This long weekend, Canberra looks to Vision Zero

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

With three lives already lost on ACT roads this year, the ACT Government is again calling on Canberrans to drive safety and achieve ‘Vision Zero’—where no death on our roads is deemed acceptable, Minister Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said today.

“We as a community should not have to endure the heartbreak associated with road trauma. The government is committed to ensuring the ACT has the safest possible environment for all road users—but we need your help to make Vision Zero a reality,” Minister Rattenbury said.

Mr Rattenbury said with increased traffic on our roads this coming long weekend, motorists need to be mindful that road safety is everyone’s responsibility—particularly for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.

ACT Police Officer in Charge Traffic Operations, Acting Superintendent Marcus Boorman said the road rules and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of all road users.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility - slow down, be alert of your surroundings and be vigilant and aware of vulnerable road users,” said Acting Superintendent Boorman. “A minor accident between a car and vulnerable road users can have significant consequences of serious injury or even death.”

“Vulnerable road users, such as children, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists, don’t have the same protection as a car during a collision,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“If a person drives in a manner that puts at risk the safety of a vulnerable road user, they can be charged with the aggravated offence which comes with higher maximum penalties.

The Government has introduced a number of recent reforms to protect vulnerable road users, including:

  • Introducing of 40km/h speed zones in group and town centres;
  • Introducing new offences for endangering vulnerable road users
  • Introducing minimum distance passing laws
  • Requiring learner drivers to pass a specific competency relating to vulnerable road users—an Australian first;
  • Providing $50,000 funding for the motorcycle ‘Stay Upright’ campaign, an upskilling program for learner motorcycle riders.

 Speed management, vulnerable road users, impaired and dangerous driving, young and novice drivers and driver distraction are key areas of focus for the Government in saving lives and reducing road injuries.

This month, a joint road safety campaign between ACT Policing and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate will focus on awareness of vulnerable road users.