Walking and cycling aren’t dangerous
…cycling itself isn’t an inherently dangerous activity; it’s the car-first street design that makes it so.Chris Bruntlett via LinkedIn
No person should be killed or seriously injured
The National Road Safety Strategy has adopted Vision Zero – where no loss of life or serious injury is considered acceptable. This methodology accepts that people can make mistakes – and therefore our streets should be designed so that small mistakes (e.g. by people driving) do not lead to the death or serious injury of other road users (e.g. people walking or cycling).
Victoria has adopted Towards Zero, a similar vision for a future free of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Yarra has also adopted Towards Zero:
The core of Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 and Victoria’s 2013-2022 Victorian Road Safety Strategy is Safe System.
Safe System in Europe
In the Netherlands Safe System is known as Sustainable Safety:
- Netherlands Sustainable Safety 3rd Edition 2018-2030
- Netherlands Road Safety Strategic Plan 2030
Safe System in Yarra
Council does conduct Safe System audits for major projects, such as the protected bicycle lanes in Elizabeth Street.
Road Safety Star Ratings
Star ratings provide an easy way for people to understand how safe their local street is. In Australia the system is known as AusRAP, the Australian Road Assessment Program. Star ratings can be used to guide priorities for investment.
Star rating in Yarra
Yarra’s Safe Travel Strategy 2016-2026 includes an action to use AusRAP to assess the safety of all roads in Yarra.
The Safe Travel Strategy 2019 Progress Report (presented to Council on 3rd December 2019) shows that internal consultation is scheduled to begin in 2021 with the action to be completed by 2023. This will be a valuable report, helping ratepayers to understand why improvements are required and helping Council to prioritise investment.
Safety is important, both from an ethical perspective, to mitigate the negative consequences of road trauma, and from a functional perspective, to enable and encourage people to walk and cycle in an effort to mitigate the negative consequences of traffic congestion, air pollution and climate change.