National Road Safety Strategy: what's in it for bikes?

The Office of Road Safety (ORS) have finally released the National Road Safety Strategy, which sets out the key actions for making safer roads.

Amongst the key actions outlined are the commitments to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent, and serious injuries by 30 per cent, by the year 2030.

The release follows a lengthy consultation process with stakeholders and the general public. Bicycle Network prepared a submission and was a co-signatory on a joint submission that included other Australian bike organisations.

Many groups, including Bicycle Network, raised concerns regarding the lack of priority for protecting vulnerable road users, in particular people riding bikes.

Thankfully, a good chunk of our feedback was taken on board (below). The vulnerable road users has been considerably expanded, placing necessary emphasis on the need for appropriate infrastructure and safer speed limits.

Significant changes were made to the final version of the National Road Safety Strategy (right, highlighted), following concerns from bike advocacy groups.

Unfortunately, not all our preferences made the final version. Bicycle Network recommended separate per capita targets for vulnerable road users, noting that this cohort is disproportionately at risk when they use roads. However, this was not accommodated in the Strategy.

In any case, the Strategy has been considerably improved from the drafts prepared prior to consultation.

This highlights the importance of engaging in consultations and raising concerns, as well as the pivotal role advocacy groups have in steering better policy decisions.

We will be patiently waiting the release of the National Road Safety Action Plan, which will set out the key actions informed by the Strategy.

You can read the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 here.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.