The sad reality is that behind every crash statistic is a family devastated and impacted by the loss or serious injury, of a loved one.
In 2017 36 people died and another 263 were seriously injured on Tasmanian roads.
This is the same number of fatalities and 19 fewer serious injuries than 2016, and compares with the five year average (2012-2016) of 33.6 fatalities and 302.4 serious injuries.
The Road Safety community, which includes Tasmania Police, Tasmania Fire Service, the SES and Ambulance Tasmania, and all road managers of our state-wide road network as well as the team of dedicated and caring professionals in the Department, regards every one of these statistics as an absolute tragedy and each of them avoidable.
The Hodgman Liberal Government along with its Road Safety Advisory Council in the Towards Zero Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2017-2026, will continue its implacable focus on a list of road safety strategies to drive this list down to zero – the only appropriate target.
Every road building project now has as its primary focus the aim of zero road deaths.
For example our massive Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan – a $500 million partnership with the Federal Government – has been held up nationally as a road safety standard for road projects.
We are also focusing on motorcycle riders who continue to be over-represented in road crashes, with 11 motorcyclists killed and a further 74 seriously injured in 2017, compared with 10 fatalities and 84 serious injuries in 2016.
In 2017 we have introduced a new training and assessment regime for licensing motorcycle riders, to ensure new riders are better prepared to safely negotiate our roads and other road users, and we have also continued our campaign aimed at visiting motorcyclists to ride to local road conditions.
This was just one of a number of strong marketing campaigns aimed at modification of driver behaviour across the board.
It is important to remember that we all have a role to play in improving road safety – by being safe road users ourselves.