Road Safety Review
As part of the 2013 State Election, a commitment was made to review both Western Australia’s road safety governance framework.
This commitment recognised that WA’s road safety governance structure was nearly two decades old and had not evolved to take into account the significant increase in funding provided by the Liberal National Government’s decision to transfer 100 per cent of speed and red light camera infringement revenue to the Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA).
The commitment also recognised that despite significant reductions in the number of road deaths since 2008, WA still lags behind the rest of mainland Australian States in our crash fatality rates.
In June 2013, Mr Peter Browne was appointed to undertake a review of road safety Governance. Part of this focus was on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Office of Road Safety (ORS) to promote and coordinate road safety strategies in WA, and examining the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Road Safety Council (RSC) with a view to identify any alternative and improved forms of delivery of the functions of either or both the RSC and the ORS.
The ORS and the RSC have been in place since 1996, the result of the implementation of recommendations from the 1995 fifth report of the Select Committee on Road Safety. Since then, other than changes to legislation to facilitate the transfer of the portfolio from the Minister for Transport (Planning and Infrastructure at the time), to the Minister for Road Safety, there has been no substantive change to the ORS or the RSC, or the governance processes in place.
As a result of the concerns and issues arising out of the current arrangements and processes, the review made 56 recommendations for an alternative model to improve the governance arrangements for road safety in our State.
Public comment was welcomed when the report was released last year and in March this year, it was announced that the Government would broadly accept all 56 recommendations outlined in the review.
Part of these recommendations was to appoint a new Commissioner of Road Safety to oversee the Road Safety Commission, launched on the 1st of July 2015. In addition, the RSC will be replaced with the Road Safety Advisory Council, and a Road Safety Experts Panel which will provide guidance on RTTA submissions, policy advice to the Commissioner and serve on the new Road Safety Advisory Council.