Limits...
Are we there yet? Australian road safety targets and road traffic crash fatalities.

Gargett S, Connelly LB, Nghiem S - BMC Public Health (2011)

Bottom Line: Statistically significant reductions in fatality rates since 1971 were found for all jurisdictions with the national rate decreasing on average, 3% per year since 1992.Unsurprisingly, the analysis indicated a range of outcomes for the respective state/territory jurisdictions though these results should be interpreted with caution due to different assumptions and length of data.Results indicate that while Australia has been successful over recent decades in reducing RTC mortality, an important gap between aspirations and achievements remains.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, The University of Queensland, Edith Cavell Building, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Qld, 4029, Australia. s.gargett@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Road safety targets are widely used and provide a basis for evaluating progress in road safety outcomes against a quantified goal. In Australia, a reduction in fatalities from road traffic crashes (RTCs) is a public policy objective: a national target of no more than 5.6 fatalities per 100,000 population by 2010 was set in 2001. The purpose of this paper is to examine the progress Australia and its states and territories have made in reducing RTC fatalities, and to estimate when the 2010 target may be reached by the jurisdictions.

Methods: Following a descriptive analysis, univariate time-series models estimate past trends in fatality rates over recent decades. Data for differing time periods are analysed and different trend specifications estimated. Preferred models were selected on the basis of statistical criteria and the period covered by the data. The results of preferred regressions are used to determine out-of-sample forecasts of when the national target may be attained by the jurisdictions. Though there are limitations with the time series approach used, inadequate data precluded the estimation of a full causal/structural model.

Results: Statistically significant reductions in fatality rates since 1971 were found for all jurisdictions with the national rate decreasing on average, 3% per year since 1992. However the gains have varied across time and space, with percent changes in fatality rates ranging from an 8% increase in New South Wales 1972-1981 to a 46% decrease in Queensland 1982-1991. Based on an estimate of past trends, it is possible that the target set for 2010 may not be reached nationally, until 2016. Unsurprisingly, the analysis indicated a range of outcomes for the respective state/territory jurisdictions though these results should be interpreted with caution due to different assumptions and length of data.

Conclusions: Results indicate that while Australia has been successful over recent decades in reducing RTC mortality, an important gap between aspirations and achievements remains. Moreover, unless there are fairly radical ("trend-breaking") changes in the factors that affect the incidence of RTC fatalities, deaths from RTCs are likely to remain above the national target in some areas of Australia, for years to come.

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RTC fatalities per 100,000 population, Australia and Australian states and territories, 1971-2009.
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Figure 1: RTC fatalities per 100,000 population, Australia and Australian states and territories, 1971-2009.

Mentions: Annual fatality rates for Australia and its eight constituent jurisdictions are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1. The substantial decrease in the rates that has occurred in all Australian jurisdictions over the past 40 years and a general slowing in this decrease in most jurisdictions since the early 1990s are both clearly evident. Differences in the rates across the jurisdictions are also apparent with two outlier jurisdictions, the NT and ACT, having the highest and lowest rates respectively. In relation to progress towards the target of no more than 5.6 deaths per 100,000, casual empiricism suggests that while some of the jurisdictions appear to be well-placed to meet the target, or indeed have already done so, others are not. Specifically, the rate for Australia in 2009 was 6.9 deaths per 100,000. Encouragingly, two jurisdictions, the ACT and Vic., have already achieved a rate below the target with the rate in the ACT having been less than the target rate in all years since 2001 except one. In contrast, since the commencement of the NRSS 2001-2010 the rate in the NT has been, on average, four times greater than the target rate even though it recorded its lowest RTC fatality rate in the past forty years (13.8 deaths per 100,000) in 2009.


Are we there yet? Australian road safety targets and road traffic crash fatalities.

Gargett S, Connelly LB, Nghiem S - BMC Public Health (2011)

RTC fatalities per 100,000 population, Australia and Australian states and territories, 1971-2009.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3117711&req=5

Figure 1: RTC fatalities per 100,000 population, Australia and Australian states and territories, 1971-2009.
Mentions: Annual fatality rates for Australia and its eight constituent jurisdictions are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1. The substantial decrease in the rates that has occurred in all Australian jurisdictions over the past 40 years and a general slowing in this decrease in most jurisdictions since the early 1990s are both clearly evident. Differences in the rates across the jurisdictions are also apparent with two outlier jurisdictions, the NT and ACT, having the highest and lowest rates respectively. In relation to progress towards the target of no more than 5.6 deaths per 100,000, casual empiricism suggests that while some of the jurisdictions appear to be well-placed to meet the target, or indeed have already done so, others are not. Specifically, the rate for Australia in 2009 was 6.9 deaths per 100,000. Encouragingly, two jurisdictions, the ACT and Vic., have already achieved a rate below the target with the rate in the ACT having been less than the target rate in all years since 2001 except one. In contrast, since the commencement of the NRSS 2001-2010 the rate in the NT has been, on average, four times greater than the target rate even though it recorded its lowest RTC fatality rate in the past forty years (13.8 deaths per 100,000) in 2009.

Bottom Line: Statistically significant reductions in fatality rates since 1971 were found for all jurisdictions with the national rate decreasing on average, 3% per year since 1992.Unsurprisingly, the analysis indicated a range of outcomes for the respective state/territory jurisdictions though these results should be interpreted with caution due to different assumptions and length of data.Results indicate that while Australia has been successful over recent decades in reducing RTC mortality, an important gap between aspirations and achievements remains.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, The University of Queensland, Edith Cavell Building, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Qld, 4029, Australia. s.gargett@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Road safety targets are widely used and provide a basis for evaluating progress in road safety outcomes against a quantified goal. In Australia, a reduction in fatalities from road traffic crashes (RTCs) is a public policy objective: a national target of no more than 5.6 fatalities per 100,000 population by 2010 was set in 2001. The purpose of this paper is to examine the progress Australia and its states and territories have made in reducing RTC fatalities, and to estimate when the 2010 target may be reached by the jurisdictions.

Methods: Following a descriptive analysis, univariate time-series models estimate past trends in fatality rates over recent decades. Data for differing time periods are analysed and different trend specifications estimated. Preferred models were selected on the basis of statistical criteria and the period covered by the data. The results of preferred regressions are used to determine out-of-sample forecasts of when the national target may be attained by the jurisdictions. Though there are limitations with the time series approach used, inadequate data precluded the estimation of a full causal/structural model.

Results: Statistically significant reductions in fatality rates since 1971 were found for all jurisdictions with the national rate decreasing on average, 3% per year since 1992. However the gains have varied across time and space, with percent changes in fatality rates ranging from an 8% increase in New South Wales 1972-1981 to a 46% decrease in Queensland 1982-1991. Based on an estimate of past trends, it is possible that the target set for 2010 may not be reached nationally, until 2016. Unsurprisingly, the analysis indicated a range of outcomes for the respective state/territory jurisdictions though these results should be interpreted with caution due to different assumptions and length of data.

Conclusions: Results indicate that while Australia has been successful over recent decades in reducing RTC mortality, an important gap between aspirations and achievements remains. Moreover, unless there are fairly radical ("trend-breaking") changes in the factors that affect the incidence of RTC fatalities, deaths from RTCs are likely to remain above the national target in some areas of Australia, for years to come.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus