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Boswell cautions road users, particularly the elderly ... road fatality figures on the increase.



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23 April 2002 B35/2002

BOSWELL CAUTIONS ROAD USERS, PARTICULARLY THE ELDERLY … road fatality figures on the increase

The latest road fatality statistics reveal an increase in the number of road users aged sixty years or over being killed on Australian roads, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Senator Ron Boswell, said today.

Fatalities in the 60 year-old and over age group of all road users (drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists) increased by 5.5 % in the 12 months to March 2002 compared with the previous 12 months (from 361 fatalities to 381). Road fatalities in all other age groups decreased or remained the same.

"While there are undoubtedly many careful and capable elderly people using vehicles in our community, these latest figures from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) send a clear message that the elderly tend to be more vulnerable on our roads than other age groups," Senator Boswell said.

Senator Boswell said bicycle and motorcyclist fatalities remained well above last year's levels. Bicycle fatalities increased from 27 to 44 (63% increase) and motorcycle fatalities increased from 200 to 220 (10% increase).

"On a more positive note, the number of fatalities resulting form crashes involving articulated trucks was down by 17.6 %, from 204 in the twelve months to March 2001 to 168 in the twelve months ended March 2002," he said.

The ATSB figures indicate that Queensland (10%) and Victoria (9.6%) were the only states or territories with increases in road crash fatalities in the 12 months to March 2002 compared with the previous 12 month period.

The ATSB figures show the number of Australian road fatalities has increased by 2 % in the first quarter of 2002 compared with the same period in 2001. 408 people were killed in the three months to March 2002 - eight more fatalities than in the three months to March 2001.

There were 152 fatalities in the month of March 2002, 13 more than in March 2001 (a 9.4% increase).

"While the number of road user fatalities has reduced some 63% between 1987 and 2001 thanks to many initiatives such as seat belt enforcement and random breath testing, it is disappointing that there has been no significant decrease in road fatalities since 1997," Senator Boswell said.

BOSWELL CAUTIONS ROAD USERS, PARTICULARLY THE ELDERLY ... ROAD FATALITY FIGURES ON THE INCREASE

http://www.dotrs.gov.au/media/boswell/archive/2002/apr_02/b35_2002.htm (1 of 2) [24/04/2002 12:21:03]

"These figures illustrate the challenges we are facing as we try to achieve a 40% reduction in the road fatality rate as part of our national road safety strategy by the year 2010," he said.

The 'Australian Transport Safety Bureau's Road Fatalities Australia March 2002' is available at www.atsb.gov.au

Media Contact: Leah Nicoll (07) 3001 8150 or 0407 132 284

BOSWELL CAUTIONS ROAD USERS, PARTICULARLY THE ELDERLY ... ROAD FATALITY FIGURES ON THE INCREASE

http://www.dotrs.gov.au/media/boswell/archive/2002/apr_02/b35_2002.htm (2 of 2) [24/04/2002 12:21:03]