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Governments unable to track road safety targets

Number of deaths is up 5.9 per cent nationwide

State governments have been unable to track most of their targets from the National Road Safety Strategy according to a report from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

In the wake of National Road Safety Week, the latest quarterly benchmarking of the National Road Safety Strategy has shown that road deaths are increasing, rather than declining as anticipated.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2023, there were 1,204 deaths on Australian roads which was an increase of 5.9 percent from the previous year.

This number of deaths is 19 percent higher than the strategy’s targeted reduction of 1,011 deaths.

Victoria alone had 259 road deaths in the 12-month span which was an increase of 9.7 percent from the previous amount of 236 deaths.

From the statistics recorded, the ACT had the highest percentage increase of deaths with a 70 percent increase and Western Australia had the highest increase in the number of deaths with 26 more deaths than the previous 12 months.

Of the eight states and territories recorded, only the Northern Territory had a decrease in the percentage of deaths with a change of minus 14.

According to the AAA, despite having been a priority issue for almost a decade, state governments are yet to develop a data system that can quantify national serious injuries.

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley called out the state governments for their inability to properly report road trauma.

“Road deaths have increased over the past five years, and a lack of road trauma data reporting makes it difficult to understand the reasons for this trend and to identify the measures needed to prevent them,” Bradley said.

“The unwillingness of governments to collect or report data needed to measure targets undermines the strategy’s credibility and inhibits an evidence-based response to Australia’s worsening road safety performance.”

Ford Falcon crash by FotoSleuth available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This image has not been modified.

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