I am encouraging all Canberrans to take a share the road pledge. The pledge is to share the road and always be respectful to all other road users, no matter what their mode of transport is. The pledge reflects the fact that different types of road users have both rights and responsibilities. Consistent with the vulnerable road users theme, it also reflects the fact that some road users have a special responsibility towards other users; namely, heavier motorised vehicles must take special care of vulnerable road users such as walkers, cyclists and motorists.

I will be taking the pledge, together with a number of high profile Canberrans and local identities, including Marty Dent, Lauren Wells, Tim Gable and co-captain of the GWS Giants, Phil Davis. At the end of the week pledges will be randomly drawn, with prizes donated by the Australasian College of Road Safety, the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust and Road Ready. The prizes include a $500 gift voucher from OnyaBike, two fitbits, a GPS watch, a pedometer, four $50 MyWay cards and four road ready plus road safety courses for young drivers. To take the pledge Canberrans will need to visit the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s tent at one of the Road Safety Week events.

Some people might ask why we need a road safety week. On this occasion I would like to take the opportunity to update the Assembly on road safety progress in the ACT. The need for promoting road safety is very clear. Each year approximately 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s roads and up to 50 million are injured. Based on current trends the annual number of road traffic deaths across the globe is forecast to rise to 1.9 million people by 2020 and road traffic injuries will be the leading health burden for children over the age of five years in developing countries. While many of these deaths and injuries occur in developing countries they also remain a challenge for developed countries.

Here in Australia each year around 1,200 people are killed and over 30,000 injured in road crashes and the cost to the economy is over $27 billion. In the ACT during the past five years we have recorded an average of 11 deaths and over 800 injuries on ACT roads each year. In 2014 alone there were 7,782 reported crashes in the ACT which resulted in 829 casualties, including 10 fatalities and 125 hospital admissions. As at 28 April 2015 the road toll for the year was three and, unfortunately, since the weekend it has increased, with two more fatal crashes reported.

The impact of road trauma in terms of both social and economic impacts is significant. But it is the social impact that we are focused on this week because it is

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