The Australian Government is directly investing $2 billion in the 2020-21 Budget towards road safety initiatives, continuing efforts to reduce road trauma in Australia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said working towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on Australian roads was a core priority for the Government, which is why the Budget was funding this significant investment.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and the Government is playing our part by investing in road safety projects to get people where they need to be sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.
“We are committing an additional $2 billion over 18 months under a new Road Safety Program to deliver an estimated 3,000 kilometres of lifesaving road improvements and support thousands of jobs right across the country.
“The program will deliver works such as new shoulder sealing, rumble strips to alert drivers they are moving out of their lane, median treatments to prevent head-on collisions and barriers to prevent run-off-road crashes and protect against roadside hazards.
“The program will be delivered in three, six-month tranches and on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.
“Funds that States and Territories do not spend will be re-allocated to those that can, with jurisdictions required to provide road safety data as a key condition of funding.
“We are ensuring this road-safety package can roll-out quickly, saving lives and reducing injuries.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said road crashes cost the national economy about $30 billion a year and caused immeasurable suffering for affected families.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking that every year around 1,200 people die on our roads and tens of thousands more are seriously injured,” Mr Buchholz said.
“”One death on our roads is one too many, and we are working closely with our state and territory colleagues to ensure the next National Road Safety Strategy improves outcomes for all Australians.
“To ensure our investments are driven by quality data and road safety improvements are accurately monitored and evaluated, we are also investing $5.5 million over four years to establish an Australian-first National Road Safety Data Hub.
“The Data Hub will create the first nationally available road safety data collection to assess the effectiveness of road safety efforts by all Australian governments.
“This will support our commitment to deliver the new National Road Safety Strategy and put Australia on a path to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.”
These additional investments build on the $500 million the Federal Government is already spending on Targeted Road Safety Works, boosting jobs and the economy while delivering life-saving upgrades in every single state and territory.