Frequently Asked Questions

The draft Strategy talks about a National Action Plan for the first five years. Is the National Action Plan also available for consultation?

The National Action Plan will not be released as a draft for consultation and will be finalised alongside the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30. However, it will be shaped by the feedback received through the consultation process on the draft Strategy. The draft Strategy identifies potential actions related to each of the nine priority areas and feedback received on these will be taken into consideration in finalising the Strategy and Action Plan.

Does the draft Strategy address the findings of the Inquiry into the effectiveness of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-20?

The draft strategy demonstrates a firm commitment to addressing the findings of the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 (the Inquiry). In response to the Inquiry’s recommendations, the draft Strategy includes an enhanced governance framework, and performance management and reporting system that will ensure that all parties to the Strategy are accountable for its implementation. This system will include robust and measurable safety performance indicators that indicate whether intervention measures are effective, and whether the Strategy is heading in the right direction.

The targets of the 2011-20 Strategy were not met. How do we know this Strategy will do better?

Australian governments have collectively agreed to Vision Zero – a target of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050. To set Australia on the path to achieve Vision Zero, targets are required over the next 10 years.

The draft Strategy addresses the recommendations of the Inquiry into the 2011-2020 Strategy. It includes nine priorities areas, determined on a data driven basis. Focusing on these nine priorities areas will allow us to make the most difference to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

The draft Strategy also includes a stronger governance framework, performance management and reporting on road safety outcomes. This will be supported by the establishment of the $5.5 million National Road Safety Data Hub, which will provide transparency on the effectiveness of our investments and measures, and an evidence base to drive best practice outcomes.

The Strategy has adopted a social model approach reaching across all sectors of society. The social model recognises that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and that we need cultural change across Australian society in order to influence improvements to the road safety of our communities.

Significant investment is being made by governments to improve road safety across Australia, including a range of Australian Government programs, such as the $2 billion Road Safety Program and $500 million Targeted Road Safety Works Program, delivering road improvements to specifically target safety measures.

When will the National Road Safety Data Hub be available?

The Government is investing $5.5 million to over the next four years to develop the National Road Safety Data Hub. Planning for the Data Hub is currently underway. Information on the ongoing development of the Data Hub, along with analysis such as dashboards and maps, will be updated regularly on the Data Hub web page.

How were the nine priorities of the draft Strategy determined?

The nine priority areas outlined in the draft Strategy are based on evidence, being the areas where the most difference can be made to reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads. In developing the draft Strategy, including the nine priority areas, the Office of Road Safety collaborated with state and territory agencies and the Australian Local Government Association. The priorities were finalised through a targeted consultation process involving over 50 national stakeholder groups including road safety advocates and researchers.

When will the Strategy be finalised?

The Strategy is expected to be finalised in 2021 alongside an accompanying National Road Safety Action Plan for the first five years. The final Strategy and Action Plan will take into consideration feedback received through consultation on the draft Strategy.

What is the Office of Road Safety’s role in the Strategy?

The Office of Road Safety is leading the development of the National Road Safety Strategy 2021‑2030 (the Strategy), working closely with states, territories and the Australian Local Government Association. The Office of Road Safety will lead the Strategy’s implementation, supported by and working closely alongside all levels of government.

The Office of Road Safety is the Australian Government’s lead on road safety and was established to foster improved coordination for road safety across Australia.

How will the Strategy be reported on?

The draft Strategy outlines a strengthened governance and performance framework, designed to hold all parties to the Strategy to account – the commonwealth, state and territory governments, and local governments.

Independent review and analysis will be a key feature of the Strategy, such as through an external advisory group, to provide an annual report to the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers Meeting.

Why are motorbike riders coupled in with pedestrians, bicycle and other vulnerable road user groups?

Vulnerable road users (VRU) are generally considered to be road users without the protection a fully enclosed vehicle provides (car, bus or truck) and include pedestrians, bike riders and motorbike riders.

Over the past decade serious injuries have increased for motorbike riders and bike riders relative to pedestrians and all road users, as new cars have become safer with greater occupant protections. In the event of a crash, VRUs have little to no protection from crash forces.

The draft Strategy recognises motorbike riders as one of the key vulnerable road user groups as part of the VRU priority as motorbike riders are over-represented in fatal and serious injury figures, disproportionate to the number of registered motorbikes.

The decision to include motorbike riders with pedestrians and cyclists to form a VRU cohort is to ensure this disproportionate representation of fatal and serious injuries, compared to registered motorbikes, is not overlooked.

By combining road user groups that are considered our most vulnerable into a larger cohort, a greater focus on action in this area is able to be maintained.

This is consistent with the Safe System approach to improving road safety, adopted by the draft Strategy. The Safe System approach involves a holistic view of the road transport system and the interactions among roads and roadsides, travel speeds, vehicles and road users. It is an inclusive approach that caters for all groups using the road system, including drivers, motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and commercial and heavy vehicle drivers.

Whilst the Strategy considers motorbike riders as part of a cohort of VRU that includes pedestrians and cyclists - subsequent deliverables through the Strategy will not necessarily address these groups as a collective, with deliverables likely to be tailored to specific road user groups.

Can you provide some examples of how the social model approach to road safety might work in practise?

The social model, or Social Ecological Model, is a concept that has previously been used in areas such as health and justice.

The social model leverages one’s influence or the influence of an organisation to encourage and embed safe road practices.

The social model approach looks to identify opportunities to influence positive road safety outcomes, in areas that traditionally may not be transport focused. Examples include:

At a community level—schools introducing free bike checks to draw in parents and children seeking a free service to improve the safety of a bike. This creates an opportunity to educate both the parent and child on the importance of safe behaviour for bike users.

Sports clubs can also use their influence to encourage road safety outcomes. This may involve setting a road safety policy for club-associated travel, especially on game days, and championing good road safety practises at the club with zero tolerance for drink driving across all levels. Senior players and extended families can model the right behaviour; being prepared with a Plan B when they intend to drink.

In the workplace—employers can influence road safety outcomes by encouraging only five-star rated cars through their salary sacrificing schemes, company fleets and putting in place contemporary road safety policies.

In everyday life—when people are looking to purchase a new vehicle, most won’t use government provided services to seek information on vehicle safety. Often, people seek advice from friends, family and colleagues who they perceive to have a good understanding of cars, or via online forums.

Acknowledging these areas of influence is a key part of implementing the social model.