Road safety in Australia

All levels of government in Australia have responsibilities for road safety, both within the transport sector and in other sectors that influence safety outcomes.

National oversight towards achievement of Australia’s road safety targets is provided through the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ITMM), with additional inquiry by the Australian Parliament through the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety.

Australia’s road safety governance arrangements were strengthened following the 2018 Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-20.

The Australian Government

The Australian Government regulates safety standards for new vehicles, and allocates infrastructure resources across the national highway and local road networks.

The Office of Road Safety provides national coordination and leadership across all levels of government to improve road safety outcomes. The Office implements and manages a range of road safety programs and projects to address the road safety priorities identified in the National Road Safety Strategy, working closely with all levels of government and industry.

State and territory governments

State and territory governments fund, plan, design and operate the road network in their jurisdiction. They also:

  • manage vehicle registration and driver licensing
  • regulate and enforce road user behaviour
  • provide post-crash care through their healthcare networks
  • support programs and research to address road safety issues.

State and territory governments share responsibility with the Commonwealth for implementing and facilitating the work towards the road safety targets set out in the National Road Safety Strategy and its action plans, maintaining their own complimentary road safety strategies and plans.

Local governments

Local governments are responsible for funding, planning, designing and operating the road networks and footpaths in their local areas. This includes engaging with their communities on the safe use of roads and other public spaces, planning for local communities and implementing community health and safety initiatives to improve road safety.