Australian road toll rises in 2019

Cars are getting safer, and state governments are rolling out new technology to curb speeding and distracted driving. But the road toll in Australia has risen in 2019.
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The number of people killed on Australian roads rose again in 2019, with the national road toll finishing at 1182.

Victoria had a horror year on the roads, with 50 more lives lost than the year before, while South Australia saw its death toll rise by 33.

The road toll also increased in New South Wales and Western Australia, while the remaining states and territories had fewer deaths on their roads.

In total, 1182 people died on the road in Australia last year – up 47 on 2018.

  • New South Wales: 352, increase of six deaths on 2018
  • Victoria: 263, increase of 50
  • Queensland: 217, decrease of 28
  • Western Australia: 164, increase of six
  • South Australia: 113, increase of 33
  • Northern Territory: 35, decrease of 15
  • Tasmania: 32, decrease of one
  • ACT: Six, decrease of three

The increasing road toll comes despite a study revealing cars are safer than ever, with data from independent crash-test authority ANCAP revealing 92 per cent of the new cars sold in Australia have a five-star safety rating.

Cars with a four-star rating represent just three per cent of new car sales, and cars with a three-star rating or lower account for just one per cent of sales.

As of July 2019, more than half the cars sold in Australia were fitted with potentially life-saving autonomous emergency braking technology, which automatically slams on the brakes if it detects an impending rear-end collision.

State governments are also deploying new technology and harsher penalties to curb distracted driving. New South Wales last month rolled out world-first mobile phone detection cameras, capable of snapping photos of drivers touching their phones while driving.

Queensland will also trial the cameras, and has increased the penalty for mobile phone use behind the wheel to $1000.