The federal government has committed $33 billion over the next four years to improve road safety ahead of the election.
The $33 billion in funding is part of the federal government’s record-breaking 10-year, $120 billion infrastructure investment program, which is delivering new and existing infrastructure projects across the country and helping to improve outcomes when it comes to security, especially in regional Australia.
In regional areas, the road fatality rate is disproportionate at ten deaths per 100,000 people compared to two deaths per 100,000 people in metropolitan areas.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the federal government was placing more emphasis on making Australia’s roads safer.
“We must do everything we can to reduce the number of deaths on our roads and spare families the immeasurable impact of these tragedies,” Mr Joyce said.
“Improving road safety is one of our top priorities. Better roads keep cars and trucks safe, getting commuters to their destinations, and products and goods to supermarkets and ports.
“Roads are the essential arteries of our nation, not only supporting the movement of people, but facilitating the movement of goods and products from regional businesses to supermarkets and ports.
“We not only need to make the roads safer, but also more efficient. More reliable roads and freight routes will spur the growth of regional industries and ensure that our valuable commodities can be sold around the world. »
Funding also includes $65.3 million for a new heavy vehicle rest area program to provide more vehicle rest areas on regional and rural roads and improve heavy vehicle rest areas that already exist.
Deputy Federal Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transportation Scott Buchholz said the program will benefit heavy-duty drivers and the wider community by helping to combat fatigue and reduce the risk of crashes. accidents and high-risk behavior.
“The new heavy vehicle rest area program builds on existing investment programs to ensure the viability, safety, sustainability and efficiency of Australia’s road transport sector,” Mr Buchholz said.
“This new injection of funding will help state, territory and local governments as well as industry increase their focus on heavy-duty vehicle safety and fatigue management for heavy-duty drivers through investments in heavy vehicle rest areas.
The 2022-23 budget also established a new $180.1 million Australian Regional Level Crossing Safety Program to improve safety at level crossings across Australia.
The federal government has also committed to extending funding for three important road safety programs, including $12 million for the Road Safety Innovation Fund, $10 million for Driver Reviver site upgrades and $4 million for the Road Safety Awareness and Enabling Fund.
The federal government aims to provide national leadership on road safety and to continue to implement vital road safety initiatives, including the $3 billion road safety program, the Strategic Roads initiative of $5.8 billion, the Roads to Recovery program of $7.2 billion and the Black Spots program of $1.3 billion. .