Why Is Baillieu Ignoring Road Safety?

A comprehensive road safety strategy to save lives should be delivered by the Baillieu Government immediately following today’s report showing road safety cameras work, Shadow Minister for Road Safety James Merlino said today.

The Auditor-General’s report into the Road Safety Camera Program confirms that speed cameras save lives.

The report states: “Road safety cameras improve road safety and reduce road trauma, and their ongoing use as an enforcement tool remains appropriate.”

“Speed cameras aren’t popular but they save lives, and it’s not surprising the Auditor-General has confirmed this,” Mr Merlino said.

“In Opposition, Terry Mulder and the Premier constantly criticised speed cameras. Now they are in Government, it’s time they acknowledge that speed cameras help stop dangerous driving.”

Mr Merlino said particularly now the AG report had been released, it was time the Baillieu Government outlined its strategy to reduce the road toll and keep Victorian drivers safe.

“Where is this Government’s comprehensive road safety strategy?” he said.

“Labor’s successful Arrive Alive strategy helped drive the road toll from 444 in 2001 to 288 last year – the lowest on record. 

“More than nine months have passed since Arrive Alive was due for an update and it is still nowhere to be seen.

“Road safety has always had bipartisan support, however, the Labor Opposition will not give bipartisan support to a Government that is doing nothing.”

The Baillieu Government had:

  • Shelved the update of Arrive Alive;
  • Scrapped the ground breaking Road Safety Experience Centre, to be funded through the TAC, and
  • Reduced funding for road safety initiatives.

“The Premier needs to understand you don’t reduce the road toll by doing nothing,” Mr Merlino said.

“The cost of road trauma is significant. In 2010, there were 288 road fatalities, 5392 hospital admissions, and the financial cost to Victoria is $3.8 billion per year.

“But it’s the human cost that you can’t put a figure on, with families and friends left devastated when a life is tragically cut short.

“The Minister for Roads promised to “up the ante” on road safety but has done next to nothing.”

 

In June, Labor released Below 200 By 2020 – Protecting Victorians on our Roads, which outlines a series of initiatives and an ambitious but achievable new target to reduce the State’s road toll to below 200.

“We urge the Government to take these ideas and implement them,” Mr Merlino said.

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