Our Plan for

Keeping Australians Safe on our Roads

Key Points

The Liberal and Nationals Government has a plan to help make Australians safer on our roads. Our plan to deliver a strong economy is ensuring we can guarantee the essential services Australians rely on with increased funding for schools, hospitals, medicines and roads.

Our record $100 billion investment in transport infrastructure will reduce congestion, keep our roads safe, connect people to jobs and get our produce to market. As part of our commitment to road safety, the Morrison Government is making record investments in Australia’s road network, including:

  • $4 billion from 2019-20 under the Urban Congestion Fund to improve traffic safety and flow and increase network efficiency for commuter and freight movements in major urban areas
  • $4.5 billion under the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative to support the upgrade of key regional road corridors
  • Improving local roads, including:
    • an additional $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program
    • an additional $550 million for the Black Spot Program
    • an additional $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and
    • an additional $275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program.

The quality of our roads has a big impact on safety. So too do risky driving behaviours such as speeding, driving under the influence, driver fatigue and, increasingly, driver distraction such as mobile phone use.

To help with safer driving options and to combat driver fatigue, a re-elected Morrison Government will:

  • Work with state and territory governments, local councils, industry and other road safety stakeholders to develop a nationally consistent approach to new and improved pullover bays with a focus on single lane highways, popular tourist routes and off-network roads.
  • Invest an additional $8 million in capped grants to help upgrade the 175 existing Driver Reviver locations nation-wide to improve amenity and to support the establishment of new sites.
  • Invest $4 million in a Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund. Initial priorities will include:
    • $1.2 million over four years to support the Driver Reviver program to improve awareness of sites and for engagement of volunteers.
    • $1 million over four years to partner with industry to develop and promote programs to better educate caravan, campervan and motorhome drivers on safety awareness.
  • Invest $16 million to extend the Keys2drive program for a further two years to 2022-23, an initiative that provides a free theory and practical lesson to learner drivers and their supervisors.
  • Invest up to $1.8 million to support a one-year pilot of the Australian Safety Foundation’s Digital Road Safety Passport for Schools for Year 9 students. The pilot will cover the foundations of road safety – including getting to and from school safely.

Our Plan

The Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering national leadership on road safety through major road investments, improvements to policy collaboration across all governments and road safety stakeholders, and taking practical steps to reduce driving risks.

Better and safer roads

The Morrison Government is making record investments in Australia’s road network through our $100 billion infrastructure investment plan over the next 10 years.

We have committed to more than 770 major projects and more than 24,000 local projects across the nation since coming to government.

We established the $4 billion Urban Congestion Fund to bust congestion, improve traffic safety and flow, and increase network efficiency for commuter and freight movements in major urban areas.

We have also established the $4.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative to support the upgrade of key regional road corridors which connect agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs. Across the nation, ROSI will deliver sealing, flood immunity, strengthening and widening, and pavement rehabilitation works, as well as bridge and culvert upgrades, and road realignments.

As part of the 2019-20 Budget we are improving local roads, committing an extra $2.2 billion for key road initiatives, including:

$1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program

The Howard Government established the Roads to Recovery Program in March 2001 and on returning to government in 2013 the Coalition committed to expanding it once the Budget returned to surplus. We have also made Roads to Recovery an ongoing initiative rather than a terminating program. This brings total Roads to Recovery funding for local councils to $5 billion over the next ten years. This funding will help local governments respond to local priorities, providing for thousands of new projects.

$550 million for the Black Spot Program

The Black Spot Program specifically targets road locations where serious crashes have occurred to reduce the risk of further accidents. The program funds safety measures such as traffic signals, roundabouts, turning lanes, safety barriers and lighting at locations where there is a history of at least three casualty crashes in five years and at other emerging high risk locations.

Over 2,100 projects have been approved since 2013. These projects are estimated to save around 250 lives and prevent more than 12,500 injury crashes over 10 years.

$275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program

The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program will receive an extra $25 million a year from 2019–20 to deliver safer roads for trucks and more opportunities for drivers to rest. This program provides funding for rest-stops, parking/decoupling bays, technology trials and other road safety enhancements.

$275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program

The Bridges Renewal Program funds the replacement of bridges to enhance access for local communities and make roads safer. In the 2019–20 Budget, we committed an extra $25 million a year. This will build on a recent round of the program which upgraded and replaced 126 ageing bridges in rural and regional Australia.

Safer drivers

Governments have an important role in helping motorists make better decisions about the safety of their vehicle and their driving. With human error contributing to more than 90 per cent of road accidents, we have a massive opportunity to save lives and prevent injuries by ensuring we drive smarter and safer.

Building on our investments in long-running, respected road safety programs, a re-elected Morrison Government will go further by providing $8 million in capped grants to help upgrade the 175 existing Driver Reviver locations nation-wide to improve amenity and provide for new equipment, as well as to support the establishment of new sites. Grants could be made for a range of purposes, including the maintenance and extension of seating and refreshment facilities.

