New road safety strategy welcomed

The RACT has welcomed the State Government's new Towards Zero – Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2017-2026, which aims to reduce fatalities and injuries on the state's roads.

The new strategy is a blueprint for the Government's road safety efforts for the next decade and targets Tasmania's highest risk areas, focusing on initiatives that will gain the greatest reductions in serious injuries and deaths.

The key directions include:

  • The introduction of a new training and assessment regime to reduce serious motorcycle casualties;
  • Improving the Graduated Licensing System to reduce serious casualties for 17 to 25-year-olds;
  • Encouraging safer road user behaviour through education and enforcement;
  • Reducing run-off road and head-on crashes through improved infrastructure;
  • Improve the star rating of Tasmania's vehicle fleet to include vehicles with better safety features; and
  • Establish speed limits that are more appropriate to the safety features of individual roads.

Actions to be undertaken in 2017-19 to achieve this include:

  • The introduction of a new pre-learner motorcycle training course, including an on-road component;
  • Increased use of rear-facing automated speed cameras;
  • Improve enforcement of high-risk road behaviours;
  • Improve levels of delineation on high risk roads to reduce run-off-road and head-on crashes;
  • Ensure high minimum safety specifications for all new passenger and light commercial vehicles in the Tasmanian Government fleet;
  • Actively promote vehicle fleet safety standards for commercial fleets;
  • Improve speed limit setting guidelines to promote uniform, sensible speed limits based on infrastructure standards and safety features and have fewer speed zone changes;
  • Undertake an assessment of speed limits on individual 100 km/h roads, taking into account crash risk and road features;
  • Introduce point to point speed cameras on high risk rural roads; and
  • Increase the number of fixed speed cameras in urban areas.

The RACT was involved in the stakeholder consultation phase of forming the strategy.

The Towards Zero Strategy has a target of redu​cing the number of annual serious injuries and deaths on Tasmanian roads to fewer than 200 by 2026. Currently that figure sits at about 300.

The State Government's road safety initiatives are currently funded by the Road Safety Levy, which will be extended for a further 10 years.

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