Australia Has Recorded Its Highest Road Toll in Over a Decade - Latest Global News

Australia Has Recorded Its Highest Road Toll in Over a Decade

Australia’s states and territories cannot share their road safety data fast enough, the peak body for local motoring associations has said, as the national road toll has reached sobering levels.

Data released by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) shows 1310 people died on Australian roads between May 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024.

This is not only an additional 132 deaths from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023, but also the highest 12-month death toll since November 30, 2012, when there were an identical number of deaths.

Road fatalities rose by 31.2 per cent in New South Wales, 35.3 per cent in the Northern Territory and 12.4 per cent in Victoria.

After Australia’s road fatalities hit a recent low of 1,095 fatalities in 2020 – as pandemic-related lockdowns and border closures restricted travel – Australia’s road toll rose again to 1,270 fatalities in calendar year 2023, the highest level since 2016.

The tragic figure comes less than a month after the federal government announced it would require states and territories to provide previously withheld safety data if they want to receive road funding.

The new five-year funding agreement – known as the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects – is scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2024 and includes a $21.2 million investment in the National Road Safety Data Hub, as was announced in this week’s Federal Budget.

So far, Queensland is the only jurisdiction that has announced it will share data on car crashes, traffic policing and road conditions with the federal government.

According to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the governing body of the country’s motoring clubs, states that withhold their data are not only endangering their own road users, but also failing to help those in other regions.

“To their credit, the federal government has agreed to include data transparency clauses in the next five-year interstate road funding agreement, which begins in July,” said AAA Executive Director Michael Bradley.

“These figures tragically show that Australia’s current approach to managing road accidents is failing and that we need a data-driven response to a problem that kills more than 100 people every month.”

“The Queensland Government has publicly agreed to provide road safety data, but other states have remained silent on this important reform proposal.

“Data sharing will show which road safety measures are most effective in which state and which safety measures are most needed.

“Not only will this save lives, but it will also end the politicization of road funding by revealing whether governments are investing in the roads that most need safety improvements, rather than investing in road projects in marginal constituencies to win votes.”

In this week’s Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced plans to continue existing road maintenance and safety programs, totaling $1 billion for the Roads to Recovery program in 2033-34, $200 million for the Safer local roads and infrastructure” and $150 million for the Black Spot program.

In fiscal year 2024-25, an additional $10.8 million will be spent on the national traffic safety education and awareness campaign.

Australian road toll – rolling count for 12 months

State/Territory Traffic fatalities (May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023) Traffic fatalities (May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024) Change
NSW 279 366 87 (+31.2%)
VIC 259 291 32 (+12.4%)
QLD 280 296 16 (+5.7%)
At 92 101 9 (+9.8%)
WA 176 172 -4 (-2.3%)
THE 43 32 -11 (-25.6%)
NT 34 46 12 (+35.3%)
ACT 15 6 -9 (-60.0%)
In total 1178 1310 132 (+11.2%)
Data courtesy of BITRE, AAA

MORE: Australian states are being forced to reveal secret accident data as road tolls rise
MORE: Queensland shares key road safety data with Australian Government
MORE: 2024-25 Federal Budget Summary: The true cost of efficiency standards is revealed

Sharing Is Caring:

Leave a Comment