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Media release

Governments must act on rising road deaths


A more urgent response from government is needed, as new data shows national road deaths increased 7.3% in the 12 months to 31 January 2023.

Australia’s peak motoring body says a more urgent response from government is needed, as new data shows national road deaths increased 7.3% in the 12 months to 31 January 2023.

The AAA said the deaths of 1,208 Australian road users – an increase of 82 on the previous corresponding period – should be of great concern to governments as it shows their collective commitment to halve road deaths through the decade to 2030 is progressing poorly.

The latest Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics data shows deaths increasing in most states and territories, with Tasmania (44.4%), the ACT (41.7%), the NT (28.6%), WA (16.6%), Queensland (10.1%) and Victoria (5.0%) seeing the largest increases.
AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “The AAA is deeply concerned by Australia’s worsening road toll and the lack of available information regarding its cause.

“Too many government commitments remain unmeasured, undefined, or unreported, and this continues to inhibit the development of evidence-based responses to the factors causing so much death and injury.

“The COVID pandemic demonstrated the capacity for Australian governments to quickly and safely share data and the AAA hopes the lessons learnt are not forgotten.”

The AAA’s Federal Budget submission calls for all Commonwealth road funding to states be made contingent on states and territories releasing important data related to the safety assessment of road infrastructure; casualty crash details including crash type, location and conditions, vehicle details, road user details including road user type, licence status, and behavioural factors; as well as enforcement and compliance data.

The AAA is one of many road safety advocates to be calling for the Commonwealth to leverage the significant land transport infrastructure funding it provides states to urgently facilitate the timely, consistent, and open reporting of national road safety data.
The AAA submission also calls for the Commonwealth to increase infrastructure investment by spending all revenue that motorists pay in fuel excise back into land transport.

The Commonwealth collects 47.7 cents per litre of petrol and diesel sold and over the past decade, only 58.7 per cent of this has been reinvested in land transport. Spending all excise collected at the bowser on land transport would save lives.

AAA Media contact: Matthew Franklin, Director – External Affairs, 0411 659 868, [email protected]  

The Australian Automobile Association is the nation’s peak motoring body, representing Australia’s state-based motoring clubs and their 8.9 million members. The AAA is an apolitical and technology-neutral advocate for federal transport policy that improves safety, affordability, and mobility.

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