The National Road Safety Strategy (2001-2010) was released in Launceston, Tasmania by the Australian Transport Council towards the end of 2000. The Strategy calls for a 40% reduction in the number of fatalities per 100,000 population by 2010. Amongst other things, the National Road Safety Action Plan calls for continuing existing successful road safety initiatives.
The 2001 Road Safety Research, Policing and Education conference has as its theme the need to ?Regain The Momentum?. This in apt in view of the relatively stable and yet unacceptably high level of death and serious injuries on Australian roads during the latter half of the previous decade, and in particular, a 3.5% increase in fatalities across Australia during last year. While it is sensible to pursue current and past policies that lead to crash reduction, there seems to be a need for a more radical approach to road safety if the benefits rightly sought in the National Strategy are to be achieved.
This paper discusses of the challenge facing Australia in achieving the Strategy targets and the need for a fresh look at road safety philosophy and practice. It reviews various alternative methods currently being pursued in Europe and their benefits if adopted in Australia.