MOTORCYCLE LOBBY BACKS AAA DATA SAVES LIVES CAMPAIGN
The Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) is supporting the Australian Automobile Association’s national calls for data-driven road funding and new Commonwealth-state funding arrangements, which will require state governments to report on road quality and safety performance as a condition of federal road funding.
In a perhaps slightly unique situation, the AMC is in lock-step with a broad coalition of transport, road safety and medical bodies on a road safety matter – campaigning for greater access to, and use of, road trauma data, to assist in creating more effective road safety policies and strategies.
The AMC has been frustrated by the lack of detailed crash data for close to 20 years.
“It’s amazing to us that we are still in this position,” said AMC chair, Shaun Lennard.
“At the Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Summit of 2008 – 16 years ago – the lack of accurate data was recognised as one of the key areas where urgent improvement was needed.”
“Despite stated commitments that the states and territories would work more closely with the Commonwealth over data sharing, this simply hasn’t happened.”
“There’s now a sense of urgency in this area for motorcyclists. The 2023 road toll for riders and passengers was 254 – a five-year high. After decades of continual improvement, we now appear to be going backwards. Motorcycle deaths have increased by around 5% a year for the past three years.”
“Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on building safer roads, yet the road toll is now increasing? Why is this?”
“There has to be a better way. The Australian Motorcycle Council endorses the AAA’s Data Saves Lives campaign, which calls on the Federal Government to require all states and territories to release their detailed data as a condition of receiving their share of the annual $10 billion road budget.”
“Only by examining all the data can we find policy solutions and work to save lives.”
“Australians deserve transparency so they can see whether politicians are spending their taxes on the areas of greatest need, rather than courting support in marginal seats,” Mr Lennard continued.
Mr Lennard said the safety of all Australia’s road users must be the primary concern of all governments.
“Public safety is too important to be put at risk by governments keeping data to themselves.”
Date being sought through the campaign includes:
Crash data: Age, gender, behaviour, the type of crash, vehicles involved, weather conditions, road conditions, and whether the people involved were drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists.
Road data: International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) road safety ratings, based on assessments of 450,000km Australian roads. Australian states and territories have vowed to release these ratings but failed to do so.
Enforcement data: Information on the relative efficacy of random breath tests, roadside drug tests, and mobile telephone and speeding infringements.
“Data transparency and evidence-based policy are common sense. This reform will cost next to nothing. And it will save lives,” Mr Lennard added.
“Using this evidence in a transparent way to drive road safety policy will make our roads safer for all motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, including those who make their living on our roads as drivers and riders.”
“If data is not made available to the Australian Government, Commonwealth road infrastructure funding decisions will continue to be made in the backrooms of government and subject to the whims of politicians and the political cycle.’’
In addition to the Australian Motorcycle Council, the AAA’s Data Saves Lives campaign list of supporters includes: Brain Injury Australia, Australian Orthopaedic Association, ANCAP Safety, Insurance Council of Australia, Ron Finemore Transport, Australian Automotive Dealer Association, Nationwide Group, Australasian Fleet Management Association, International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH), Caravan Industry Association of Australia, Pedestrian Council of Australia, Transport Australia Society (Engineers Australia) and the Australian Trucking Association.
26 February 2024
For more information about the AAA campaign: email@example.com
For further information from the AMC, call Shaun Lennard on 0417 396 835