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Opportunities for Enhancing the Australian National Road Safety Strategy.

Watson, B, King, M

General

2009

With the current National Road Safety Strategy [1] coming to the end of its term, it is timely to consider ways in which the next iteration of this strategy can be enhanced. Strategic planning should be a cyclic process in which learning and adaptation are just as important as planning and implementation. It will always be the case that some actions are not as effective as expected, or that barriers to effective implementation will emerge. Rather than being setbacks, these are opportunities for learning about the validity of our assumptions. They are also opportunities for us to adapt to meet unanticipated or emerging challenges. One of the positive aspects of the implementation of the first and second National Road Safety Strategies has been the willingness of road safety agencies to critically assess progress and to identify where and how actions would be better focused. This has been reflected in the evolving nature of the periodic National Road Safety Action Plans.

As the decade of the current Strategy reaches an end, there is a need to take this process further, and undertake a thorough critical evaluation of the Strategy development and implementation. While not an attempt to be exhaustive, the following article will identify some key priorities for consideration as part of this process.