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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Charles Jones asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   How many road accidents were there annually in each State during the last 10 years.

(2)   How many accidents involved two or more vehicles.

(3)   How many persons were (a) killed and (b) injured.

(4)   How many of the drivers were under the influence of (a) alcohol, (b) drugs or (c) some illness which reduced driving efficiency.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:


Cl) As I have advised the House previously, reporting of accidents not involving casualties is not compulsory in all States and figures therefore can only be supplied of accidents involving casualties. The number of accidents involving casualties in each State, and in Australia as a whole, are set out below for the years 1959 to 1968. Sui h accidents are defined as those which resulted in the death of any person within 30 days of the accident or in bodily injury to any person to an extent requiring surgical or medical treatment. !n the case of South Australia, the definition of an accident involving casualties was brought into line with the definition given above as from 1st October 1967, previously all accidents where persons were injured to any degree were included. Northern Territory statistics are available only from 1st July 1962.




(3)   (a) and (b) The number of persons killed and injured in all types of accidents in each State, and in Australia as a whole, are set out in tables below for the years 1959 to 1968; persons injured in South Australia up to 1st October 1967 includes persons injured to any degree. Northern Territory statistics are available only from 1st July 1962.


(3)   (b) -


(4)   No statistics are available of the numbers of drivers involved in accidents who were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or illnesses which reduced their driving efficiency. However, statistics showing the 'Predominant causes' of road traffic accidents and 'road user responsibility' are made in several States but. because in the accident situation there are normally a number of contributing factors each of which could be a 'cause', the allocation of a 'predominant cause' has to be the subjective judgment of the. police officers completing the accident report form. Thus, there is no consistent classification between areas and statistics of predominant causes are not available for Australia as a whole. Any statistics of accidents for which drivers of motor vehicles arc held responsible and for which the predominant cause has been attributed as 'intoxication' are understated because some drivers obviously affected by alcohol are involved in accidents which for statistical purposes are attributed to other causes. No statistics of predominant cause are available for 'drugs' or other illnesses'.

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