New research conducted by the NRMA has identified regional areas hit hardest by the state’s road toll and provided Government with areas of priority to direct the much-needed infrastructure stimulus spending to help boost the economy.
The NRMA has analysed the crash history across regional and metropolitan Local Government Areas (LGA) based on the number of people per region and the number of kilometres of road in the respective LGAs. The research places a cost burden of deaths and injuries on the local communities.
The worrying statistics provides both the Australian and NSW Governments with valuable insights into where stimulus spending could be prioritised to help save lives, boost regional economies and support access to regional tourism post the Coronavirus shutdown.
The NRMA strongly supports Australian and NSW Government investment in road infrastructure as an economic stimulus to counter the effects of the Coronavirus by supporting local employment and suppliers in the short term, and reduce the road toll in the longer term.
The concerns of drivers has also been incorporated into the research with the report overlaying region-by-region analysis of NRMA’s 2019 Rate Your Road survey, which included over 23,000 votes from the public – the largest transport survey on record.
The research consolidates Government crash data over a five year period from 2014 to 2018. The NRMA report focusses on the at-risk regional areas of NSW as this is where 1,088 (66%) deaths and 61,184 (42%) of moderate and serious injuries occur.
From a headline trauma cost figure, the top-5 regional LGAs for costs of deaths and injuries are:
Costs of deaths and injuries per kilometre of road for regional LGAs:
The analysis of Sydney’s LGA’s of costs of deaths and injuries:
NRMA spokesperson said the NRMA strongly supported a boost to road infrastructure targeting areas at greatest safety risk and in need of meaningful economic stimulus.
“The Australian and NSW Governments are right to look to infrastructure spending to help Australia get back on its feet and this research by the NRMA sheds some valuable light on those communities that have borne the brunt of the economic cost of deaths and injuries.
“Fixing the roads in these communities will save lives, provided a much-needed shot in the arm of regional economies and – crucially as we head out of lock-down – give greater access to regional tourism destinations and therefore boost regional communities.
“Australian’s won’t be going overseas any time soon but they will be booking holidays right here at home, which is great news for Australia’s domestic tourism market. Let’s make sure they are driving on the safest and most efficient roads possible.”
Image credit: Maksym Kozlenko