The strategy embraces the Safe System approach to road safety improvement. It is guided by an ambitious vision for Australian road safety, backed by challenging but realistic 10-year targets and performance indicators. Achieving the targets will require a range of strategic interventions and commitment to a road safety management system that will build towards the realisation of this vision.

No person should be killed or seriously injured on Australia's roads

Australians should not regard death and serious injury as an inevitable cost of road travel. Crashes will continue to occur on our roads because humans will always make mistakes no matter how informed and compliant they are. But we do not have to accept a transport system that allows people to be killed or severely injured as a consequence.

While we will continue to educate road users and enforce the road rules to encourage safe behaviours, Safe System principles demand a holistic approach to the safety of our road system. This means we must manage the combined effects of the speeds at which we travel, the safety of the vehicles we use, and the level of protection provided by our roads—not only to minimise the number of crashes, but to ensure that when crashes do occur they do not result in death or serious injury.

This National Road Safety Strategy marks the start of a journey to build an inherently safe road transport system. It reflects a high level of intolerance to road trauma, a focus on the overall safety performance of our road transport system and attention to each of the elements that make up the system.

We are not likely to see the elimination of death and serious injury on Australia's roads by the year 2020. However, the implementation of actions in this strategy will lay the foundations for a genuinely safe system of road travel—a legacy that will benefit future generations.

The journey towards our vision will require significant effort to enhance the quality of our roads, to strengthen regulation and demand for safer vehicles, to improve road user compliance with traffic laws and to create a safety culture through all levels of our society. We will need to move beyond current standards and practice, to innovate and find solutions that build a safe road transport system.

This strategy describes the steps needed now, and in years to come, to put safety at the heart of our road transport system.