Make road safety your priority in 2020


The Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon, together with Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy today appealed to everyone to make road safety a priority after 352 people lost their lives on NSW roads in 2019 – five more than in 2018.

 “Any death on the roads is one death too many however we have seen significant reductions in a number of areas in 2019,” Mr Carlon said.

“Continuing the trend over the past decade there has been a massive improvement in the death of young people aged 17 to 20 on our roads over the last year with 14 fatalities for that age group recorded – this is a historically low result and a reduction of two thirds from 2018.

“We’ve also seen a large reduction in pedestrian deaths on NSW roads in 2018 which have fallen from 69 to 46.

“However 2019’s road toll has seen an emerging trend amongst a different group of road users – men aged 30 to 59 – with 115 dying on NSW roads, up by 13 on the previous year.

“Our research tells us that men admit to taking more risks when they drive alone – especially speeding. In 2019 84 people died in speed related crashes where a man was driving alone.

 “Speeding is once again the biggest killer on NSW roads –138 people (about 39%) lost their lives on our roads because someone was driving too fast in 2019.

 “Drug driving, drink driving and fatigue each individually contributed to about 20% of deaths – at an estimated 81 from drug driving crashes, 62 from fatigue crashes and an estimated 57 from drink driving crashes.

“We have also seen an increase in fatalities for motorcyclists up from 54 to 67 and an increase in fatal crashes where a vehicle has run off a straight road from 63 to 75,” said Mr Carlon.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said he was heartened by the reduction in pedestrian deaths over the past 12 months as police have implemented a high-visibility campaign targeting people who cross roads illegally.

“Another positive we can take from the end of year wrap up is that during Operation Safe Arrival for 2019 we saw a significant reduction in serious-injury crashes compared to the year before.

In 2018, we had 1031 major crashes reported, while this year has ended with 882 on day 12.

“Sadly though, the closing days of the operation were marked by the deaths of two motorcyclists, bringing the total number of people who lost their lives during the operation to 11 – three more than last year.

“With the current bushfire emergency continuing, numerous roads closures are in place and motorists are advised to take extra care when driving in affected areas,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said

The NSW Government is committed to driving the road toll Toward Zero and continues to invest in making roads safer across the state for all road users.

$1.9 billion is being invested over five years to deliver the Road Safety Plan 2021 including $820 million for the Safer Roads Program.

Drivers should check for updates on major roads before travelling, and are reminded to give way to emergency vehicles, especially in areas impacted by bushfires.