The annual Australian road toll has fallen from 1715 in 2002 to 1291 in 2011, according to the latest road deaths Australia report published by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).
The report shows a steady decline in all types of fatal crashes over the last 10 years to 2011. This includes a decrease in crashes involving articulated and rigid trucks. The average annual reduction in fatal crashes involving articulated trucks was 2.7 percent between 2002 and 2011, while heavy rigid trucks experienced a decrease of 4.1 percent in the same period.
The 17-25 years age group is still overrepresented in the road fatality statistics, making up only 13 percent of the population but accounting for 22 percent of deaths. However, this age group is showing a considerable improvement, with an average annual reduction of 4.1 percent.
Parliamentary secretary for infrastructure and transport, Catherine King, said that while this trend is pleasing, more can be done to prevent injury and death on Australian roads.
“Over the last decade we have seen the safety of vehicles and roads advance, but one thing is clear – road users can’t become complacent, and airbags and seatbelts are no substitute for common sense and responsible behaviour,” Ms King warned.