Friday, 30 April 2021

State of Play New South Wales: roads, death, trauma costs and safety data covering years 2012-2021

In March 2021 the Australian Government Dept. of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released its road deaths data for New South Wales covering the twelve months to March 2021:

NSW Road Deaths for March to March periods ending on 31 March 2012 through to 31 March 2021

In the 12 months up to 31 March 2021, “Drivers” was the largest fatality group involved in a motor vehicle accident, the biggest fatality age group was those between 40 and 64 years of age and men had the highest gender fatality figures.

From 1 January to 31 March 2021 there were a total of 73 road deaths in New South Wales

In March 2021 the NRMA also released its annual “Rate Your Roads” report for regional New South Wales which looked at the cost of road accident trauma.

Northern NSW falls into the NRMA’s Townsend region.

Northern Rivers Total Road Trauma Cost Breakdown for 2014-2018:

Clarence Valley – $492,364,548

Tweed – $472,172,580

Lismore – $ 279,501,896

Richmond Valley – $278,021,556

Ballina – $223,471,769

Byron – $204,822,770

Kyogle – $138,242,279.

The headline cost of trauma varies in the Townsend region from nearly $500 million in Clarence Valley, to around $16 million in Brewarrina. There is significant variance of these due to the population and size of the road network of the respective LGAs.

But on average, the cost of road trauma is approximately $155 million per LGA.

When adjusted per head of population, each LGA is in a narrower band of generally approximately $6,000 to $15,000 per person, with a few outliners.

Some LGAs might have a disproportionately large or small road network, and a road trauma cost/km may be beneficial. There is a significant amount of variance from around $8,000/km in Brewarrina to $300,000/km in Tweed.

Adjusting for both population and road network size might be considered a pseudo-equitable outcome. On this specific metric, Tamworth Regional LGA represents the ‘safest’ LGA in the NRMA Townsend region, with a road trauma cost of $1.80/person/km. 

In contrast, Walcha is the ‘least safe’ LGA, with a road trauma cost of $22.18/person/km. This means that after accounting for the difference in the size of the road network and population, the Walcha LGA has nearly 15 times more road trauma than Tamworth Regional Council LGA…… 

Northern Rivers “Rate Your Roads” 2021 survey participants gave the following overall safety scores for the road systems in their local government areas:

Ballina – 47.50%

Tweed – 47.16%

Richmond Valley – 46.16%

Clarence Valley – 38.39%

Kyogle – 37.40%

Lismore – 31.85%

Byron – 30.61%.

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