The government is to set up a transport safety inquiry as part of efforts to improve road safety after a year of record road fatalities.
The government has released a white paper for public consultation on the proposed commission as it unveils its action plan to tackle road safety.
Safety investigations expert Kevin Ghirxi said the committee would be permanent and would act independently. It will be responsible for conducting safety investigations into air, sea and road accidents.
This will be the first time road accident data has been accessed by a dedicated agency, making it possible to understand the causes of crashes. Fatal road accidents are currently the subject of authoritative investigations, but the data collected is hidden and never aggregated.
The council is one proposal in a series of initiatives the government will introduce to improve road safety from next year.
Motorists are also likely to face higher penalties and fines for traffic and road violations, while Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia has also pledged to step up enforcement.
The action plan also includes a long-term education and awareness campaign, improving safety on road construction projects and revising the road safety strategy through 2030.
Farrugia said the existing road safety committee, which acts as an adviser to the government, would be strengthened by being legally created.
The minister added that cultural change should be fostered from an early age and that his department and entities under his remit will seek to work more closely with educational institutions.
“Everyone should be responsible for achieving these goals, including governments, authorities, drivers and pedestrians. We all need to work together to ensure our roads are safe. For me, the victims of road accidents are not just numbers, they have families Supportive people,” Farrugia said.
Jeffrey Curmi, chief executive of Transport for Malta, explained that while the road safety strategy is due to expire at the end of 2024, the authority has already begun work on a new strategy to 2030. “Work has already started, so that in addition to the continuation of the measures that still apply from the current strategy, additional measures have been implemented and paved the way for a new strategy. An example of this is a process that has already begun to make We were able to collect useful information that could help strengthen road safety strategies,” Curmi said.
He emphasized the need for more education for everyone who uses the roads at all levels, as well as more effective and efficient enforcement.
Infrastructure Malta CEO Ivan Falzon said: “Security should not be a separate word; it is a culture. We need to work together to ensure that everything we design and do has a security feature.”
Public consultation on the TSC White Paper will be open until February 15, 2023.Feedback will be sent to [email protected]