Tasmanian and Australian road safety strategies

The Tasmanian Government is rolling out a 10 year road safety plan to curb fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.
​​Fatalities and serious injuries on Tasmania’s road are still at a significantly high level, with the State Government in the midst of a 10 year road safety strategy designed to reduce casualty numbers.

Tasmania’s 10 year average for fatalities is 35.9 per calendar year, with an average of 270.8 serious injuries.

In 2017, there were 35 fatalities, down from 36 in 2016, and 268 serious injuries, down from 282, on the state’s roads.

As a result of the dire statistics, the Tasmanian Government’s Towards Zero - Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2017-2026 is aiming to reduce the combined number of serious injuries and deaths on Tasmanian roads to fewer than 200 per year by 2026.

The Government is hoping to achieve this through the promotion of safer vehicles, improvements to driver licensing for young drivers and increased safety features as part of our standard road design.

The strategy will focus on the four Safe System pillars being:

Safe ROAD users - encouraging safe behaviour through education and enforcement, improving the Graduated Licensing System and safety initiatives for motorcyclists

Safe ROADS and roadsides – reduce run-off road, head-on and intersection crashes through designing and maintaining roads to reduce the risk and severity of crashes.

Safe SPEEDS – establishing speed limits that are more appropriate to the safety features of individual roads and also increasing enforcement through technology to reduce speed-related casualty crashes

Safe VEHICLES – designing vehicles that protect occupants, lessen the likelihood of crashes through improving the star rating to include vehicles with better safety features. Increasing the number of motorcyclists with ABS

Additionally, a separate report from​​​ the Australian Automobile Association, which undertook benchmarking of each state’s compliance with the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, has revealed more recent Tasmanian figures.

It found that in the 12 months to March 2019, 30 people died on Tasmanian roads. This was down from the 33 deaths in the December 2018 quarter and the 40 deaths recorded during the March 2018 quarter.

This 25% dec​​r​ease sees Tasmania sit ahead of the NRSS target for road crash fatalities for the second successive quarter, which is a reduction of 30% of fatalities and serious injuries by 2020. However, a faster rate of improvement is needed to meet the 2020 target.

​Nationally, there has been a 13.1% reduction in the annual road toll since 2011, which is far below the 2020 target.​

The AAA report also found that there were 1,176 fatalit​ies across Australia during the 12 months to March​, down from 1,265 the previous financial year​​. The March quarter saw​ 332 fatalities, up from 279 during the previous quarter.​​

Elsewhere during the March quarter, New South Wales recorded 370 ​​fatalities, ahead of  Victoria with 238, Queensland with 231, Western Australia with 167​​​, South Australia with 91,​​ Northern Territory with 42​ and the ACT with seven.​