COTA Victoria and SRV welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s inquiry into the impact of road safety behaviours on vulnerable road users.
We are concerned by the increasing number of people, particularly older people, being killed on the road post-pandemic, and the anecdotal feedback we are hearing from older Victorians of poor driving behaviour in the community. However, we see a lot of these issues as continuing trends that existed prior to the pandemic, such as the inability to reduce pedestrian deaths which predominantly affect older people. These are influenced by long-term factors, such as infrastructure design. However, the increasing number of older drivers aged over 70 dying in 2023, in comparison to 2020-22, suggests that further support is required.
- Increased investment into older driver education programs to support increased availability for older Victorians – to support the return of older drivers to the road.
- An advertising campaign to support greater awareness of pedestrians, particularly older pedestrians, by drivers, and the increased risk of accidents, fatalities and hospitalisations through dangerous driving.
- That the next iteration of Victoria’s Infrastructure Strategy 2021-51 incorporates greater commitment to address population ageing and the needs of older people.
- That a ‘positive ageing’ lens be used to inform road safety design and urban infrastructure in regard to older pedestrians going forward, including greater direct engagement with older Victorians.
- Re-consideration of the recommendations from the Inquiry into the increase in Victoria’s road toll final report by the Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee and how they have been advanced since the report’s publication, in particular Recommendation 25.