The Joint Select Committee on Road Safety, the second of the 46th Parliament, was established by a resolution of appointment that was passed by the House of Representatives on 25 February 2021 and the Senate on 15 March 2021. It follows the previous Joint Select Committee on Road Safety, which tabled its final report on 30 October 2020.
Building on that earlier work, the committee is inquiring into and will be reporting on measures that can be taken to reduce trauma and deaths on Australian roads. It will investigate and identify opportunities to improve road safety programs and relevant policy in the health, education, industry, transport and other sectors; embed road trauma prevention across agencies; and reduce road trauma in the workplace, including a focus on heavy vehicles and the gig economy.
The Committee is due to present a final report on or before 1 July 2022. Submissions closed 24 August 2021.
WalkSydney submitted to the Committee on March 2021 and gave testimony on 12 October 2021.
WalkSydney reinforced the need to:
- Limit speed to 30k in residential, school and many commercial zones.
- Prioritise responsibility of road users so that a road user which has more capacity to harm another road user must give way as set out in the UK Highway Code.
- Alter road rules so that the law reflects the hierarchy of care.
- Abandon victim blaming as the vehicle which causes injury is controlled by a driver – it is drivers who cause injury.
- Road design should be safer and the public space needs to be shared more equitably where there are many pedestrians and cyclists. Furthermore If paths need to be widened and cycleways constructed then space for transport needs to be found.
Our transport culture need to be changed so that care must be exercised in favour of the more vulnerable user. This cultural change will guide decision making where the routes and needs of different users intersect.
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