Road deaths down, but more work to do

Last year's number of deaths on Australian roads was the lowest annual count since 1949

January 27, 2011

Last year’s number of deaths on Australian roads was the lowest annual count since 1949, according to new figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).

While the latest road fatality figures indicate substantial progress in the area of road safety, Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King says Australia still has a lot of work to do.

"These figures are a remarkable result considering there are now three times as many people on our roads and thirteen times more vehicles than in 1949," King says.

"We’ve seen an 8.2 percent reduction on the 2009 figure and a 24.7 percent reduction on the figure from a decade ago.

"The 2010 figure accelerates the mostly downward trend on the last decade."

"While these figures are encouraging, motorists should remain alert. Any death on our nation’s roads is one too many.

"Many serious crashes on our roads are preventable and the Australian Government is committed to making our roads safer."

There were 1368 people killed on the roads last year, which are around four people each day.

Twenty-two people were hospitalised for every person killed, amounting to around 30,000 a year.

The latest figures come as the 2001-2010 National Road Safety Strategy draws to a close.

"These figures point to the success of the many road safety programs implemented as part of that strategy by all levels of government over the last 10 years," King says.

"Now we are putting in place the strategy for the next 10 years."

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