Lowest road toll in 51 years

johnboy 1 January 2012 49

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.

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.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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49 Responses to Lowest road toll in 51 years
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Mysteryman Mysteryman 2:09 pm 07 Jan 12

Jethro said :

Mr Gillespie said :

They record the lowest figure in half a century, and they want it “even lower”? How low do you want to go? What are they, perfectionists? They’re dreaming if they can have a zero toll every year!!! Sorry, the world (including the small jurisdiction called the ACT) is not perfect!

You, sir, are an idiot.

I’m sure the families and friends of the 6 who died would prefer if their loved ones were still alive.

He makes a valid point. It’s unlikely that there will ever be a 0 road toll. It’s unfortunate that you’re not able to understand his point without acting like a douche.

devils_advocate devils_advocate 2:01 pm 04 Jan 12

I think the single biggest factor that would change my driving behavour is if the speed limits were appropriate to the roads. I would have a lot more respect for the road rules in general if they made sense.

The two biggest issues here are:
1) road works signage when no roadworks are happening; and
2) inappropriately low highway speed limits (80 on GDE etc).

Its a logical fallacy to say that if the speed limits are raised, people will continue to break the law by driving faster. Sure there are some people that will do this but you’ll never get rid of them completely. Others just drive to suit the conditions, their vehicle and the traffic.

For example, when I was a teenager, my car was a complete bucket, so often I didn’t manage to get to the posted limit before it was time to brake or turn. Even now sometimes when I’m towing a trailer I might need to go slower to leave more braking distance or whatever. I also don’t drive at the speed limit when there’s a serious thunderstorm happening etc. In summary I, like the vast majority of the people I see on the road, moderate their speed for the conditions.

If the laws (esp speed limits) were sensible, most people would happily obey them. An additional benefit is that people (myself included) would be more likely to look at the road rather than obsessively monitoring their speedo.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 12:06 pm 04 Jan 12

watto23 said :

All it resulted in were people undertaking the driver, which in itself is illegal

No it’s not on a multi lane road as described.

Jethro Jethro 11:41 am 04 Jan 12

watto23 said :

I notice people jumping up and down about the one poster who suggested the ACT wasn’t going to be perfect. The reality is the government of the ACT has limited funds. So what when the road toll finally hits zero one year, we then fix the hospital bed and surgery situation?

Its all about balance and regardless of what the goivernment does, you are always going to have a few fatalities due to bad luck, and a few missed fatalities due to good luck.

The only reason the road toll will never be zero is because too many people drive with dickhead attitudes on the road. You are right, nothing the government does will ever stop these people completely.

However, I would argue that there are very very few road fatalities that are simply caused by ‘bad luck’. Pretty much every serious road crash is avoidable. Too often a road fatality is the bad luck of someone doing the right thing who gets taken out by someone being an idiot, but the crashes that causes these deaths of innocent road users are not the result of bad luck, but bad driving.

If everyone drove according to the conditions and the road rules, and ensured that they could read and respond to traffic appropriately the road toll probably could be zero, or very close to.

As far as I’m concerned putting police resources towards stopping the dickheads is a completely appropriate use of these resources.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 11:03 am 04 Jan 12

Tooks said :

Mr Gillespie said :

They record the lowest figure in half a century, and they want it “even lower”? How low do you want to go? What are they, perfectionists? They’re dreaming if they can have a zero toll every year!!! Sorry, the world (including the small jurisdiction called the ACT) is not perfect!

So, you got a lobotomy for Christmas. Good for you.

I’m pretty sure he got one last year too.

NoImRight NoImRight 11:01 am 04 Jan 12

gooterz said :

Tooks said :

gooterz said :

No doubt that most of the act can afford newer cars helped in the stats. its much easier to die in a car without an airbag.
Not to mention the act has some of the fewest intersections.

Explain the 2010 road toll then.

Fuel prices went up in 2010 so forced people to change cars. Today cars weigh so much more and much safer then they have been in the past.
Also seems younger people are living at home longer and spending their savings on cars.
Anyone else noticed the lack of old lemon type cars around?

