Thirty-five fewer lives were lost on our roads in 2018, compared with 2017, marking the biggest reduction in five years.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the result is encouraging but appealed to all road users not to become complacent when behind the wheel.

“It’s heartening to see that the road toll as a whole has dropped and we are committed to ongoing action but road safety is a two way street, we all need to be our best selves when driving,” Mrs Pavey said.

“It’s also encouraging to see a reduction by more than an thousand (1160) in serious injuries from crashes. This result is the lowest since records were first collated in 2005, with decreased hospitalisations experienced across all road users.”

“As a country member of parliament, I’m pleased to see the reduction in lives lost on regional areas, because it’s known while we are a third of the population, we make up two thirds of the road toll, so this result is a positive one for our regional areas,” Mrs Pavey said.

KEY POINTS

  • 2018 road toll stands at 354 – 35 fewer fatalities than 2017
  • Biggest reduction since 2013 (36)
  • 241 people died on country roads – 26 less than 2017

Other reductions in the road toll this year were deaths from speed related crashes, down from 167 to 138, and a decrease in fatalities from heavy truck crashes from 79 to 53.

“Our other big killers – fatigue, drug and alcohol impairment and not wearing a seatbelt again featured in our top contributing factors.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said one of the most pleasing thing was the decline in the number of passengers in fatal crashes.

“This means more passengers are empowering themselves to speak up if they are concerned about their driver’s behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Liberals & Nationals in government are investing $1.9 billion over five years to deliver the Road Safety Plan 2021.