General News

NRMA data reveals Northern NSW as road toll priority

New research conducted by the NRMA has identified Northern NSW roads as among the worst in the state with death and injuries from road trauma costing the community more than $1.5 billion.

This figure equates to a road trauma cost of $300,665 per kilometre of road within the Tweed local area while the Tamworth area has a burden of $107,335 per kilometre.

The worrying statistics provides both the Australian and NSW Governments with valuable insights into where stimulus spending could be prioritised to help save lives, boost regional economies and support access to regional tourism post the Coronavirus shutdown.

The NRMA strongly supports Australian and NSW Government investment in road infrastructure as an economic stimulus to counter the effects of the Coronavirus by supporting local employment and suppliers in the short term and reduce the road toll in the longer term.

The Mid-Coast LGA alone had nearly $650 million in road trauma costs while the Tamworth LGA totaled nearly $400 million. NSW crash data shows two-thirds (66%) of deaths on the state’s roads occur in regional areas.

The NRMA analysed the crash history between 2014 and 2018 across regional and metropolitan Local Government Areas (LGA) based on the number of people per region and the number of kilometres of road in the respective LGAs. The research places an apples-for-apples cost burden comparison of deaths and injuries on the local communities.

From a headline trauma cost figure, the top-5 LGAs for the Northern NSW region are:
LGA Cost of Trauma
✔ Mid-Coast  $637,600,744
✔ Clarence Valley  $492,364,548
✔ Tweed $472,172,580
✔ Port Macquarie-Hastings  $443,311,268
✔ Tamworth Regional  $388,903,390

From a headline trauma cost figure, the top-5 LGAs across regional NSW are:
LGA Cost of Trauma
✔ Central Coast $1,505,193,617
✔ Wollongong $837,692,660
✔ Shoalhaven $701,625,223
✔ Newcastle $650,819,052
✔ Mid-Coast $637,600,744

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said Northern NSW region stood out as a key area for road infrastructure funding, particularly when domestic tourism resumes in the region.

“The Australian and NSW Governments are right to look to infrastructure spending to help Australia get back on its feet and this research by the NRMA sheds some valuable light on those communities that have borne the brunt of the economic cost of deaths and injuries,” Mr Khoury said.

“Fixing regional roads will save lives, provide a much-needed boost to regional economies and give greater access to regional tourism destinations, particularly as we emerge from COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“Northern NSW has always been a top destination for holidays, and with the international travel restrictions to remain in place for some time, domestic locations will rise even further in popularity. We need to make sure tourists and locals are driving on the safest and most efficient roads possible.”