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National road deaths have reached an 11-year high

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Road deaths in Australia have hit an 11-year high, as the peak automobile body calls for data on cause of fatalities to be revealed.
Road deaths in Australia have hit an 11-year high, as the peak automobile body calls for data on cause of fatalities to be revealed.

Road deaths in Australia have reached an 11-year high, the most on record since 2012.

Government data shows 1,310 people died on roads across the country in the year to 30 April — an 11% increase in deaths compared to the previous year.

Peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, has called on state and territory governments to publish more data on road accidents, including causes of death.

Latest figures

Road fatalities over the last year surged to their highest rate since 2012, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE).

Deaths increased in most parts of the country. NSW saw the biggest annual rise, with 31% more fatalities.

Victoria reported a 12.4% increase in road fatalities for the year to May, while SA recorded a nearly 10% increase.

However, road deaths were lower in WA, Tas and the ACT compared to the previous year.

The number of deaths on Australian roads has been trending higher over recent years, according to BITRE data.

The rising death toll comes despite the Federal Government’s campaign to end road deaths by 2050, including drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The cause of road deaths, such as speeding or alcohol, isn’t known because states and territories don’t publish data on “road trauma”.

Data gap

Australian Automobile Association managing director Michael Bradley called on all governments to reveal the cause of crashes in addition to road death toll data.

“These figures tragically show Australia’s current approach to road trauma management is failing and that we need a data-driven response to a problem killing more than 100 people every month,” Bradley said.

The Federal Budget, delivered this week, includes $32 million over the next six years to build a central “National Road Safety Data” hub.

It’ll also go towards a “National Road Safety Education and Awareness Campaign”.

AAA’s Michael Bradley welcomed the funding but urged for further transparency from the states and territories.

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