Councils’ role in road safety
There were 80 fatalities on South Australian roads in 2018. This is 20 fewer than in 2017, however, year to date, there have been 27 fatalities this year, compared to 17 at the same time last year.
These statistics highlight the importance of local councils continuing to advocate for and take action to improve road safety, including driver behaviour.
Councils build, maintain and regulate roads and therefore have a responsibility to provide a safe operating environment for road users. South Australian councils manage 11 per cent (75,000km) of the nation’s local road network. They receive significant funds from the Australian Government through Financial Assistance Grants (untied local roads component) and the Roads to Recovery programs, as well as competitive grant programs to address black spots, bridges renewal and heavy vehicle safety and productivity.
It is becoming increasingly important for local government to be able to articulate its strategies and actions towards improving road safety on its network. Improved road safety is a significant initiative for the Australia Local Government Association in advocating for the Federal election.
Road safety responsibilities also extend to local government as significant employers within communities, particularly in regional areas. For example, councils and their contractors have a role in managing safety on the roads through use of safer vehicles and policies to model improvements in their own driving and road user behaviour.
The LGA is developing the Local Government Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan in response to local government concerns about road fatalities and injuries on South Australian roads.
To maximise the effectiveness of the Local Government Strategy and Action Plan it will be aligned with the priorities of:
- South Australia’s Roads Safety Action Plan
- Australia’s National Road Safety Action Plan
The draft Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan will be available to councils for feedback through the process, but we are currently seeking the following by Friday 12 April:
Members for the LGA’s Road Safety Steering Group
The role of this group will be to shape and review the Local GovernmentRoad Safety Strategy and Action Plan. It is anticipated that the group will meet 2 to 3 times prior to finalisation of the Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, which is proposed for late July 2019. The Steering Group’s first meeting will be at the end of April. There may also be the need to respond to requests by email. We welcome interest in this group, and those who have already expressed interest will be contacted directly.
Information regarding Road Safety initiatives in local councils
We recognise that local councils are contributing to road safety locally through a range of strategies, initiatives, campaigns and ideas. We would like to promote and allow others to benefit from these ideas to shape the Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan. We would appreciate it if you could email any information about your current road safety initiatives, including links or using dot points, to the LGA.
Please email your interest in the Steering Group or any information about activities to Mathilde Thorsen (Mathilde.email@example.com) by 12 April 2019.
Please direct any questions about the Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan to:
Katherine Russell, Senior Policy Officer, LGA
Tel: 08 8224 2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week takes place from 6-12 May 2019 and is a great initiative to raise the importance of road safety. The LGA has been supplied with these materials to assist in its promotion:
Questions about National Road Safety Week should be directed to the State Government: Kathleen.Baird@sa.gov.au