Annual Australian road toll jumps to 1200

The Australian national road toll jumped by 4.7 percent to nearly 1200 last year, reversing improvements and raising serious doubts over road safety strategies.

In South Australia the 2019 toll increased 42.5 percent on the year before, while in Victoria it was up 25.8 percent.

The state with the highest road toll was New South Wales with 352 deaths, followed by 268 in Victoria.

Queensland and Tasmania were the only states, along with both of the territories, that recorded a lower road toll in 2019 than the previous year.

As a whole, the national road toll rose by more than 50 from 1135 in 2018 to 1188 in 2019.

The Australian Automobile Association said the figures raise serious doubts about Australia's national safety strategy, which aimed to reduce road deaths and injuries by 30 percent in the nine years to 2020.

The latest data shows the ACT is only jurisdiction on track to meet that target.

AAA managing director Michael Bradley called on the government to adopt recommendations released last year by a group of 23 road safety organisations.

"Our current strategy has not been supported by the investment, leadership or accountability required," he said.

"Successive inquiries and reviews have said Australia needs – and can develop – a new approach to road safety, with an enhanced role for Canberra sitting at its core."

The recommendations include linking federal infrastructure to the strategy's objectives and targets, developing policies that deliver safer vehicles and establishing a road safety data hub.

"The AAA has welcomed the federal government's recent establishment of a national office of road safety to oversee the next national road safety strategy, and the appointment of the assistant minister for road safety," Mr Bradley said.

Source: 9News

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