ACT Policing has recorded a single digit road toll of six in 2011, making it the lowest road toll since 1959 and a two-third reduction from 2010.
The last fatality on ACT roads was recorded in March, making the ACT the only jurisdiction in Australia to not record a road fatality over the past nine months.
Acting Superintendent Jeff Knight said achieving the lowest road toll in half a century was an indication of changing attitudes in Canberra drivers to road safety.
“Any fatality on our roads is a tragedy, however achieving the lowest road toll in over 50 years marks a noticeable improvement,” Acting Superintendent Knight said.
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A NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust-funded study into the ACT’s driving culture found that the ACT has Australia’s second highest rate of registered passenger vehicles per 1,000 people at 599. Despite this, the ACT has recorded the lowest road toll for 2011 across Australia.
“The ACT has a relatively good road safety record in comparison to other Australian states and territories. One of the reasons for this is because the road systems are established, well planned and it is a small jurisdiction,” Acting Superintendent Knight said.
Over the last 12 months, ACT Policing has been working proactively and cooperatively with the ACT Government and other stakeholders to prevent and respond to fatalities in the ACT.
“There is no magic bullet for preventing tragic deaths on our roads. So many factors have contributed to last year’s low road toll, including increased driver awareness, advances in our technology, increased police patrols targeting traffic and joint ACT Government and ACT Policing road safety campaigns.”
“While Traffic Operations conducts the planning for many operations and can undertake specific targeted enforcement activity, all police in the ACT, particularly General Duties officers, are crucial to our road safety plans,” Acting Superintendent Knight said.
The introduction of the Recognition and Analysis of Plates Identified (RAPID) technology in July 2010 has also had a real impact on ACT roads, by identifying drivers who pose the greatest risk to other road users.
“Statistics show approximately one-third of fatal collisions in the ACT involve unregistered/uninsured or unlicensed drivers. By getting these drivers and vehicles off the road before they are involved in a collision, we are making our roads safer.”
“Many of the deaths recorded on our roads this year were preventable, as alcohol or drugs, speeding and other unsafe behaviours were a contributing factor. We are aiming for a further reduction in the road toll for 2012,” Acting Superintendent Knight said.
The ACT is only jurisdiction in Australia to have recorded zero road fatalities so far this Christmas-New Year holiday period.
Double demerits continue to apply until midnight Monday 2 January.
The ACT road toll for 1950 to 2002 can be accessed from the Department of Infrastructure website.