Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2015) . . Page.. 1468 ..
providing an opportunity for us to talk about the importance of National Road Safety Week and to encourage all users, particularly those driving in and around school zones, to slow down and to survive.
As I mentioned earlier, over 400 drivers in one ACT school term alone received either traffic infringement notices or cautions. That, to me, is quite alarming. These are the sons and daughters of our own families and our neighbours. Over 400 drivers have put them at risk. I find that 400 to be far, far too many. The bad consequences of poor road safety are felt in family homes. It is something we all should be responsible for.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.24): I also rise this morning to provide a statement, together with Mr Rattenbury and Minister Burch, during National Road Safety Week. The ACT has a very good road safety record in comparison to other parts of Australia and, indeed, the world. We have the benefit of an established and well-designed road system, a general urban environment, and a small, well defined geographic area.
However, there is no room for complacency. We can, and should, do more. On average, approximately 11 people are killed and 800 people are injured on ACT roads each year. Any fatality or casualty, let alone this level of death and injury, is a tragedy and is a significant burden on ACT families. In addition, the economic cost to the community of ACT road crashes has been conservatively estimated to amount to over $200 million per annum.
For these reasons, avoiding fatalities and serious injury on the ACT road system is a priority. The ACT road safety strategy and action plans adopt and complement the principles of national work under the national road safety strategy and action plan. These documents are all guided by the safe system model.
A safe transport system makes allowance for human error and recognises that there are limits to the forces that humans can withstand in a crash. An essential element of the safe system approach is the design of roads to reduce the risk of crashes and the harm to people if a crash does occur. Speed management is also a critical factor in limiting the force of impact in a crash.
This safe system approach reflects international best practice, which is what we strive for on our roads. We design our roads for safety. We impose speed limits and continuously examine and improve the safety of our road network by implementing engineering and other measures. Some of these improvements are implemented under both the Australian government’s black spot program and the ACT government’s capital works program.
The black spot program funds relatively low cost safety works such as roundabouts, signage and line marking, crash barriers and street lighting in places where there have been serious crashes. For example, four sites in the suburbs of Narrabundah, Calwell, Weston Creek and Florey will receive safety upgrades with funding from the Australian government’s black spot program.