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Urgent call for secret crash data to be shared from July 1

The Government has intended to link state and territory crash data, after a 10 per cent rise in deaths on Australian roads in the last year.

The Federal Government intends to link state and territory crash data, after a 10 per cent rise in the number of deaths on Australian roads in the last year.

Fresh road safety data released this week shows the number of deaths on Australian roads has risen by more than 10 per cent in the last year.

Figures published by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics for the 12 months up to 31 May this year show 1303 people died on our roads, a 10.4 per cent rise compared to 1180 the year prior.

The latest numbers include increased fatalities in NSW (32.9 per cent) and the Northern Territory (72.4 per cent), as well as rises in Victoria (5.1 per cent), Queensland (5.1 per cent), and South Australia (2.1 per cent).

Australian Automobile Association (AAA) managing director, Michael Bradley, said the figures showed why federal and state transport ministers must agree to data transparency reforms as part of their next five-year road funding deal, due to be finalised in the coming days before the end of the current financial year.

“The best way to understand what is going wrong on our roads is to look at data about the causes of crashes, the state of our roads and the effectiveness of police traffic enforcement,” Bradley says.

“State and territory governments hold this data but keep it secret. At a time when current policies are failing and more than 100 people are dying on the roads each month, the secrecy must end.’”

In May, the federal government announced $21 million into a crash data hub in a move that wil also tie road funding to the states into a transparent return of crash and road safety data aimed at lowering the road toll.

Bradley highlighted that the federal transport minister Catherine King had called on states and territories to agree to release this data as part of the next federal funding agreement, which is due to take effect from 1 July.

“The window of opportunity is about to close on what would be the most important road safety reform in decades. States and territories must accept that now is the time to let data save lives.’’

For the first time, the federal government will seek to include a provision in its five-year funding deal with the states and territories that requires them to provide a nationally-consistent data set.

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