The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has backed calls by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) for a new federal approach to road safety.

The AAA today released its report ‘Reviving Road Safety: Federal Priorities to Reduce Crashes and Save Lives’ which shines a spotlight on the current fragmented approach to dealing with road safety across Australia, and outlines a series of priorities and practical measures for governments to focus on over the next two years.

Prior to the release of the report the AAA consulted a number of stakeholders, including Dr John Crozier, Chair of the RACS Trauma Committee, and also one of the Co-Chairs of last year’s Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.

Dr Crozier provided a written endorsement for the report, and said that the number of Australians killed or injured in road accidents was a ‘silent epidemic’ that required a proportionate response.

“As surgeons we see the carnage from road crashes daily. Each year across Australia more than 1,200 people are killed and 44,000 are hospitalised. That is the equivalent of the population of a medium-sized country town, seriously injured every year,” Dr Crozier said.

“The annual trend in these numbers is upward. The appropriate response to this road trauma epidemic should match the scale, urgency and coordination with which AIDS and SARS epidemics were countered.

“Road trauma crisis demands real leadership, close collaboration and smarter data. RACS support the proposals in this Australian Automobile Association document which address the scale, stimulus and tempo of response required to halt the silent annual epidemic of road crash deaths and serious injuries.”