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More needs to be done on road safety

While Tasmania is doing better than other states in attempts to reduce road fatalities, unless there is a significant improvement, the state will not meet targets established by the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS).

The National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) was signed by all state and territory governments, as well as the Federal Government, in 2011 and aims to reduce the national road toll by 30% by 2020.

The latest Australian Automobile Association (AAA) NRSS benchmarking report shows that in the 12 months ending March 2019, 30 people died on Tasmanian roads, compared to 40 deaths in the previous corresponding period to March 2018.

While this is an improvement, Tasmania is still sitting at 5.66 deaths per 100,000 head of population, which is ahead of the national average of 4.67.

RACT Acting Group Chief Executive Stacey Pennicott said while this 25% improvement in road fatalities was important, unless there was urgent intervention from all levels of government, state and national targets would not be met.

"With National Road Safety Week starting on Monday (6 May), it is the perfect time to talk about what needs to change," she said.

"We are conducting a range of activities to raise awareness about the importance of safety on our roads, particularly the Fatal Five contributors to road deaths – speed, seat belts, alcohol and drugs, distraction and fatigue.

"Activities include free child restraint checks in Hobart and Launceston and education programs in schools around the state."

Ms Pennicott said the RACT had already welcomed commitments by the Liberal and Labor parties for road funding improvements in the lead-up to the Federal Election, as well as the creation of an Office of Road Safety, but more needed to be done.

"The RACT is calling for all Tasmanian roads to be upgraded to a minimum 3-star AusRAP safety rating, as well as urgent upgrades to roads including the Bass Hwy between Wynyard and Marrawah, the Sandfly/Huon Hwy intersection, a flyover on the East Tamar Hwy and funding for our 30-year Greater Hobart Mobility Vision," she said.

Details about the RACT's Road Safety Week activities can be found here: https://www.ract.com.au/road-safety-week2019