Wow. When you say it like that it almost sounds credible and not the ramblings of someone who confuses opinion and assumption with fact……Almost.

Erg0 Erg0 10:51 am 04 Jan 12

watto23 said :

All it resulted in were people undertaking the driver, which in itself is illegal […]

Overtaking in the left lane is perfectly legal. It’s overtaking on the left on a single lane road that isn’t.

watto23 watto23 10:21 am 04 Jan 12

I notice people jumping up and down about the one poster who suggested the ACT wasn’t going to be perfect. The reality is the government of the ACT has limited funds. So what when the road toll finally hits zero one year, we then fix the hospital bed and surgery situation?

Its all about balance and regardless of what the goivernment does, you are always going to have a few fatalities due to bad luck, and a few missed fatalities due to good luck.

Speeding is a convenient tool to use for blame. There are plenty of drivers who could do +10 over the limit and cause less risk than someone who drives 10km/h under. Everyone has a different skill level (I’m not talking about bogans who think they can speed here either). Of course we can’t go awarding special speeding licenses. How often is speed just part of the problem, ie mobile phone, mates/kids distracting the driver, alcohol etc etc.

Speeding is easy to catch and fine. You don’t even have to stop the driver to do it, although, I’d argue speeding cameras do a less of an effective job than actually being pulled over by a police officer.

In other posts on here, they need to find a whole solution, which may mean increasing limits in some areas, or reducing the amount of confusing signage. Changing attitude of people is the difficult part.

On a final note, this morning on the Monaro with light traffic, someone was doing 80 in the 100 zone in the right lane. There are those who would defend this as safe driving. All it resulted in were people undertaking the driver, which in itself is illegal, but all due to someone else being inconsiderate, not paying attention to the speed limit signs, or other cars. It wouldn’t surprise me if they thought everyone was speeding!

Some of you need a more open mind to solutions, rather than the black and white vision you seem to posess.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 10:10 pm 03 Jan 12

Tooks said :

gooterz said :

No doubt that most of the act can afford newer cars helped in the stats. its much easier to die in a car without an airbag.
Not to mention the act has some of the fewest intersections.

Explain the 2010 road toll then.

Mully.

Bramina Bramina 8:36 pm 03 Jan 12

JC said :

It is good this year had a low road toll, however it gets under my skin when people (especially those in power such as the Superintendent) try and correlate road toll, over a 1 year sample to driver behavior.

Bottom line is in a place with a population the size of Canberra, an arbitrary sample of a calendar year is not going to produce any meaningful data. I mean to say look at what happened, we had 6 deaths in 3 months and then none in the last 9. Was there a massive change of driver behavior since March, I think not. The only way that this can be explained is luck, or a statistical abnormality. Same is true in the years where there is a sudden jump.

If we want any meaningful information from road toll, we need to look at trends over a number of years, and that trend has been downwards, thanks to safer cars, better roads and policing.

The only

Exactly. What if some idiot speeding back to Sydney from the snow had caused a head on collision on the Monaro in the ACT and god forbid, killed 10 people. People in the ACT make billions of decisions every year, and only the slightest change to one decision can double the road toll. But what if this accident happened just over the border… do we pat ourselves on our backs again?

I was thinking about it today. There are probably lots of things that lead to a reduced road toll: driver education, driver training, longer term P plates, RBTs, speed traps, anti hoon laws, better roads, better cars, short trip times, better emergency services and better emergency medical care.

Even mobile phones probably lead to reduced fatalities, because people can call help instantly, instead of trying to find a phone booth or knock on doors.

Ian Ian 7:49 pm 03 Jan 12

I look forward to the frantic response and in depth analysis when there’s a fatality in January and we need to take action because its double the monthly average in 2011. That will of course only be fixed with more speed cameras.

whitelaughter whitelaughter 6:16 pm 03 Jan 12

tidalik said :

thatsnotme said :

I’d like to know how many people were maimed on Canberra roads in the past year. How many people will live for the rest of their lives with a disability or injury due to a car accident? How many people didn’t make the evening news (or this press release) because they somehow survived?

