Call for crash data as road toll reaches five-year high

Australia's road toll is at a five-year high, prompting a plea for transparency around crash data.

Some 1253 people were killed on the nation's roads in the 12 months to November 30, the Australian Road Deaths Database shows.

It is a 6.3 per cent jump on the previous year and the highest 12-month road toll since March 2018.

South Australia recorded the biggest increase with a 61.4 per cent jump in fatalities, followed by NSW with a 23.8 per cent rise and Victoria up 14.5 per cent.

Floral tributes at the scene where two boys were killed in a car crash
Governments are being urged to release more information about the causes of crashes.

Among those killed were 10 people killed in a bus crash after a wedding in the NSW Hunter Valley, and five who died a collision outside a pub in the Victorian town of Daylesford.

Other high-profile fatalities include the death of Charlie Stevens, the son of South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, south of Adelaide.

Deadly incidents were down in all other states and territories.

The national road toll has since risen further, with NSW Health reporting 11 deaths related to road crashes since Friday.

Crucial data on the quality of roads, causes of crashes and law enforcement could help put an end to the alarming trend, according to the Australian Automobile Association.

But the peak body for motoring clubs says states and territories have not released enough information.

“Month after month, road deaths keep rising and we lack the information needed to identify the reasons for this deadly trend and to develop the most effective measures for reducing crashes," the association's managing director Michael Bradley said.

He accused transport ministers of kicking safety reforms "down the road" after no commitment was made to release the information at a recent meeting, and hopes that will change in 2024.

Traffic in Melbourne
Motorists are being urged to drive safely during the holiday period as fatal accidents rise.

"Until this reform is implemented, we will not be able to identify the reasons for rising road deaths and develop the most effective measures for reducing crashes," Mr Bradley said.

Peter Fraser of Safer Australian Roads and Highways founded the group after his daughter Sarah died in a collision in 2012 in an emergency lane.

He fears not enough has been done since then to reduce the road toll, such as ensuring all infrastructure meets safety specifications.

"We haven't actually improved over the course of the last 10 years," Mr Fraser told Seven's Sunrise program on Monday.

"We have to start to convince both levels of government that we can take action as individuals."

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King called on drivers, bike riders and pedestrians to take care over the summer break.

"This season should be filled with joy, not sorrow," Ms King said.

“Deaths are not just a statistic; they are someone's parent, sibling, colleague, or cherished friend.

“So please take it easy on the roads and remember that road safety is a shared responsibility.”

The Rural Doctors Association also pleaded with motorists to drive safely.

“Unfortunately, as rural doctors, we see far too many victims of road accidents, which nearly always could have been prevented by the driver going a little slower, staying focused, and showing patience behind the steering wheel,” president Raymond Lewandowski said.

“It is incredibly saddening when we see families who were on their way to a long-awaited holiday catch-up with friends or family, or on their way back home from one, but instead are at the hospital either being treated for injuries or waiting for news on whether a loved one has survived."


* AUST - 1253, up 6.3 per cent 

* NSW - 354, up 23.8 per cent

* VIC - 285, up 14.5 per cent

* SA - 113, up 61.4 per cent

* QLD - 279, down 1.8 per cent 

* WA - 161, down 2.4 per cent

* TAS - 30, down 44.4 per cent

* NT - 28, down 45.1 per cent

* ACT - 3, down 85 per cent

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store