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The Safe System approach underpins the Government’s Towards Zero – Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2017-2026 and represents a shift away from traditional reactive approaches to road safety infrastructure. The core Safe System principles are:

Fatal and Serious Injuries are not acceptable on our roads. Every road user has the right to travel safely on the road network and this right cannot be traded for other gains (such as traffic efficiency).

Humans are fallible. Traditional approaches that assume 100 per cent compliance at 100 per cent of the time by road users will make the roads safe is not realistic or acceptable. Human error is inevitable meaning that crashes are inevitable.

Humans are vulnerable. By accepting that crashes are inevitable, we must acknowledge that all roads users have limited tolerance for energy in a crash before it becomes a fatal or serious injury. Core to the Safe System approach is that the energy in collisions that do occur is minimised so that resultant harm is minimised.

There is a shared responsibility for road safety between system managers and road users. System managers must acknowledge that fatal and serious injuries are not acceptable, humans make mistakes and humans are vulnerable in decision-making. Roads users also have an obligation to attempt to use the road safely.