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May 11, 2011   |  9:10PM AET

Victoria Unites for Global Decade of Action for Road Safety

Victoria Unites for Global Decade of Action for Road Safety

Melbourne Victory stars, Isaka Cernak, Matthew Kemp and Jean Carlos Solorzano, today helped the TAC as they joined the rest of the world in launching the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’.

Melbourne Victory stars, Isaka Cernak, Matthew Kemp and Jean Carlos Solorzano, today helped the TAC as they joined the rest of the world in launching the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety-.

The United Nations-led campaign aims to reduce road trauma on the world-s roads, particularly trauma suffered by young people in the 18-25 demographic.

One person is killed or seriously injured on the world-s roads every six seconds, and every day about 3,500 people are killed in road crashes. In addition, road trauma remains the number one cause of death for young people across the globe.

Today, Victoria-s key road safety agencies are joining together to support the Decade of Action which aims to “stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world” by 2020.

Melbournians were also invited to show their support today, by signing their name on the Decade of Action wall set up from 11am – 1pm in the Atrium at Federation Square.

Victoria will be part of the rolling 24-hour event across the globe launching the ‘Decade of
Action-. Notable people supporting the campaign include F1 champion Michael Schumacher in Germany, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Bill Clinton in the USA.

Melbourne Victory is supporting the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Victoria Police, VicRoads, RACV, Monash University Accident Research Centre, the SES and the City of Melbourne have committed to not only continue reducing road trauma in Victoria but also contributing to the global initiative by sharing knowledge with developing nations and leading by example.

The TAC-s Head of Community Relations, Phil, Reed, said Victoria has led the world in road
safety for a number of decades through the introduction of a number of life-saving policies.

“From the 1960s when we introduced seatbelt legislation, to the introduction of drink-driving and most recently the mandating of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in all new vehicles, Victoria has been at the forefront of road safety,” Mr Reed said.

“There is no doubt our priority lies with improving road safety here in Victoria, but we are also keen to share our expertise with countries that are in need of extra help.”

Ninety per cent of the world-s road deaths occur in developing countries.

The TAC-s Senior Manager of Road Safety and Marketing, John Thompson, flew to Vietnam
last month to donate time and resources to one of the World Health Organisation-s Decade of Action projects.

About 33 road fatalities are recorded each day in Vietnam, equating to over 12,000 each year.

James Holgate, Director of Road User Safety at VicRoads said providing assistance to
developing nations is critical to reducing the global road toll.

“In Vietnam, VicRoads is designing, developing and supporting the implementation of a
computerised national road traffic accident system. The system will provide the tools and
information necessary to make data-led decisions to reduce the impact of road trauma in
Vietnam,” Mr Holgate said.

“VicRoads, with the assistance of Victoria Police, is also working with Vietnam-s National
Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) in implementing road safety awareness campaigns in
conjunction with Traffic Police enforcement,” he said.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner for Road Policing, Kieran Walshe, said police
enforcement would continue to develop and become more targeted over the next decade to
help drive down the state-s road trauma.

“I-m signing today on behalf of all members of Victoria Police who are whole-heartedly
committed to doing all that we can to get dangerous drivers off the roads to make them safer for our community,” Mr Walshe said.

VicRoads has also recently been engaged to contribute to the long-term development of
Indonesia, where it is developing a training program in Road Safety Audits and Crash Reduction to strengthen the capability and systems of the Road Safety Engineering Unit (RSEU) in the Directorate General of Highways.

“The projects Victoria-s road safety partners undertake internationally are designed to transfer the knowledge and expertise we have in Victoria to developing nations to give them the skills and training needed to manage road safety initiatives in the long term,” said Mr Holgate.

The TAC-s road safety public education campaigns continue to attract global attention, with
Ireland last year purchasing a drug-driving campaign made in Victoria.

In addition, the TAC-s You Tube channel has attracted more than 15 million views world-wide, with specific interest coming from South American countries.

“These education campaigns have helped us halve Victoria-s road toll in the past 20 years,. It-s encouraging that while we have made a difference locally that we are also having an impact on road safety nationally and internationally.”

Locally, Mr Reed said one key aim for Victoria over the next decade is to change the
community-s attitude towards speeding.

“We believe that if speeding becomes socially unacceptable we will be able to substantially
reduce road deaths and injuries,” he said.

“Our research shows that drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt is widely regarded as socially unacceptable, but we have got some work to do when it comes to speeding.

“The sooner Victorian motorists wake-up and realise that speeding severely increases your
chances of dying or being seriously injured in a crash, the sooner our road toll will decline by up to 100 deaths.”

“We will continue to educate the community on the dangers of speeding through social and
mainstream media messaging, public education campaigns, school activities and community
partnerships.”

“But it comes back to the community and individuals taking ownership of the problem.”

“We want every Victorian to commit to supporting the Decade of Action for Road Safety so that together we can seriously reduce the needless pain and suffering caused by road trauma here and across the world.”

The Decade of Action for Road Safety runs until 2020. More information about the initiative can be found here: