Emergency services attended the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Emergency services attended the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

Clarence’s damning road toll data revealed

FOLLOWING another horror weekend on Clarence Valley roads that saw two people killed in a head-on crash near Dilkoon, new data has revealed the Clarence Valley was ranked as the highest for road deaths in regional NSW last year.

Provisional figures released by the NSW Centre for Road Safety revealed 10 people were killed in crashes on Clarence roads during 2019 in one of the deadliest years in recent history.

Between 2014 and 2018 there were 34 fatal crashes in the Clarence Valley local government area, which claimed the lives of 38 people.

In the past five years only 2016 saw more fatalities when 12 people died in 11 crashes. In total, there were 1109 crashes from 2014 to 2018 that saw 1069 either injured or killed.

In regional NSW, Port Stephens had the second highest number of road deaths, with nine fatalities, followed by the Central Coast, Mid-Coast, Shoalhaven and Tweed local government areas, with eight deaths each.

The data comes as the NSW Government prepares to hold the Towards Zero Road Safety Summit on March 23, designed to help the government decide what new measures are needed to meet its target of no fatalities by 2056.

Around 100 international transport experts will join state government road safety officials at the summit, with measures implemented in Norway and Sweden to be among the key items up for discussion.

A drink-drive limit of 0.02, point-to-point or average speed cameras for cars and no warning signs around mobile speed traps are just some of the measures the state government will consider introducing.

The summit will guide Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance and Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole in developing the state's next road safety plan.

"Road trauma has a devastating impact on the wider community," Mr Constance said.

"Last year, 352 people lost their lives and almost 11,000 people were seriously injured on NSW roads, so it's crucial we continue to look at ways to reduce these numbers.

"The loss of life and serious injuries caused by road crashes is avoidable and we are firmly committed to working towards zero road trauma in our state by 2056."

Mr Toole said it was essential all levels of government worked together to look at the ways lives could be saved on the state's roads.

"The regions make up just one third of NSW's population, but make up two-thirds of the state's road toll, with 233 lives lost on our regional roads last year," he said.

With the state's population growing and more cars on the road, Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said it was imperative that new measures to cut the road toll and serious injuries were implemented.

"If we do nothing, it will go up," he said.

"If we do no more than we are doing now, because of population increases and increasing vehicles on our roads, it will go up.

"Both Sweden and Norway are two of the best-performing road safety countries in the world in terms of their rate of trauma. We aren't doing that badly, but we are not doing as well as them. We really have been following them for the last 30 years."



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