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The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is encouraging voters to review their local MP’s view on road safety and data transparency via the website.

Australia’s road toll is rising strongly (7.5% per annum), with pedestrian and cycling deaths up 25% and 37% respectively in the past 12 months, and AAA polling showing two-thirds of Australians rank ‘safety’ as their top transport priority.

Data needed to understand such numbers is collected by state governments, but not published.

A new 5-year National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects is being negotiated by the Commonwealth and the states, and the AAA is calling for the Australian Government to use its $10 billion annual road funding budget to leverage the timely reporting of data on road quality, crash causation, and law enforcement.

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “The new National Partnership Agreement presents a real opportunity for the Commonwealth to lead Australia’s transition to data-driven safety policy.

“By making federal road funding contingent upon state provision of safety-related data, the Commonwealth can deliver what would be Australia’s most meaningful safety-related reform in decades.

“Data transparency will save lives, curb billions of dollars in wasted expenditure, and deliver the funding integrity voters want and expect.”

The Data Saves Lives website outlines Australia’s road safety challenges and lists every federal MP and whether they support linking federal road funding with data transparency and evidence-based policy.

The website notes that the Australian Government knows that data can save lives, and that before the last election the then-Shadow Minister and Shadow Assistant Minister said:

The AAA encourages the Government to act quickly on this commitment and to use the new 5- year National Partnership Agreement as the vehicle that will compel the reporting of data needed to save Australian lives.

Mr Bradley said: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and when it comes to road trauma, the Australian Government measures very little.

“Australian motorists want to be assured this problem is being taken seriously, and Australian taxpayers deserve to know that their taxes are being spent where they’re most needed.”

The AAA’s Data Saves Lives website is supported by Australia’s state and territory motoring clubs, and 16 entities focused upon saving lives and preventing injury on Australian roads.

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