The Alliance has had a long-standing interest in road safety due to the disproportionate rate of serious road injuries and deaths that occur on rural roads. In May 2021, we participated in the Ministerial Road Safety Roundtable for Regional and Remote Road Users, hosted by the Hon Scott Buchholz MP, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport. The Alliance gave evidence in 2015 at the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety in Australia1, following its submission2 and supplementary submission3. Prior to this, we highlighted the disparities in serious injuries and deaths on rural roads through a media release4, infographic5, and through the 13th National Rural Health Conference showcasing the ‘Road Safety All Stars’.6,i
We note that the current Inquiry arose from a recommendation of the previous Joint Select Standing Committee on Road Safety7, which tabled its final report in October 2020.8 We also note that the previous Joint Select Standing Committee on Road Safety originated from an independent 2018 Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.9,10 Presently, the Senate’s Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee is undertaking an Inquiry into the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry.11 It is clear that a significant amount of research into road safety has taken place in recent years, and that the purpose of this work is to attempt to build safer roads for all users. This work is vital in order for the limited road network to have the capacity to support an ongoing growth in traffic volume.