Australia is in danger of missing its target of reducing road fatalities by 30 per cent by 2020 if current trends continue, according to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

Under the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) 2011–2020, federal, state and territory governments committed to reduce the annual numbers of both deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads by at least 30 per cent. The AAA recently released its quarterly report tracking progress towards this goal.

According to the AAA report, in 2015:

  • There were 1,209 fatalities on Australian roads, an increase from 1,153 in 2014
  • There was a significant increase in the number of drivers killed (up 4.7 per cent to 560) and passengers killed (up 9.2 per cent to 249) compared to 2014
  • The number of motorcyclists killed increased by 5.8 per cent to 202

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “The report shows the continuation of a very disturbing upward trend in road fatalities which began in March 2015. The reality is that if the trend of 2015 continues, we will very quickly be in a situation where the 2020 target will be beyond reach.”

According to the Australian Government the annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is around $27 billion. This is equivalent to roughly half of the total $50.9 billion Australia’s massive agriculture sector contributes to the economy.

“Beyond that we’re talking about the lives of Australians. Our analysis shows that if all jurisdictions were able to match Victoria’s fatality rate of 4.3 per 100,000 population, 181 more Australians would have survived 2015,” Mr Bradley said.