The latest road safety benchmarking report from Australia’s peak motoring group shows there was a 2.9 per cent increase in road fatalities in the 12 months to March 2018, with 1,270 Australians losing their lives on Australian roads.
The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Benchmarking the National Road Safety Strategy report also shows all Australian states remain above the Strategy’s notional targets to reduce road fatalities by 30 per cent through the decade to 2020.
For the first time, the AAA Benchmarking Report has included data from the Australian Trauma Registry, which shows that in 2016, there had been a 19 per cent increase in severe injuries compared to the same period in 2013. This is significantly higher than the rate required to achieve the 2020 target for serious injuries.
While the March quarter results show a slight drop from the record high in the December quarter, the reality is that deaths on Australian roads are increasing, reinforcing the need for greater road safety action by the Australian Government in next week’s Federal Budget.
AAA CEO Michael Bradley said: “This is yet another report that confirms Australia’s road safety strategy is failing badly and that our national policies and programs need to be reviewed.
“No state is performing well, however this report also reveals we now have two states in NSW and Tasmania, where road fatality rates are higher than when the Strategy was implemented in 2011.
“Clearly, a set-and-forget policy approach can no longer be supported”.
The AAA has put forward a number of recommendations in its National Road Safety Platform, including the re-establishment of the National Office of Road Safety.
The Australian Trauma Registry (ATR) is a collaborative project that collects data from 26 trauma centres around Australia and while results are currently only available for certain years, it is hoped that further work will also provide data on injuries of other lower severity and closer to real-time.
The significance of the increase in road deaths only reinforces the importance of road safety messages and campaign such as National Road Safety Week that is being held this week.
The report is available here.
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