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Territory road

In the period spanning December 2022 to December 2023, the Northern Territory saw a decline in road fatalities, with 31 lives lost compared to 47 in the previous year. Despite this significant 34% decrease, the road fatality rate per capita remains three times higher than the national average.

Various factors contribute to these concerning statistics, including alcohol & drug-related incidents, non-compliance with seatbelt usage, driver fatigue, and speeding. Alarmingly, nearly 90% of road deaths in the Northern Territory are linked to alcohol or drug misuse, contrasting with the Australian average of approximately 30%. