Low road toll no excuse for complacency

Published

Drivers are being warned against complacency despite NSW recording its lowest road toll in almost 100 years, with 297 deaths on our roads in the past 12 months.

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said the State’s 2020 road toll is the lowest it has been since 1923 when there were 231 road deaths and a population of 2.2 million.

“While we have seen a significant reduction in road trauma in a number of areas over the past 12 months, we cannot be complacent about the dangers. There may have been fewer deaths among drivers, passengers and motorcyclists but it has also been a year where we have seen a significant reduction in traffic volumes due to the pandemic,” Mr Constance said.

“Speeding remains the leading contributor to fatal crashes and speed related fatalities rose to 47 per cent of the total road toll last year.

“We aim to halt this trend in 2021 by expanding the mobile speed camera program and removing markings from some of the vehicles so people know they can be caught anywhere, anytime,” Mr Constance said.

“What was positive to see was the greatest reduction in fatalities was on country roads with 50 fewer fatalities, including 28 fewer deaths from fatigue related crashes and 19 fewer fatalities from head on crashes.

“The good news is, this tells us our $820 million investment in the Safer Roads Program to deliver road safety improvements such as wide centre lines, flexible barriers, shoulder widening and rumble strips are helping to reduce deaths on country roads year on year.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott has praised the community for adhering to the road rules and urged drivers to take extra care to make sure they get home safely.

“After the year that we’ve had, it’s pleasing to see the road safety message has had an impact. But we can’t forget that the restrictions on travel this year may have played a role in lowering the road toll.” Mr Elliott said.

“During the Christmas and New Year double demerits period we have seen three fewer fatalities compared to the same period during the previous year. In 2019 we had 651 major crashes reported in the first eight days while this year we have seen 537 in the same period. The operation will continue until midnight on January 3.”

“Every death on our roads is one too many and the lower road toll is no cause for complacency. I’m asking everyone to take responsibility and get home safely in 2021.”

The NSW Government is investing a record $2 billion over four years to improve road safety in NSW.