With another year over the national road authorities have began reviewing the road toll to examine if their tactics have proven successful. As a nation, Australia’s 2007 road toll was has increased by 11 over last year’s 1605. The bush saw a steady climb in deaths on regional and outback roads.
1616 people lost their lives on Australian roads this year with New South Wales topping the table with 445 deaths.
Queensland, which has spent considerable amounts of money (campaign 300) increasing speed cameras, police presence and RBTs, saw its death toll hit 360 – 60 more than the transport authorised had aimed for and the second-highest in the country. It was also the state’s worst record since 1997.
Victoria came in third with 333 deaths including 13 in the last 10 days of the year – the second lowest road toll for the state. Western Australia came in fourth after suffering a surge in rural deaths. The state recorded 235 deaths, a 14 per cent increase over 2006 (200).
South Australia had 125, coming in fifth place. The Northern Territory saw its road toll rise almost 25 per cent, with 57 deaths this year. Tasmania suffered 47 deaths and 14 lives were lost in on ACT roads, up one from 2006.
Despite the highest road toll in the country, NSW’s 2007 record was the best for the state since 1980 (per capita).
“This is the fifth consecutive year the road toll has reduced despite a steady increase in traffic on our roads. Motorists deserve credit for heeding the road safety messages.” NSW Premier Morris Iemma said.
Queensland authorities on the other hand have a lot to answer for. The highly publicised campaign 300 has failed miserably in bringing the road toll below 300.
Unfortunately, not only has it failed, but the road toll has increased by almost 7 per cent (337 in 2006). The extra speed cameras have proven to be nothing more than a successful revenue-raising scheme.
Victorians should expect a drink-driving blitz throughout this year with statistics showing a 16 per cent increase in fatalities involving drivers under the influence.
Our friends at Vic Roads were kind enough to ends us a table of the fatality rate per million population (based on population figures in 2004).
2007 road toll (p)
Fatality Rate per million population
The data shows the ACT is by far the safest state in the country with NSW and Victoria battling it out for 2nd and 3rd. South Australia comes in fourth with Queensland and Tasmania fifth and sixth. Western Australia comes in second last, but the Northern Territory has taken the cake again this year with over 6x the fatality rate of the ACT.
Despite calls from major motoring groups, government authorities continue to deny the benefits of driver training.
Tell us what you think is the best way to reduce the road toll?