How data saves lives: Unveiling Tasmania's road safety solution
Every year, Tasmania faces a grim road safety reality. On average, 35 lives are lost, and almost 300 people suffer serious injuries on our roads.
These statistics are not just numbers; they represent human lives and families forever affected. Behind each tragic incident lies a trove of data that, if harnessed effectively, could reshape the future of road safety in our state.
Tasmania's road toll has been persistently high, with annual road deaths per capita exceeding the national average by 32% (2017 to 2021). This is an alarming trend for an island with only 2.2% of the national population but suffering 2.9% of the nation's road deaths during this period.
A key to reversing this grim trajectory is knowledge. Data is our beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a safer road network. We must transition to a data-driven approach, just as we do in many other aspects of life.
Our call for change
We're joining forces with Australia's motoring clubs to advocate for a critical change – making federal road funding contingent on states sharing safety-related data. Both state and federal governments recognise the importance of improved data for informed decision-making.
Locally, we’re advocating for a central road safety reporting hub to streamline data collection and analysis, as the existing federal hub contains outdated information. This new hub would gather detailed data from various stakeholders, enabling us to pinpoint road safety issues, assess policy impacts, and replicate successful interventions.
The benefits of sharing data are substantial. It would allow our political leaders to make evidence-based decisions on road funding, optimising the use of limited taxpayer dollars and potentially saving millions that are traditionally wasted through political maneuvering.
A commonsense solution
This initiative is not new or revolutionary. We already use similar approaches in other crucial sectors like health and education to allocate resources efficiently. At home, we allocate our household budgets based on essential needs. It's time to employ a similar strategy in road safety.
Centralised road safety reporting would provide our political leaders with the comprehensive picture they need to address the road safety crisis effectively. Without a full understanding of the issue, we can't expect them to make informed decisions.
Take action today
Data is the key to change, and you can play a part in making it happen. Visit datasaveslives.org.au to find out if your Federal MP supports our initiative and petition them to take action. Together, we can push for a data-driven approach to road safety, ultimately saving lives and ensuring that taxpayer funds are used where they are needed the most.
By embracing data, we have the power to transform Tasmania's road safety landscape and build a safer future for all. Data saves lives, and it's time to make that a reality.