A safer transport system in Victoria

Every journey should be a safe one. Whether it’s quick visit to the shops, a school drop off or a road trip with mates, we all want to feel protected. While we know that no form of travel goes without risk, it’s a shared vision that those risks are kept as low as possible. From the insights you – our valued Members – share with us, we work to highlight and advocate for change on the important issues we believe will ensure safer travel for all. This includes:

  • Education on risky behaviour, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and mobile phone use.
  • Advocating for a transport system that caters for the needs of all road users and protects the vulnerable, including pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Acknowledging that education, enforcement and the engineering of our roads and vehicles all have a role to play in reducing road trauma.

Lives lost on Victorian roads

In 1970, 1,061 people lost their lives on Victorian roads in a single year. We've come a long way since then – the number of people and vehicles on our roads has increased, but changes to roads, laws and vehicle design has seen deaths dramatically reduced. This shows it’s possible to reduce the road toll in the face of rising population and number of vehicles on our roads.

We commonly measure the road toll by lives lost, which currently stands at around 260 people per year in Victoria. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true impact and cost of road accidents. For every person killed on our roads, another 30 are hospitalised, and some suffer long-term, life-changing injuries.

To improve road safety in Victoria and save lives, it’s critical that we look at all aspects of the system. We support this “safe system” approach to road safety.

Safer road users: Behaviour and attitudes

We all have a role to play in staying safe on our roads whether we’re walking, cycling, driving or riding a motorbike. It’s our responsibility to not only follow the road rules, but to always be alert and conscious of each other’s safety when we’re travelling. Find out more on safe driving practices by:

  • Reading about our campaigns on a range of issues including child safety, learner driver safety and fatigue.
  • Booking a road safety education program for your school or business.
  • Learning about motorcycle rider safety, bicycle safety, licensing and assessing fitness to drive.

Safer speeds: Speed limits in Victoria and advocating change

Managing speed is an important component of a safe and efficient road system. Speed limits should take into account the road standard, roadside conditions, abutting land use, traffic volumes and the mix of traffic types. Considering all of these factors and our market research, we believe that:

  • In order for speed limits to be effective, they must be clearly signed, consistent and appropriate for their environment.
  • Safer roads with high speed limits are critical on important routes, however in areas with sub-standard roads, low traffic volumes or where there are lots of pedestrians, we need to consider whether the speed limits are correct.

We support enforcement of speed limits, better signage at roadworks, and are active in campaigning for the Government to reduce 60km/h school speed zones to 40km/h to protect children.

Safer roads: Reducing risk through infrastructure and design

Safer roads minimise the chance of crashes occurring and the severity of crashes if they do occur. It has been estimated that nearly half of current road deaths could be prevented through safer roads. This means reporting problems when we see them and designing roads that have a built-in tolerance to account for errors.

We advocate for safer roads for everyone, no matter where they are in Victoria or how they choose to travel. We also assess and rate the safety of country highways through the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) to guide our advocacy efforts and protect Victorians. Find out more via the links below.

Safer vehicles: Maintenance, technology and assessments

Research shows that if every motorist bought a vehicle with the 'best in class' safety features, the rate of serious injury could be reduced by 40 per cent. In-vehicle safety technologies can help drivers avoid crashes, protect them in the event of a crash and also signal emergency services to ensure treatment is received as quickly as possible in the event of an injury.

We encourage the adoption of safety technologies in vehicles and advise Victorians about the safety benefits and role of autonomous vehicles in improving safety.