Towards Zero Strategy

What is Towards Zero?

Towards Zero is the State Government’s road safety strategy for 2008-2020. 

Incorporating the Safe System approach, Towards Zero aims to improve road safety through four cornerstones: Safe Road Use; Safe Roads and Roadsides; Safe Speeds; and Safe Vehicles. Our target, by 2020, is 11,000 fewer people killed or seriously injured on our roads – a reduction of approximately 40% on 2005-2007. 

We recognise that it is probably not possible to avoid all crashes. However, by taking a total view of the combined factors involved in road safety, Towards Zero aims to build a transport system that, in the longer-term, will protect road users and prevent crashes that result in death and serious injury. Towards Zero means we do not accept that any human being should die or be seriously injured on our roads and that we do not accept any death or serious injury as inevitable. 

Over the past three decades, we have halved the number of road crash fatalities in Western Australia while our population has nearly doubled. As a community we need to change the way we think about road safety to further reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Together we have the power to make a real difference. To make our roads a safer place. To save our mums and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and loved ones.

Safe Road Use

We accept that people make mistakes and that some crashes will always occur – but this doesn’t mean we have to accept death or serious injury on our roads as inevitable. While a Safe System builds an injury-tolerant road transport system, we must all use it responsibly. By making safe choices we can save lives on our roads.

Through education, enforcement and promoting the Safe System, Towards Zero focusses on influencing and improving road user behaviour. 

Safe Roads and Roadsides

Safer roads and roadsides are more forgiving to human error, meaning that crashes are less likely to happen and, if they do occur, will have a less severe outcome. 

Towards Zero will focus on: improving safety at intersections; reducing the risk of run-off road crashes through sealing shoulders, installing audible edge lines, removing roadside hazards and installing safety barriers; and expanding the Black Spot and Safer Roads Programs. 
 

Safe Speeds

Speed is at the core of the road safety problem. It affects both the risk of being involved in a crash and, more importantly, the subsequent outcomes should a crash occur. 

There is clear evidence that lower speeds would mean fewer crashes, fewer deaths and fewer serious injuries in WA. Research shows speed reduction would be the most successful of all possible initiatives to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads. 

Safe Vehicles

Safer vehicles play an important role in reducing the likelihood of crash occurring and the severity of crash outcomes. Australian research indicates that if each motorist upgraded their vehicle to the safest in its class, road trauma would immediately drop by between 26 and 40 per cent (Newstead, 2004).