Tragic start to 2013, an increase in Australian road deaths
The peak national motoring and mobility organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has released new analysis showing an increase in the number of people killed on the nation's roads in the first three months of the year.
"This is a tragic start to the year, demonstrating more must be done to improve road safety," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
The latest Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) shows 317 fatalities were recorded in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 305 in the same period in 2012 – an increase of 3.9 per cent.
"It is unacceptable to see any increase in road fatalities because Australians deserve better roads."
In the 12 months to March 2013, there were 1,320 road deaths recorded and the trend line from data since the start of the NRSS in 2011 predicts there will be 1,300 fatalities in 2020. This is significantly higher than the target of 998.
"There has been no significant reduction in road deaths since the commencement of the Strategy and the number of drivers and motorcyclists killed on our roads has increased dramatically," he said.
"Australia is not on track to reach its target to reduce deaths, meaning urgent and coordinated action is required from governments," Mr McKellar said.
The AAA, and its member clubs, have launched the Demand Better Roads campaign which identifies a list of key projects in each state which are aimed at improving road safety and easing congestion.
"I urge all Australians to make safer roads a key issue when they vote this federal election," he said.