Celebrating a low death toll, while ignoring the harm that non-fatal accidents can cause, seems somewhat disingenuous to me.

+1

+2
Additionally, including other serious accidents means a bigger sample pool, so chance plays a smaller part in determining good/bad years: making it easier to see when things are truly getting better/worse.
+1 to query about ACT drivers dying elsewhere as well.

Instant Mash Instant Mash 4:05 pm 03 Jan 12

Certainly a lot of lucky maniacs, this year.

Seriously though, that’s a massive surprise.

Chop71 Chop71 2:17 pm 03 Jan 12

PantsMan said :

So NRMA is going to put our CTP premiums down?

Sorry, wait, no… I’m just stuck in ‘silly season’ thinking.

Considering they have a monopoly = No, we will continue to pay plenty

Tooks Tooks 2:01 pm 03 Jan 12

Very Busy said :

Tooks said :

Very Busy said :

With all the strategies put in place to catch speeding motorists there is NO strategy to enforce the non use of mobile phones while driving.

Do you drive around in a marked police car? Thought not.

Fact – you have no idea about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

No I don’t drive around in a marked police car, and that comment highlights my point. It is pretty pathetic to suggest that the strategy for dealing with mobile phone use by ACT drivers should be to use a marked police car. OMG.

Fact – you have absolutely no idea what I know about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

It’s pretty pathetic to suggest that that’s what I was suggesting. I’d love to hear your strategies though. If you can come up with something intelligent, the cops might even use your idea.

Fact – you have absolutely no idea what I know about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

I know you know sweet FA about it, judging by your comments. You make baseless claims (“they brag about 20 tins a month”) then throw a tanty when you’re called out on it.

Very Busy Very Busy 10:31 am 03 Jan 12

Tooks said :

Very Busy said :

With all the strategies put in place to catch speeding motorists there is NO strategy to enforce the non use of mobile phones while driving.

Do you drive around in a marked police car? Thought not.

Fact – you have no idea about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

No I don’t drive around in a marked police car, and that comment highlights my point. It is pretty pathetic to suggest that the strategy for dealing with mobile phone use by ACT drivers should be to use a marked police car. OMG.

Fact – you have absolutely no idea what I know about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

Tooks Tooks 7:33 am 03 Jan 12

Very Busy said :

dungfungus said :

I heard an emergency services official stating on ABC Radio a while ago that a high percentage of fatals were the result of drivers losing control while using mobiles. The penalties for using a mobile while driving are too lenient – there should be mandatory custodial sentences.

You may well be correct, but, regardless of the penalties, I cannot comprehend the lack of enforcement in relation to mobile phone use.

The police do a blitz and brag about catching 20 mobile phone users in a week. I would easily see that number myself in half a day. Now that is bloody pathetic. With all the strategies put in place to catch speeding motorists there is NO strategy to enforce the non use of mobile phones while driving.

Do you drive around in a marked police car? Thought not. Where is the media release bragging about 20 mobile phone tickets in a week?

Fact – you have no idea about the level of enforcement in relation to mobile phone TINs.

Tooks Tooks 7:32 am 03 Jan 12

Mr Gillespie said :

They record the lowest figure in half a century, and they want it “even lower”? How low do you want to go? What are they, perfectionists? They’re dreaming if they can have a zero toll every year!!! Sorry, the world (including the small jurisdiction called the ACT) is not perfect!

So, you got a lobotomy for Christmas. Good for you.

Bramina Bramina 11:57 pm 02 Jan 12

I wonder how much of the decrease in fatalities in past decades is due to better emergency response and medical care.

In Iraq and Afghanistan the US are saving injured soldiers who would have died not long ago, and this has had a significant impact on their death rates (although the solders are often disabled for the rest of their lives). A similar effect might be in play here.

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