A road transport survey by the National Roads and Maritime Organisation (NrmO) has revealed that road transport is safer on Australian roads than it was in the 1960s.
The NrmO’s Road Safety Survey 2016, conducted between March and September last year, found that road users aged 16 and over were significantly safer than those who were over the age of 55.
The survey found that drivers were three times more likely to be killed on Australian roadways in 2016 than they were in 1963.
The report also found that fewer drivers died in 2016 compared to previous years.
But, while the report found that there was a reduction in road traffic fatalities, there were still more fatalities than there were in the past.
“Road traffic deaths in Australia have fallen from 12,300 in 1961 to 9,800 in 2016,” the report said.
“The proportion of deaths that were due to traffic-related injury or illness in 2016 was 5.1 per cent higher than in 1961.”
“Although the road safety of road users has improved significantly since 1961, road traffic deaths continue to be a significant and increasing problem in Australia,” the NrmE said.
Roads were safer in the 1950s and 1960s when people were more likely than today to drive alone.
“Our report confirms that Australian road safety remains the safest in the world, with the majority of Australians taking the safety measures recommended by Nrm experts in the NrmtSSA report,” the National Road Transport Association (NrmtA) said in a statement.
“However, road safety is not the only issue that is improving over the last half century, and we recognise that our roads are still not the safest on the planet.”
NrmA CEO David Rains said it was not unusual for roads to be safer in recent years, but said that the road transport industry had not done enough to make Australia safer.
“In the past, it was all about safety, and people got into a lot of trouble,” Mr Rains told Al Jazeera.
“But today it’s about reducing the number of road fatalities in our country and getting people off the roads.”
Nrms survey found more Australians aged 65 and over had taken up road transport than those aged 16 to 34.
More than one in five drivers aged 55 and over also used road transport.
More drivers were killed in crashes involving road transport in 2016.
“I am glad the Nrs has found road transport safer than it used to be,” Mr Lofthouse said.
But he said it would not be enough for the country to achieve the national goal of a road transport system that minimised road deaths.
“It will be a very long way to reach that goal,” he said.
Follow Al Jazeera’s road transport reporter, Emily Rau, on Twitter: @EmilyRau