A new Victorian Government Ministerial Road Safety Council will spearhead a targeted 10-year strategy to reduce trauma on Victorian roads and improve the safety of the state's road network.
Premier Ted Baillieu announced the appointment of the council during a visit to the Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority (ESTA) in Ballarat today.
The council will be chaired by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, Attorney-General Robert Clark, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder and Assistant Treasurer and Minister Responsible for TAC Gordon Rich-Phillips.
"The council has been tasked with developing the government's 10-year strategy to ensure Victoria remains at the forefront of road safety," Mr Baillieu said.
"The council will build on the work we've already undertaken as part of the Talk the Toll Down campaign which has engaged regional newspapers to encourage more Victorians to think about road safety.
"In addition to improving the planning and co-ordination of road safety activities to keep driving the road toll down, the council will seek the input of Victorians into the new road safety strategy," Mr Baillieu said.
Mr Ryan said obtaining the views of the Victorian community was an essential step in the development of the strategy and vital to maintaining and improving Victoria's world-leading road safety record.
"Today we have launched the Road Safety Survey and a directions paper called Victoria's Road Safety Strategy: Have Your Say and we invite all Victorians to contribute to the development of the government's new 10-year road safety strategy," Mr Ryan said.
"By responding to the survey or the directions paper, anyone interested in the future of road safety can make a valuable contribution by providing views on driver behaviour and feedback as road users – drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists."
Mr Mulder said the Ministerial Council would improve the planning and co-ordination of road safety activities to keep driving the road toll down and ensure Victoria remained at the forefront of road safety improvements.
"The Ministerial Council will co-ordinate the road safety partners' efforts to drive down the road toll, and weigh up the best use of new research, technology and countermeasures to address road safety," Mr Mulder said.
"Road safety partners VicRoads, the Department of Justice, Victoria Police and the TAC have already delivered key initiatives to drive down the road toll, and this new approach will help guide future road safety initiatives in Victoria.
"This directions paper identifies some of Victoria's important current road safety issues. Some are well known, like speeding and drink driving, while others, like texting and driving, are relatively new and need new approaches.
"This approach aims to get us all thinking about how we can reduce the senseless loss of life and serious injuries on our roads.
"Everyone has a role to play in improving road safety, and by considering your views, we can ensure that community attitudes to road safety are at the heart of our strategy and action plans," Mr Mulder said.
Mr Rich-Phillips said Victoria had a proud history of road safety innovation, but one death on the road was one too many.
"Road safety affects us all, and whether it's taking the kids to school, heading away on holidays or driving to work, a safe road network is vital to all Victorians," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"This important strategy is not just about reducing the number of deaths on our roads, it is also about addressing the incidence of serious injury and trauma that is the hidden road toll.
"Reducing road trauma relies on the continual generation of new ideas and the introduction of new safety measures, and I urge all Victorians to participate in the development of the government's new road safety strategy and help drive down the road toll," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The 10-year Road Safety Strategy will be released in early 2013.
The Road Safety Survey and the directions paper are available online at www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au
The survey has been published in today's Herald Sun, and will feature in a number of suburban and regional newspapers this week.
To order a hard copy of the directions paper call VicRoads on 03 9854 2680.