A bad year for road safety in the ACT

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SHANE Rattenbury is finding comfort in the fact the number of fatalities on ACT roads in 2014 was once again below the national average according to the 2014 ACT Road Crash Report.

“Last year the ACT recorded 2.6 fatalities per 100,000 population compared with 4.9 road fatalities per 100,000 people nationally, however this is an increase from 2013 data which recorded 1.8 fatalities per 100,000 people in the ACT,” Shane said.

“While there has been a general decrease in fatalities since 2010 and numbers do fluctuate, we are still a long way off our vision for zero deaths on ACT roads.

“When you look at total crashes, the ACT’s numbers remain too high — with 7,782 reported crashes in 2014. These resulted in 829 casualties, including 10 fatalities and 125 hospital admissions.

“While a higher number of crashes occurred during peak travel times, on weekends and late at night there was a disproportionate amount of casualty crashes relative to the volume of traffic. On weekends 10.18% of crashes resulted in casualties compared with 8.49% on weekdays.

“Four fatalities and 247 injuries involved vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists which represents 40% of fatalities and 30% of injuries.

“As more Canberrans choose to walk and cycle across our city we need to ensure our road transport system provides safe and accessible infrastructure to support active transport. The recent ACT Budget invested $23m into walking and cycling across Canberra. Ensuring we have a good transport network that supports all modes continues to be a key focus of mine.

“Another area of concern is that young and novice drivers continue to be over-represented in ACT crashes with provisional drivers representing 15% of drivers involved in injury crashes and 20% of fatal crashes, despite being approximately 6% of licence holders.

“Less experience and cognitive development are known factors in the higher rate of crashes for young and novice drivers; however these drivers also tend to drive more often and over greater distances, which means that exposure is also a factor.

“As a result, the Government will review the ACT Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme and the report will be available by the end of 2015.”

The data contained in this report will also be used to inform the ACT Government’s future policies and community campaigns aimed at reducing crashes and fatalities.

The ACT Road Crash report can be downloaded at justice.act.gov.au.

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