Reducing the toll on Queensland's roads
Road fatalities and injuries in Queensland communities could be further reduced if further emphasis was put on local roads, say the LGAQ.
In Queensland, 82% of the road network is controlled by local government and 51% of all road incidents occur on local government roads. Despite these statistics, say the LGAQ, local government roads and funding are not considered within the current National Road Safety Action Plan.
“The local government sector is largely ignored. As such, the opportunity to work constructively with councils to achieve reductions in FSI (fatal and serious injuries) incidents on local roads, where the majority of incidents in occurring, is lost.” said the LGAQ’s submission to the Inquiry into the national road safety strategy 2011 – 2020.
Furthermore, councils wishing to access the Federal Government’s Black Spot Program (BSP), are faced with barriers in accessing funding due to the program’s application requirement for either a lengthy and expensive audit or an extensive history of incidents.
“While the BSP is highly regarded by councils that are able to access this vital source of funding, a large proportion of councils are simply unable to seek funding through the BSP, with the majority of these councils located in regional and remote areas.”
“Many councils, especially in rural and remote areas, do not have staff who are qualified to undertake road safety audits. The cost of completing such audits through third parties is seen as prohibitive when applying to a competitive program, particularly considering the low cost of treatments for which funding is otherwise sought.”
In its submission, the LGAQ recommended these issues should not hinder smaller councils from applying for the program and the model should be amended to adopt a more holistic approach,
“…the LGAQ recommends the BSP be reviewed with a view to ensuring capability and capacity constraints are not the limiting factor in seeking funding on a proactive basis to address high risk locations on the local government road network.”
“The LGAQ suggests that proactive applications based on a completed safety risk assessment such as AusRAP (or Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM) once available) be considered as part of the review.”
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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