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Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today urged people to always make road safety their highest priority, whether they’re a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian.

Mr Gay made the appeal after releasing the 2014 NSW road toll figures, showing NSW had built on its record low, with 24 fewer fatalities than 2013.

“Provisional figures show 309 people died on NSW roads this year, compared to 333 in 2013, making this the equal lowest annual total since 1923,” Mr Gay said.

“When you think our population has grown by more than five million since 1923 and there are now about 4.8 million more vehicles on our roads, it shows how significant this reduction is.

“It is encouraging to see a decline in fatalities, but it’s still 309 people too many, 309 people who never made it home to their families and I know we can bring this number down much further.

“Thinking about the trauma experienced by people who have lost a loved one on our roads is a strong reminder we must all do our bit to stay safe.

“The NSW Government has delivered record road safety budgets, investing over $280 million this financial year alone. In 2015, we will continue doing everything we can to bring down the road toll including building on current road safety campaigns to engage NSW road users in new ways.

“It’s simple for everyone to reduce their chance of being in a crash – stick to the speed limit, wear a seatbelt, get your hand off your mobile phone when driving and have a Plan B if you’re drinking.

“Let’s work together this year and ensure NSW has one of the best road safety cultures in the world.”

Centre for Road Safety General Manager Marg Prendergast said she was pleased the 2014 toll was down by almost 40 per cent from a decade ago, with 510 lives lost on our roads in 2004, but said there were still areas for improvement.

NSW recorded a fatality rate of 4.1 per 100,000 population in 2014, down from 4.5 the previous year and the lowest fatality rate for NSW since records began in 1908. Page 2 of 3

Comparing the 2014 road toll data with the previous year:

  • Passenger deaths were down by 6 to 43 – the lowest passenger fatality total since this statistic was first recorded in 1939;
  • Pedestrian deaths were down by 3 to 41 – the lowest pedestrian fatality total since this statistic was first recorded in 1928;
  • Fewer young adults aged 17 to 25 years lost their lives, decreasing by 9 per cent, from 74 to 67;
  • Fatalities from P Plate driver crashes reduced by 35 per cent, from 51 to 33;
  • Motorcyclist deaths fell by 15 per cent, from 71 to 60;
  • Cyclist deaths were down from 14 to 11;
  • There were 30 fewer single vehicle fatal crashes; and
  • Metropolitan roads had fewer deaths, down by 17 from 2013.

“While it is positive to see a reduction in deaths on our roads, sadly some aspects of the road toll increased in 2014,” Ms Prendergast said.

“We saw an increase in the number of people killed because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, with 29 fatalities compared to 20 in the previous year.

“We also saw an increase in the number of older drivers and riders aged 70 years or more involved in fatal crashes, with 55 in 2014, up by 16 on the 2013 result.

“We also know from the 2014 data that most fatal crashes occurred on Saturdays with 55 fatalities, which was five more than what was recorded on Saturdays during 2013.

“Despite reductions in speed related and fatigue related fatalities compared with 2013, speed still contributed to 41 per cent of fatalities in 2014 and fatigue was implicated in 17 per cent of fatalities.”

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander of the NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said today's result is a good example of how Traffic & Highway Patrol Command officers have delivered for the community of NSW.

"With our 1254 officers focused on road safety, this announcement should not only be pleasing for those officers, but for all road users,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

"Our partnership with the NSW Centre for Road Safety means we have been able to apply hi visibility markings to Highway Patrol cars for the benefit of assisting in preventing serious injury and fatal crashes.

"Together, we have been able to deploy 24 Motorcycle Response Team Officers and Cycles to key traffic flow areas in order to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety and minimise congestion.

"Through our Crash Investigators, we have been able to deliver timely and high quality investigations and prosecutions where serious crashes have occurred.

"Our focus on random drug testing has led to greater numbers of positive results, taking those drivers off the road and reducing the risk to their passengers, and other road users.

"Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Officers will continue to focus on road safety in partnership with the NSW Centre for Road Safety and continue to drive down the road toll."

Breakdown of fatalities by RMS region: RMS Region

2013

2014 (prov)

Difference

Difference %

Sydney

93

82

-11

-12%

Northern

67

62

-5

-7%

Hunter

48

43

-5

-10%

Southern

45

55

10

22%

South West

40

37

-3

-8%

Western

40

30

-10

-25%

Total

333

309

-24

-7%

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