Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to halve deaths and significantly reduce injuries by 2030 and sets Victoria on the path towards zero road deaths by 2050.
Despite the reduced traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200 people lost their lives on Victorian roads in 2021 – heartbreaking for families, friends and communities. The new Strategy will focus on embedding a strong culture of road safety across our state, supporting road users to make safe choices as we progressively reduce fatalities on our roads.
This includes a dedicated focus on the issues that are driving the state’s road toll: driver behaviour including speed and distraction, greater support for vulnerable road users and those who use the road as part of their work, addressing unsafe vehicles, high-risk roads and intersections, and greater emphasis on post-crash care.
The Victorian Government is already investing more than $720 million over coming years to keep Victorians safe on the roads, including more than $100 million to deliver the infrastructure that will protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.
Over the life of the Strategy, the Victorian Government will roll out new initiatives to deter risky behaviour on Victorian roads through a series of action plans the first of which will be released in 2021. A further investment of $45.9 million is being made to deliver a number of priority initiatives and reforms that will make our roads safer.
Distracted drivers are a growing danger, with mobile phone use the main driver behind the increase in crashes. The number of Victorians not wearing a seatbelt – one of the simplest ways to stay safe – is also a concern. Under the Strategy, the Victorian Government is investing $35 million to deliver a fleet of new generation AI-enabled camera systems, utilising high-resolution cameras with image processing and machine learning software that can detect illegal mobile phone use, the absence of seatbelts and other offences. A trial of these state-of-the-art cameras was conducted in July this year and work on the full rollout will now commence to ensure the cameras are operational on our roads by 2023.
In an extra boost for driver safety, the Victorian Government has already delivered a 75 per cent increase in mobile speed camera enforcement to catch dangerous drivers on our roads.
As 38 per cent of crashes occur on high-speed rural roads, the Strategy will continue to roll out life-saving infrastructure like rumble strips and wire rope barriers throughout regional Victoria.
Young and older drivers are also over-represented in crash data, and alongside new education campaigns to target risky behaviour among those groups, we’ll pilot programs to support them to access safer vehicles – particularly for those living in regional Victoria. This includes a pilot program to help at-risk cohorts that will replace up to 1,000 older, unsafe vehicles with safer replacements.
The Strategy will also bring partners together from across government to develop new interventions to prevent repeat offending on our roads – tackling drink and drug drivers, as well as those at high risk of repeat high-level speeding.
Visit the TAC website to learn more about how we can all work together to improve road safety for everyone https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/victorian-road-safety-strategy/victorian-road-safety-strategy-2021-2030 .