(Australian Associated Press)
The federal government should actively encourage more mobile phone detection cameras and point-to-point speed cameras in a bid to cut the road toll, a new report says.
A parliamentary road safety committee report released on Monday called for more money to be spent on improving safety, and for the states and territories to better harmonise their data relating to crashes and speeding across the country.
But the 147-page report found that while while more money, fixing blackspots, improving signage and removing hazards were important, technologies such as point-to-point cameras were highly effective.
“The committee heard that point-to-point cameras can operate over long lengths of the road network, and therefore can encourage compliance with speed limits across a greater length of the road network,” the report found.
The report said the government should consider linking funding for roads or upgrading them to the rollout of such camera systems.
Mobile phone detection cameras could also be better used to deal with the serious issue of driver distraction.
On average, more than 1200 people are killed and at least 36,000 are hospitalised each year as a result of crashes on Australian roads.
In 2019, two-thirds of these occurred on rural and regional areas.
There has been a progressive decline in the number of deaths and serious injuries over the past four decades.
But this decline has stalled since 2015.
“(Between 2015 and 2019) the road toll for the 12 months ending June 30 has been higher than it was in the 12 months ending June 2015,” the Australian Automobile Association told the inquiry.
“In the second half of 2015, the road toll rose and has remained at higher levels ever since, ending decades of continuous improvement.”
The report also made recommendations on driver training and motorcycle safety.