Select Page

Australia has demonstrated strong road safety leadership today with Deputy Prime Minister Hon Michael McCormack MP launching the findings of the independent National Road Safety Inquiry that includes 12 key recommendations to transform the country’s road crash burden and save lives.

The Inquiry was called in September 2017 seeking a bold response to the country’s stalling road safety performance.

iRAP Chief Executive Officer Rob McInerney who has been an Advisor to the Inquiry said more than 300,000 Australians will be killed or injured between now and 2030, at a cost of over $300 billion unless there’s a seismic change in our response to road safety in Australia.

“Every life lost and every road crash injury is an avoidable tragedy and we can and must do more to save lives,” he said.

The Inquiry Report and supporting Fact Sheet released today includes 12 recommendations that if implemented, will provide the large-scale action and disaster response that appropriately addresses the true impact of Australia’s road trauma burden.

Mr McInerney said recommendations 1-3 are the most critical to unlock the leadership, institutional and financial resources needed to implement proven interventions with the associated national accountability, stimulus and scale to succeed.

“Strong national leadership through the appointment of a Cabinet minister with multi-agency responsibility, establishment of a national road safety entity reporting to the Minister and the commitment of a AUD$3 billion a year road safety fund will be key to success.

“Road trauma impacts every community and every road user. The leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister and the non-partisan support for the Inquiry recommendations provides a unique opportunity for this to be the turning point for road safety in Australia,” he said.

iRAP fully supports the Inquiry Recommendations and stands ready to support our local AusRAP partners achieve an Australia free of high-risk roads. The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), ARRB and Austroads together with the local mobility clubs, and state and territory road agencies are already actively implementing the AusRAP evidence-based approach with success (see Bruce Highway case study).

Australia has already set policy targets to have 90% of travel on National Highways to be 3-star or better standard and more than 80% of travel on State Roads to be 3-star or better by 2020.

“Our vision for 2030 and beyond must be to strive for 5-star performance for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants in our cities and towns and our highways and local streets. We are clever enough to make that happen and provide a lasting legacy of safe roads for all Australians. Anything less is assuming death and injury are acceptable,” Mr McInerney said.

Establishing a formal AusRAP unit will bring important national coordination and rigour to infrastructure and speed management investment and innovation that will unlock the potential of safer roads to save lives and help measure success. Incorporating minimum star rating targets and road safety as a key criterion for Infrastructure Australia investment and road design standards is a must. Establishing a Safer Roads Fund to target the highest risk roads in the country will deliver life-saving and injury-reducing results to local government roads that will also unlock savings to the health, welfare and insurance sector. A win-win for all.

Importantly the Inquiry Recommendations also highlight the critical role for Australia to work closely with countries in our region to improve road safety.

“More than 300 million people will be killed or injured globally by 2030 based on current trends. Australian expertise, Australian partnerships and Australian friendships with our neighbours can help ensure that does not happen. We have the Vaccines for Roads and we just need to apply them on a scale that matters,” Mr McInerney added.

Global and regional partnerships with iRAP, Global NCAP, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, UN Road Safety Trust Fund and the newly announced Indo-Pacific infrastructure investment cooperation can all help our neighbours achieve the UN SDG targets. Prioritising road safety outcomes that leverage Australia’s expertise will build rewarding and beneficial friendships in the region that lift the burden of road trauma from the other development challenges in the region.

“There is nothing more rewarding than saving a life or helping to avoid a life-long injury that can change the course of an entire family’s future. Our political leaders, road safety champions, emergency and health professionals who will implement the inquiry recommendations have the potential and responsibility to save hundreds of thousands of children and adults from the tragedy of road trauma. Let’s unite together and make it happen,” Mr McInerney said.

The inquiry has been led by Associate Professor Jeremy Woolley, Director of the Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide, and Dr John Crozier, Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Trauma Committee, with the support of Advisors Rob McInerney and Lauchlan McIntosh, President of the Australasian College of Road Safety.

AusRAP is a partnership programme led by the AAA, ARRB and Austroads together with State and Territory colleagues.

Photos from Launch of Inquiry Findings, Parliament House, Canberra,
12 September 2018:

(Note, Rob McInerney absent due to commitments in Manila at the ADB Transport Forum building capacity to save lives in the Asia Pac region)

For more information:

Media coverage

Media releases

Enquiries to Judy Williams, Global Programme and Communications Manager at or tel 0400 782 204

Lead photo caption: Lauchlan McIntosh, Chairman of the Australasian College of Road Safety, Jeremy Woolley, Director of University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research, Rob McInerney, CEO of iRAP, and Dr John Crozier, Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Trauma Committee, met with Deputy Prime Minister Hon Michael McCormack MP (centre) during the Inquiry process


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
iRAP is registered in England and Wales under company number 05476000
Charity number 1140357

Registered office: 60 Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DS
GET IN TOUCH │ Europe │ Africa │ Asia Pacific │ Latin America and Caribbean │ North America

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!