The Queensland Government will share data on car crashes, traffic policing and road conditions with the Federal Government, as the nation’s peak body for motoring groups has continued its calls for greater transparency.

    “I’m really keen to get as much of that information out there as we can; really keen to provide whatever we’ve got on our books from Department of Transport and Main Roads to the Federal Government and to anyone who it helps,” Queensland Transport Minister Bart Mellish said on ABC radio.

    The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the peak body for Australia’s motoring groups, has been calling on the Australian Government to compel states to share this information by making the $10 billion it gives them in road grants each year contingent on the supply of this data.

    The next National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects is currently under negotiation and due to take effect on July 1.

    “The road toll is rising by as much as 25 per cent a year in some states, and road safety data – particularly data telling us the actual causes of crashes – should be public so it can be used to create more effective road safety policies,” said AAA managing director Michael Bradley.

    “I congratulate the Queensland Government for its commonsense approach. If other states take the same position, this will be Australia’s most important safety reform for decades.”

    The AAA noted The Courier-Mail’s recent report on the Bruce Highway – which cited Queensland Government data obtained by the Federal Opposition using Freedom of Information legislation – appeared to be a motivating factor in the state government’s decision.

    The data showed about 45 per cent of Queensland’s main highway is rated at two stars or less out of five in terms of safety.

    His organisation’s call for this data from states – part of a campaign called Data Saves Lives – has the support of not only all of the nation’s motoring clubs, but also all Liberal, National, Green and Teal federal MPs plus independent MPs like Bob Katter.

    Only one federal Labor MP, Mike Freelander, has supported the AAA’s call for greater road safety data transparency.

    Prior to the last federal election, shadow transport minister Catherine King – now the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government – pledged to “improve the timeliness and quality of road safety data”.

    She also said a Labor Government would “look for opportunities to ensure we can extract better-quality road safety data from states and territories in return for funding of road projects”.

    Last year, the national road death toll increased by 7.3 per cent to 1266.

    New South Wales’ toll was up 24. per cent, Victoria’s by 22.5 per cent, and South Australia’s by a significant 64.8 per cent

    Queensland’s, in contrast, declined 6.7 per cent to 277 road deaths.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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