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Media release

Governments must tackle road deaths

16.4.2023

The number of deaths on Australian roads has once again risen with the latest figures showing a 5.9 per cent surge in road deaths in the 12 months to March 31.

The number of deaths on Australian roads has once again risen with the latest figures showing a 5.9 per cent surge in road deaths in the 12 months to March 31.

Australia’s peak motoring body calls on governments to recognise that these the figures point to a need to rethink current approaches to road safety.

Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics data show 1,204 people died on the nation’s roads in the 12 months to the end of March – 67 more than in the previous corresponding period.

The number of deaths rose particularly sharply in the ACT (a 70 per cent rise), Western Australia (16.9 per cent), Victoria (9.7 per cent), South Australia (9.4 per cent) and Tasmania (9.1 per cent). Queensland had a 1.8 per cent increase in deaths and NSW had no change in its toll. Only the Northern Territory recorded a decrease (14 per cent).

Pedestrian deaths rose by 22.6 per cent.

Jurisdiction 12 months to Mar 22 12 months to Mar 23 Increase Increase (%)
NSW 289 289 0 0.0%
VIC 236 259 23 9.7%
QLD 276 281 5 1.8%
SA 85 93 8 9.4%
WA 154 180 26 16.9%
TAS 44 48 4 9.1%
NT 43 37 -6 -14.0%
ACT 10 17 7 70.0%

 

Road User Group 12 months to Mar 22 12 months to Mar 23 Increase Increase (%)
Driver 545 557 12 2.2%
Passenger 182 189 7 3.8%
Pedestrian 133 163 30 22.6%
Motorcyclist 230 246 16 7.0%
Cyclist 39 40 1 2.6%

Data collected from Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics Australian Road Deaths Database 14 April 2023.

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said every road death was a tragedy and that Governments should release more data on the causes of road trauma to reverse the upward trajectory in deaths.

“Deaths are still rising, but we still have no national data on crash causes, serious injuries, road quality, or details on the people and vehicles involved,’’ Mr Bradley said.

“We know that pedestrian road deaths rose by 22.6 per cent in the 12 months to 31 March. But we don’t know the reasons for this surge.

“We need to know how people were killed in road crashes so we can prevent similar deaths in the future.”

The AAA’s 2023-24 Budget submission urges the Australian Government to make federal road funding to states and territories contingent on greater transparency of state-held road crash data.

“This would enable motorists and taxpayers to judge what’s going wrong, and would guide effective road safety measures,’’ Mr Bradley said.

“It makes no sense for governments to set targets on road safety without releasing relevant data about what’s working and what’s failing.”

AAA Media contact:

Matthew Franklin, Director – External Affairs, 0411 659 868, [email protected]

The AAA 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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