Federal and state governments are coming together in an effort to reduce the increasing road toll across Australia, with a particular focus on regional road deaths.
Experts on road safety from across Australia and the world will come together for a forum designed to tackle the increasing road toll.
Hosted by the NSW Government, the road safety forum in Sydney will hear from victims, academics, and stakeholders from federal and state organisations.
Experts from Scandinavian countries which have successfully lowered road tolls over the past two decades will also be invited to speak at the conference.
The conference comes after Australia’s 2023 road toll figures showed a 7.3 per cent increase compared with the previous year.
It’s expected a particular focus will be on preventing regional road deaths, with those in country areas over-represented in the national road toll.
“While one third of our population lives in regional NSW, over two thirds of fatalities (70 per cent) occur on regional roads,” NSW Regional Roads Minister Jenny Aitchison said in a written statement.
“I have been out in the far north-west of regional, rural and remote NSW this week hearing directly from those communities about the road toll.
“Any death on a road is one too many but for regional communities where everyone knows everyone, it hits particularly hard,” she added.
“We all need to take responsibility for our actions when it comes to road safety. We need community involvement, particularly in the regions, if the government’s road safety initiatives are to succeed.”
NSW Roads Minister John Graham reiterated the need for new approaches.
“The road toll has increased across Australia and many parts of the world after [the COVID-19 pandemic],” he said in a written statement.
“This forum is an opportunity to hear from experts who have had some success in reducing the road toll and identify new measures and actions from the Road Safety Plan that could be accelerated.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility that requires the collective efforts of government agencies, communities, and individuals. The forum will provide a platform to discuss new actions to save lives,” he said.
The National Road Safety Conference will take place in Sydney on Thursday 22 February 2024.
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