LETTER: We're not told whole truth about road toll figures

WHILE every death on the road is a tragic occurrence, there is a significant chunk of withheld information which the "road safety experts", both governmental and quasi-governmental, are not giving us.

We, via the mass media, are only ever fed one piece of information - the number of fatalities, with no points of reference.

That is what the authorities want to ram down our throats, but it is like being given only one part of a jigsaw puzzle and being told that is all there is.

However, a very simple search on the internet brings up some rather interesting statistical information and the source which I chose happens to be a Wikipedia article.

The truth relating to road deaths is that since 1970 there has been a decrease in the number of fatalities per capita.

I use the following lines from the article to illustrate:

In 1975 there were 3634 road deaths, which equated to 26.59 for every 100,000 Australian citizens.

In 1980 there were 3403 road deaths, which equated to 22.7 for every 100,000 Australian citizens and 43.2 deaths for every 100,000 motor vehicles.

In 1985 there were 2941 road deaths, which equated to 18.63 for every 100,000 Australian citizens or 32.3 deaths for every 100,000 motor vehicles or 20.9 per every billion vehicle kilometres.

In 1995 there were 2017 road deaths, which equated to 11.16 for every 100,000 Aussies, or 18.4 for every 100,000 motor vehicles, or 12.1 per every billion vehicle kilometres.

Now to 2014, the most recent complete data, where there 1153 road deaths, which equated to 4.91 for every 100,000 citizens, or 4.5 for every 100,000 vehicles, or 4.8 per every billion vehicle kilometres.

Road safety has dramatically improved since 1975 and when the number of vehicles on our roads is taken into account, as it must be, then the fall has been nothing short of astounding.

Your article quoted Jodi McKay (shadow Roads Minister) as saying "The road toll is increasing".

I suggest that in future Jodi check readily available statistics before making such a sweeping statement.

Bruce Kennewell, Yamba



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