We will also provide $1.2 million over four years to support delivery of the Driver Reviver program as an initial priority under the $4 million Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund established in the 2019-20 Budget. This will improve awareness of Driver Reviver sites for commuters and support greater participation of volunteers. Priority activities will include improving community engagement and supporting volunteer training and co-ordination.

In addition to new support for Driver Reviver, the Fund will also provide:

  • $1 million over four years to partner with industry to develop and promote programs to better educate caravan, campervan and motorhome drivers on safety awareness;
  • $400,000 of seed funding over two years for the Australian College of Road Safety to establish a self-sustaining International Outreach Chapter;
  • $200,000 over four years for sponsorship of Fatality Free Friday;
  • $200,000 over four years, with matching funding from state and territory governments, for a Road Worker Safety Campaign;
  • $200,000 over four years for the annual Australasian Road Safety Conference; and
  • $25,000 a year to co-sponsor (on rotation with each state and territory) Australia’s launch event of the annual National Road Safety Week.
Supporting young drivers

The Morrison Government is committed to the safety of young drivers.

We have locked in funding of $16 million for Keys2Drive to guarantee delivery of the program over the next four years. Keys2Drive provides a free theory and practical lesson to learner drivers and their supervisors, and an educational website with supportive resources and information.The Morrison Government is focused on increasing uptake in regional areas where young drivers in particular are overrepresented in crashes.

As a precursor to Keys2Drive, the Morrison Government will provide up to $1.8 million in additional funding to support a one-year pilot of the Australian Safety Foundation’s Digital Road Safety Passport for Schools for Year 9 students.

Tragically, children continue to die and be seriously injured not just in cars but as pedestrians. It’s important that they understand the road rules when they are walking home from school, a passenger in a car, and ultimately as a learner driver.

The pilot will trial targeted road safety material in classrooms and online, with a view to rolling out the initiative to all 11-15 year-old students in partnership with the states and territories.

National Leadership

The Morrison Government is taking national leadership on road safety to ensure all governments continue to invest in safe road transport.

We will make road safety a standing item at all meetings of the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council meetings and improve linkages with other COAG Councils with an interest such as health, education and policing. Our plan is to:

  • Develop the next National Road Safety Strategy, with ambitious and measurable KPIs and strategies focused on reducing road trauma.
  • Finalise the governance arrangements across the road safety system and agree a comprehensive implementation plan for the recommendations of the 2018 Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.

The the Morrison Government is making additional road safety investments including:

  • $12 million for a Road Safety Innovation Fund;
  • $6 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative;
  • $6.6 million for the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP);
  • $5.9 million for a new Federal Office of Road Safety to drive reforms, improve coordination and performance reporting, and promote road safety in partnership with the states, territories , local governments and stakeholders; and
  • $2.6 million for the Australian Road Research Board to assist local governments to assess road asset management and maintenance.

The Liberal and Nationals Government’s plan to keep Australians safe on our roads builds on our record of improving road safety, including:

  • Under our $10 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program there has been a 31 per cent reduction in crashes and a 32 per cent reduction in fatalities since 2013
  • Investments in the Pacific Highway are delivering a safer road for the thousands of motorists who use it every day. Fatalities have more than halved, down from more than 40 per year prior to the commencement of the upgrade in 1996 to less than 20 in recent years.
  • Infrastructure to improve heavy vehicle operations across Australia, including to help heavy and passenger vehicles share our road network via the $508 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

The Choice

The Morrison Government has a comprehensive plan to improve safety on our roads. Our plan includes:

  • upgrading major highways and local roads;
  • ensuring better vehicles with the latest safety technology are on the road;
  • providing a suite of driver education initiatives; and
  • improving and increasing the number of rest areas across the nation to help keep Australian drivers and their families safe.

We have committed record funding of $100 billion for infrastructure across the country to make sure hardworking Australians can spend more time at home with their families.

Importantly, our plan for better infrastructure will be achieved without adding $387 billion of new taxes over the decade.

Because Bill Shorten and Labor can’t manage money, it can’t run strong budgets that result in investment for local roads let alone our major highways.

When last in power, Labor neglected regional road funding with flow-on consequences for road safety.

Instead of working to improve road safety and implement practical measures, Labor plans to reinstate its union-dictated Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), which would once again discriminate against family-owned businesses and bring the trucking industry to its knees.

Our Government will stand up for small business. We know that joining a union doesn’t make a truck safer, but it does put up costs and threaten jobs – especially in the regions.

After abolishing the RSRT, the Liberal National Government redirected $15.6 million over four years to the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives program – providing grants for projects that actually improve heavy vehicle safety. We have increased funding for this program by $6 million in the 2019-20 Budget. Labor would dismantle this program to fund the re-establishment of the RSRT.

Cost

The Morrison Government is investing an additional $9.8 million in road safety to ensure Australians get home safe.