Road deaths up by 15pc

The Sunday Telegraph

Sunday 14 July 2002

ROAD deaths in NSW have increased by more than 15 per cent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2001.

Roads and Traffic Authority figures show 305 people died on the roads between January 1 and July 8, compared to 524 for the whole of last year.

If road deaths continue at the current rate, the year will be the deadliest since 2000 when 602 people died.

Of those killed this year, 143 were drivers and 78 were passengers.

There were 51 pedestrian deaths, a six per cent rise on the same period last year. The number of cyclists killed was up from six to seven. But there were fewer motorcyclists killed -- 26 have died so far, compared to 35 by the same date last year.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby said the rise in deaths, especially among pedestrians and cyclists, was disturbing and needed tough action.

Police Traffic services commander Chief Supt Ron Sorrenson said the increase in deaths was in the southern and western parts of the State around Albury, Wagga Wagga, Griffith and the New England Highway into Dubbo.

“We've had an alcohol problem around the southern Wagga-Albury area, a number of alcohol-related crashes,” he said.