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ACRS Patron, the Governor-General, leads support for global road safety

9 August 2012

The Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, in an opening address to the Australasian College of Road Safety Conference in Sydney today encouraged delegates to continue to work to reduce road trauma locally and globally.

Ms Bryce said it was commendable that road safety expertise in Australia was being extended to our neighbours and the world to help reduce the 1.3 million deaths and 50 million serious injuries happening every year from road crashes.

The College Conference, with a theme “A Safe System: Expanding the Reach!”, heard from national and international speakers,  and discussed the potential to act to assist road users often overlooked in mainstream road safety program – including pedestrians, cyclists, heavy vehicles, motorcyclists & rural and remote communities.  The national “Diamond RoadSafety Award” for an innovative road safety program sponsored by the Colleg eand 3M was also announced.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Catherine King MP also addressed the Conference.  Keynote speakers included: Dr Anne T. McCartt, Senior Vice President, Research, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Virginia USA – “Can technology help teens be safer drivers?”; Emeritus Professor Mary Sheehan AO FACRS, CARRS-Q Faculty of Health – “The challenges for rural and remote road safety: nothing new really but what can we do about them?” Mr Nigel Robinson, Manager Aboriginal Programs, Roads & Maritime Services NSW – “Road Safety Challenges for Aboriginal Communities”; Mr David Healy FACRS Co Vice-President ACRS (National) and immediate past Victorian Chapter Chair – “Heavy Vehicles: safety and profit—friends or foes?”

The National President of the College, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, in his opening address reminded delegates that the work of many inroad safety from the community, government, business and academia had helped reduce road deaths by over 100,000 in the last 40 years.

He said “While over 33,900 currently die and are seriously injured on our roads in Australia, if we all continue to take a safe system approach with safer roads, safer cars, safer drivers and safer speeds we should expect to reduce that number to at least 17,000 by 2020 and then hopefully to zero.  New technologies in cars alone will help reduce crash rates by 50% in this decade.”

Delegates to the Conference have come fromacross Australia and New Zealand and also the USA, South Africa and Fiji.