One month after Australia recorded the highest number of road deaths in a 12-month period since 2012, the toll has shown no signs of slowing.

    Data released by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) shows 1303 people died on Australian roads between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024.

    While this is down nine deaths on the rolling 12-month count from May – where 1310 road users died, the highest recorded figure since November 2012 – it’s still 123 deaths higher than the same period a year ago.

    The significant spike has largely been driven by New South Wales, where 372 road users have been killed across the 12 months, up by 92 deaths or 32.9 per cent on the previous year’s numbers.

    Road deaths were up by 72.4 per cent in the Northern Territory to 50 road users killed, while Victoria, Queensland and South Australia also saw increases.

    Though there were fewer deaths in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, their impact on the national total amounted to 20 fewer deaths – offset by the 21 fatalities in the Northern Territory alone.

    Last month, the Federal Government announced it will require states and territories to provide previously withheld safety data if they want to receive road funding.

    The new five-year funding deal – known as the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects – is due to take effect on July 1, 2024 and will include a $21.2 million investment in the National Road Safety Data Hub, announced in the Federal Budget.

    Queensland is the only jurisdiction to announce it will share data on car crashes, traffic policing and road conditions with the Federal Government.

    The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), which represents the nation’s motoring clubs, has continued its calls for state and territory governments to hand over their road safety data to reverse the rising road toll.

    “The best way to understand what is going wrong on our roads is to look at data about the causes of crashes, the state of our roads and the effectiveness of police traffic enforcement,” AAA managing director Michael Bradley said.

    “State and territory governments hold this data but keep it secret. At a time when current policies are failing and more than 100 people are dying on the roads each month, the secrecy must end.

    “The window of opportunity is about to close on what would be the most important road safety reform in decades. States and territories must accept that now is the time to let data save lives.

    “Actions matter, and in the next fortnight, states and territories must recognise Australia is facing a road safety crisis and the data they hold is needed if Australia is to develop an evidence-based solution.”

    In last month’s Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced plans to continue existing road maintenance and safety programs, reaching a spend of $1 billion in 2033-34 on the Roads to Recovery Program, $200 million on the Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program, and $150 million on the Black Spot Program.

    An additional $10.8 million will be spent on the National Road Safety education and awareness campaign throughout the 2024-25 financial year.

    Australian road toll – 12 month rolling count

    State/TerritoryRoad deaths (June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023)Road deaths (June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024)Change
    NSW 280372+92 (+32.9%)
    VIC 274288+14 (+5.1%)
    QLD 273287+14 (+5.1%)
    WA 180172-8 (-4.4%)
    SA 9597+2 (+2.1%)
    TAS 3830-8 (-21.1%)
    NT 2950+21 (+72.4%)
    ACT 117-4 (-36.4%)
    Total11801303+123 (+10.4%)

    Data courtesy of BITRE, AAA

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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