Staying safe on our roads this holiday season

Media Release


06 December 2016

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester is calling on all road users to be extra vigilant on Australian roads leading into a period where historically crashes and fatalities rise.

“This is the time of year when more people are driving to enjoy a well-earned break or spend time with their loved ones—but it's also a time when everyone has to focus on safety to make sure we arrive alive,” Mr Chester said.

“Too many people are being killed and injured on our roads and I fear we have become accepting of road trauma as a price we have to pay for a modern transport system.

“The past two years have seen increased deaths on Australia's roads. In 2014, 1,150 people were killed and in 2015 it was 1205 people.

“In 2016 to the end of October, we have already had 1,081 deaths—which is again up from 1,015 at the same time last year.

“Millions of people will be travelling on our national highways over the holidays, and last year alone 39 people were killed in road crashes over the 12 day Christmas holiday period from 23 December. This is a national tragedy and one that can be reduced if we all play our part.

“The Australian Government is spending record amounts on better roads with funding commitments for highway duplications, crash black spots, safety treatments and heavy vehicle rest areas.

“Year round, we know that people are more likely to be killed or injured on regional and rural roads than anywhere else. I urge drivers this Christmas season to take part in helping to reduce road trauma.

“Make good decisions when driving—there are things we can all do to be safer on the roads, including reducing speed, avoiding driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, avoiding distractions like mobile phones, and taking plenty of breaks.”