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National road toll drops

Fewer deaths: There was a 1.5 per cent overall decline in road fatalities last year.

The Northern Territory leads the way in reducing road fatalities

General News logo2 Feb 2005

LATEST national road toll figures released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau reveal 1596 people were killed on Australian roads in 2004 – 25 fewer than in 2003.

A 13.5 per cent year-on-year decrease in the number of road deaths recorded in December, when 128 people died on our roads, contributed to the 1.5 per cent overall decline in road fatalities last year.

A breakdown of the figures shows Tasmania had the largest road toll increase (up 41.5%) with 58 deaths compared to 41 in 2003, while the second greatest fatality increase occurred in Victoria, where there were 343 deaths (13 more than in 2003 – up 3.9%).

Queensland was the only other Australian state to increase its road toll in 2004 – by one death to 311 (up 0.3%).

The Northern Territory experienced the largest reduction in road fatalities (down 34%) with 35 deaths in 2004, compared to 53 in the previous year.

South Australia was down 11.5% (139 deaths versus 157), the ACT was down 9.1% (10 v 11), NSW down 3.2% (522 v 539) and Western Australia down 1.1% (178 v 180).

Drivers continue to be the most at-risk road user group (770 fatalities) ahead of passengers (361), pedestrians (223) and motorcyclists (184). Bicycle fatalities rose from 26 to 43.

The number of fatal crashes involving artic-ulated trucks dropped from 142 to 136 (down 4.2%), while the number of deaths decreased 13.5% (from 171 to 148).

Conversely, the number of fatal crashes involving buses rose from 25 to 31 (24%), while the number of deaths increased 10.7% from 28 to 31.

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