To encourage everyone to use our roads safely, there must be the right balance between education and enforcement. This means supporting people to drive safely, ensuring we all understand the harm that can result from breaking the road rules, and addressing high-risk and illegal behaviour through an effective deterrence regime. While most crashes are the result of a simple mistake, we all can make safer choices to reduce our risk of crashing and injuring or killing innocent road users.
Purchasing the safest vehicle you can afford, driving to the road and weather conditions, obeying the speed limit, only driving while alert, and giving full attention to the road are all effective ways of improving the safety of yourself and those around you on the road. Unfortunately, many serious casualty crashes are due to high risk and illegal behaviours such as speeding, inattention, mobile phone use, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The most effective way of deterring extreme and illegal road use is through high visibility policing and enforcement backed by appropriate sanctions.
No one is a perfect driver. Every one of us will make mistakes on the road. The road network will continue to be improved so that serious injuries and fatalities are reduced. But to achieve a zero-road toll, all road users need to play their part, to follow the rules and consider their own safety and the safety of others.
Inattention and distraction are increasingly the cause of serious casualty crashes. Strategies to address this growing issue, such as technologies that can detect the use of mobile phones by drivers, are being investigated and implemented.
Targeted media campaigns will continue to educate and encourage people to use our roads safely. This includes campaigns like Love 40, which reminds drivers of their responsibility to slow down in school zones and around buses to protect children, the Over is Over campaign, which tackles speeding and the Click.Store.Go campaign which focuses on illegal mobile phone use.
Motorcyclists are significantly over-represented in Tasmania’s road trauma figures. One of the reasons for this is that riders are more likely to be injured in a crash due to a lack of physical protection. Work to reduce the risks to motorcyclists is underway through a range of actions, including supporting the work of MotoCAP to promote the use of protective clothing.
Drink driving is a significant factor in serious casualty crashes on our roads. Supporting measures are being introduced to increase participation in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program. This will mean that more high-level and repeat drink driving offenders will be required to demonstrate that they can separate their drinking from their driving, reducing the chance of alcohol related crashes.
For enforcement activities to improve safety on our roads, they need to be backed up with the right penalties. Tasmania’s road safety focused penalties will be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate and provide a deterrence to those who break the rules.
Tasmania Police will enact new speed enforcement techniques to increase the rate of detection and enforcement and increase the perception that offending drivers and motorcyclists will be caught.
Following a successful and widely supported trial, Tasmania Police will expand its use of unmarked motorcycles to detect and intercept high-risk traffic offences in busy areas across the state. Helmet mounted cameras assist in capturing evidence of illegal mobile phone use, speeding, blocking of intersections, failure to wear seatbelts and failure to comply with red and amber traffic signals. The government will continue to investigate innovative new ways of detecting and enforcing these kinds of high-risk and inattention-type offences.