The NRMA’s Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) has revealed that $2 billion worth of road safety improvements for NSW and ACT roads could prevent almost 16,000 fatalities and injuries over the next two decades.

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AusRAP found that a government expenditure of $1.96 billion, spent on roads including the Pacific, Mitchell, Newell and Barton highways, could prevent 15,735 fatalities and injuries and $7.1 billion in future crash-related expenses.

The report found there to be six specific safety-related areas worth investing in, including roadside barriers, central median barriers, shoulder rumble strips, skid-resistant paved roads, protected turning lanes, and the installation of additional lanes at known black spots.

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The report examined 4738km of NSW and ACT roads, the majority of which would benefit from the proposed investments.

Over half of the Great Western Highway – which stretches from Sydney to Bathurst – is rated just one star, and another third of that highway is rated two stars. There are no five-star-rated roads in NSW or the ACT.

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Road death and injury-related expenses already total $2.8 billion each year in NSW and the ACT alone, with this number expected to increase in the future.