Roundtable a boost for Victorian road safety

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas hails today’s Road Safety Roundtable a success and says some ideas could be developed to save lives on roads

June 1, 2010

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas has hailed today’s Road Safety Roundtable a success and says some ideas discussed at the forum could be developed to save lives on Victorian roads.

He says a range of road safety matters were discussed at the roundtable, some of which had merit and deserved to be investigated further.

"We understand Victorians are concerned about safety on our roads, which is why the Brumby Labor Government is taking action to improve community safety and drive down the road toll," Pallas says.

"I’d like to thank the participants of today’s roundtable, who provided frank, informed and insightful discussion on a range of issues, including speed, drink and drug driving, young drivers and emerging technologies.

"It is important Government continues to engage with the community and stakeholders to help improve road safety – and I was particularly pleased with the productivity of this forum."

Pallas says some of the ideas likely to be investigated include further development of Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology that forces repeat speeding offenders to slow down and tougher measures for drink and drug drivers.

He says there has been little support for the idea of night-time curfews for young drivers, which has been raised by the community and stakeholders during consultation. The Government will not pursue the matter.

"Ideas that had support and may warrant a look are stronger vehicle impoundment sanctions, tougher measures for repeat drink and drug drivers, and the wider use of mandatory alcohol interlocks," he says.

"We will not be pursuing the idea of night curfews for young drivers, as I am not convinced this measure would be practical or realistic.

"Targeting a specific group in such a way does not guarantee good road safety outcomes and we do not want to punish all young drivers for the stupidity of some.

"There are too many young parents, too many young Victorians that work late or study late, whose lives would be adversely impacted.

"We will continue to look at ways of getting the road safety message through to young drivers, who make up only 13 per cent of all registered drivers, but tragically, 25 percent of the road toll."

Pallas says there was also overwhelming support at the roundtable for Victoria’s speed management systems.

Transport groups, road safety experts, community groups, Victoria Police and leaders in health, road trauma and youth affairs participated in the roundtable, which will help inform development of the Brumby Labor Government’s arrive alive Road Safety Strategy 2008-2017.

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