ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Mechanisms of Change: The Role of Parliamentary Committees in Road Safety

Hansen, Rob, Bates, Lyndel

Policy Development and Implementation


Road safety problems are frequently complex and do not have a simple solution. Parliamentary road safety committees are an important mechanism for consulting with interest groups and the general public to achieve system-wide changes. Parliamentary committees are provided by their respective parliaments with significant inquiry powers to monitor, examine, investigate and report on issues with recommendations. The World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention released on World Health Day 2004 highlights the particular importance of parliamentary road safety committees in creating effective road safety policies. Knowledge about the role and functions of parliamentary committees and their contributions is often limited. This paper will discuss: the history, constitution and role of parliamentary road safety committees in Australia including their investigative, scrutiny and advocacy functions; their contribution to road safety interventions in Australia; and their specific roles as catalysts to foster accountability, reform and change. The paper will also provide information on how individuals and organisations can participate in the work of parliamentary committees for the advancement of road safety.