Queensland’s road toll is on track to be the lowest in more than five years according to current figures, while six of the other seven Australian states and territories have seen a rise so far in 2014.
The state’s peak motoring group, the RACQ, believes the current toll of 72 marks a somewhat ‘positive’ start to 2014, when compared with the toll of 105 at the same time last year (down 31 percent).
Queensland saw 272 road deaths in 2013, down from 280 the year before and if current trends continue, the 2014 toll could be as low as 190.
RACQ’s Steve Spalding commented on the United Nations’ Decade Of Action on road safety which commenced in 2011, saying that Queensland was playing its part.
“As we near the third anniversary of the Decade of Action we are encouraged to see the efforts of the Government, communities and organisations to highlight road safety are seeing positive results,” Mr Spalding said.
“Now is not the time to relax our efforts. We all have a responsibility to reduce deaths and injuries on the roads. The global initiative calls for more road safety activities, particularly in the areas of road safety management, road infrastructure, vehicle safety, road user behaviour, and road safety education.”
Despite the lowest road tolls in a generation for some states last year, early results for 2014 show that some may struggle to match or better their efforts from 2013.
Victoria has seen 91 road deaths so far this year - up two on the same time last year - while a string of fatalities early in the year has seen New South Wales’ road toll blow out to 130; up from 106 at the same time last year.
The Australian Capital Territory at this stage is only two deaths away from its total of seven for all of 2013, while the Northern Territory has seen 13 deaths to date in 2014; up from nine at the same time last year.
Tasmania has recorded 12 deaths so far in 2014 – up from 10 at the same time last year – while South Australia has bucked the trend with a road toll of 35 so far this year, down from 37 at the same time last year.
Western Australia has seen 60 road deaths to date this year; up from 53 this time last year.
On a more positive note, despite Easter and ANZAC Day running back-to-back in 2014 the recent Easter Weekend road toll was down from 22 in 2013 to 12 this year.