Road Safety Strategy 2020 and accidents in South Australia

Jun 2017

Accidents

South Australia has also adopted “Vision Zero” as the main motivation for its road safety work: The name of the current program is “Towards Zero Together.” Around 1.7 million people live in the state, which includes the metropolitan region of Adelaide. The aim is to reduce the number of traffic fatalities per year here to no more than 80 (4.5 per 100,000 inhabitants) and the number of people seriously injured to a maximum of 800 (45 per 100,000 inhabitants) by 2020.

The brochure for South Australia's Road Safety Strategy 2020 includes the annual figures for people killed and seriously injured in traffic accidents between 1981 and 2010. To compensate for fluctuations in the absolute, relatively small figures, the figures are examined in three-year blocks when changes are evaluated. From 1981 to 1983, an average of 252 traffic fatalities were recorded and 3,104 people were seriously injured; between 2008 and 2010, however, an average of 112 fatalities were recorded and 1,126 people seriously injured. This means that over 30 years, the number of fatalities decreased by 56% and the number of people seriously injured by 64%. Further reductions in the absolute figures to 80 fatalities and 800 people seriously injured by 2020 would represent relative decreases of around 30%.

South Australia's 2020 strategy is supported by action plans and prioritized measures. This includes the need for road transport systems to be designed to be more forgiving and the requirement for each and every road user to be even more aware of their responsibility on the road. Taking into account the accident statistics, the South Australian road safety program is aimed in particular at risk groups such as aboriginal people, people over the age of 70, young people aged between 16 and 24, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, drivers of heavy-duty vehicles and drunk-drivers.

Although Australia is seeing much fewer serious traffic accidents and victims compared with Europe and the USA, some of the main factors relating to the accidents and the recognized risk groups are very similar. It therefore makes sense to engage in discussions about potential measures and their impact at an international level so that all those involved in improving road safety can learn from experience, advise one another and implement findings locally in each region with even more background knowledge.

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