Fatal crash progress loses momentum


Latest figures show recent improvements in fatal crashes and deaths involving heavy trucks have failed to be sustained

July 23, 2013

The recent decline of fatal crashes and deaths involving heavy trucks has met resistance over the past two years, the latest Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)
figures show.

Fatal accidents and fatalities had
plunged from 147 and 182 respectively in 2007 to lows of 121 and 141 in 2010, while the figures for 2011 were a comparable
122 and 138.

But BITRE
statistics up to the end of 2012 reveal that, after a steady fall since 2007, the trend reversed somewhat, with 124 crashes claiming the lives of 148 people last year
– the same number of deaths as in 2009.

A worse reversal occurred for heavy rigid trucks.

Hopes that a 25 percent fall in fatalities might be sustained for this vehicle type have been dashed, with 2012 fatal crashes at 86 and fatalities at 98, compared with the previous
six year high of 87 and 92 recorded in 2008.

Overall, in the 12 months to the end of December 2012, 256 people died from 219 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses.

The numbers can be seen against a backdrop of steadily increasing numbers of registered heavy rigids and relatively strong growth in articulated truck registrations over the past five years.

Since the start of the global financial crisis, heavy rigids have grown 6.8 percent while articulated truck numbers are up 14.9 percent.

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