Audi SUV driving along coastal road

Putting road safety in the spotlight

Tasmania is one of the worst performing states when it comes to road trauma, but this is something we can all help reduce.

Tasmania failed to meet National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) targets at the end of 2020. In 2011, 24 people lost their lives on our roads, while 272 were seriously injured. In 2020 not much changed with 36 people killed and 284 seriously injured.

In fact, as of December, Tasmania had the worst road safety record of any state, with 6.6 deaths per 100,000 population. This is far higher than the best-performing state, Victoria, which has 3.17 deaths per 100,000. If we could match them, we could save 19 lives a year.

However, 2021 is not tracking well, with 16 fatalities and 130 serious injuries on Tasmanian roads as of the end of June.

To improve these trends, we want to see better roads built through proper planning, funding and a skilled workforce. We also want increased turnover of safer vehicles, more research and data into crashes, as well as the consideration of national and global best practice.

However, we also need to look at our own attitudes as road users.

Driver behaviour is a key factor in a number of crashes on our roads. Speed, distraction (mobile phones) and drink or drug driving make up nearly 80% of fatal and serious injury crashes.

This tells us that you can have the best roads and the safest cars, but at the end of the day it always comes down to our behaviour behind the wheel.