Jan 31, 2009

Road deaths in 2008 the lowest in almost 60 years

Road deaths in 2008 the lowest in almost 60 years


The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

January 31 2009

The number of deaths on Australian roads in 2008 was the lowest in nearly 60 years, but far from becoming complacent the Rudd Labor Government is redoubling its efforts to reduce the national road toll even further.

New official figures released today show 1,463 lives were lost on the nation’s roads during 2008 – an 8.7 per cent reduction on 2007 and the first major fall in five years.

Not since 1949 have so few Australians died in road accidents, a remarkable result when you consider there are now 11 times more vehicles on our roads and highways.

Even more encouragingly, there was a 16 per cent drop in the number of young P Plater fatalities, the biggest one year drop since 2005.

A breakdown of road deaths is attached.

These figures reflect a range of factors, including the proactive road safety initiatives pursued by all governments over recent years, the efforts of law enforcement authorities and the greater care being taken by motorists when behind the wheel.

However, one year’s figures should not make anyone feel complacent.

Almost a decade ago all Australian governments set a target of reducing road fatalities by 40 per cent to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 people by 2010. If the 2008 reduction can be repeated this year and next, that target will be achieved and an additional 370 lives saved by the end of 2010.

That’s why the Rudd Labor Government is rolling out the biggest ever Federal road investment program, will spend $70 million building more rest stops for truckies and plans to provide some 200,000 free driving lessons to learner drivers and their parents.

We have also more than doubled to $110 million the funding available this year for fixing dangerous black spots on local roads around the country. This money will fund around 650 road safety projects.

A full copy of Road Deaths Australia: Monthly Bulletin December 2008 can be downloaded from: www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety.


The breakdown of road deaths by states and territories:

NSW 395 – down 9.2 per cent;

Victoria 304 – down 8.4 per cent;

Queensland 327 – down 9.2 per cent;

SA 99 – down 20.2 per cent;

WA 209 – down 11.1 per cent

Tasmania 40 – down 11.1 per cent;

NT 75 – up 29.3 per cent;

ACT 14 – unchanged.


The breakdown of road deaths by age:

0-16 years 88 – down 12.9 per cent;

17-20 years 186 – down 7.5 per cent;

21-25 years 188 – down 1.1 per cent;

26-39 years 346 – down 15.0 per cent;

40-59 years 361 – down 7.4 per cent;

60+ years 283 – down 7.2 per cent.


The breakdown of road deaths by gender:

Males 1,076 – down 8.0 per cent;

Females 386 – down 10.6 per cent.


The breakdown of road deaths by category of road user:

Drivers 693 – down 11.6 per cent;

Passengers 304 – down 9.8 per cent;

Pedestrians 190 – down 6.9 per cent;

Motorcyclists 247 – up 4.2 per cent;

Cyclists 27 – down 34.1 per cent.


Additional details about the road incidents in 2008:

More than 56 per cent of fatal accidents occurred during the day;

More than 59 per cent occurred on weekdays;

More than 45 per cent occurred in areas where speed limits of 100 km/h or more applied; and

Only single vehicles were involved in more than 47 per cent of crashes.