Road deaths in Australia have increased by almost six percent in the past year, according to latest figures.

Latest road fatality figures revealed 1,204 people died on the country’s roads in the 12 months to 31 March 2023, a 5.9 percent rise compared to the same period the year before.

In five of Australia’s eight states and territories road deaths were more than nine percent higher when compared to the previous corresponding period.

The latest figures also show Australia’s current annual road toll is higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the year to March 2020, 1,143 people died on Australian roads and in the 12 months to March 2019 there were 1,155 deaths.

In 2021 the National Road Safety Strategy was launched with the aim of reducing road deaths by 50 percent by 2030.

Australian Automobile Association (AAA) said the national road toll is now 19 percent higher than where it would need to be if the Strategy was ‘on track’ to meet its targeted pro rata reduction (1,011 deaths).

And said state and territory governments had not yet developed a data system that could quantify national serious injuries. It said the Strategy was also unable to report two other headline targets: deaths in city CBD areas; and deaths on national highways and high-speed roads covering 80 percent of travel across the network.

“The AAA strongly endorses these trauma reduction targets, but governments must report the data needed to measure progress and prevent future trauma,” said AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley.

“Road deaths have increased over the past five years, and a lack of road trauma data reporting makes it difficult to understand the reasons for this trend and to identify the measures needed to prevent them.”