Report Shows Road Investment Saves Lives


Australia’s motoring clubs have renewed calls for increased funding on road infrastructure in next week’s Budget following today’s release of a report showing crash rates could more than halve with targeted investment in dangerous sections.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), Australia’s peak motoring organisation, used the release of the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) report to urge the Federal Government to commit more funds to roads to avoid what is a national tragedy with five people dying every day.

The AusRAP program rates Australia’s road for safety (from one to five stars) – it’s rating of the national AusLink network in 2007 showed 58% of the national highway was rated three stars or less, which AAA motoring clubs regard as unacceptable.

AAA Research Manager, Greg Smith, said today’s AusRAP report details a study into the relationship between the Star Ratings and the crash costs on the AusLink highway network. 

“The report shows that raising the safety rating of a road from two to three stars will halve crash costs – and costs halve again if the road is further upgraded to four stars,” Mr Smith said.

The study involved the comparison of crash data and Star Rating results on the Queensland AusLink network assessed as part of the 2007 report.  The analysis of average crash costs per vehicle kilometre travelled and the Star Ratings revealed the following results:

  • average crash costs of $0.027 per vehicle kilometre travelled on 4 star roads;
  • average crash costs of $0.050 per vehicle kilometre travelled on 3 star roads;
  • average crash costs of $0.101 per vehicle kilometre travelled on 2 star roads.

“This report clearly demonstrates the value of investing in Australian roads – there is now strong evidence that safer roads do save lives, and an improvement in crash costs can be expected as a road network improves from two to three to four star and ultimately a five-star road,” Mr Smith said. 

“In many cases, it is the design of the road and roadside that can ultimately determine whether a crash is a killer or not - investment in safer roads is vital.

“These results will assist in further work currently being undertaken to investigate the actual costs of raising the entire AusLink network to the desired four-star standard. 

The report can be downloaded from the AusRAP website,


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