Australia's Easter long weekend road toll has fallen in 2020 compared to 2019, as motorists stay home amid coronavirus lockdowns.
According to provisional figures, six Australians lost their lives on the nation's roads over the five-day period from Thursday through to Easter Monday, compared with 19 during the same period last year.
Six deaths is less than half of the five-year average of 15 deaths, with the lowest Easter road toll in recent years being eight people in 2016.
New South Wales was the state with the highest number of Easter fatalities in 2020 – recording three deaths this year, down from four deaths in 2019.
The biggest falls in state road toll were seen in Victoria, which recorded zero deaths as opposed to three deaths over Easter in 2019, and Queensland, which recorded one death as opposed to four the year prior.
The decline in road-related deaths could be partly attributed to a reduction in the number of motorists on the roads, with many states enforcing strict lockdown measures including border closures, police checkpoints and tough penalties for those seen flouting restrictions.
A similar phenomenon was seen in New Zealand, which this year recorded an Easter road toll of zero for only the second time in history – down from four people in 2019. According to the NZ Herald, the last time zero deaths were recorded was in 2012.
As of the end of March 2020, Australia's national road toll to date was 286, compared with 327 in the same period last year.
The state with the highest number of road deaths was NSW, which recorded 83 deaths over the three-month period from January to March 2020.
State-based Easter road tolls for 2020:
New South Wales: 3 (2019: 4)
ACT: 0 (2019: 0)
Queensland: 1 (2019: 4)
Tasmania: 0 (2019: 2)
Western Australia: 1 (2019: 2)
South Australia: 1 (2019: 3)
Victoria: 0 (2019: 3)
Northern Territory: 0 (2019: 1)
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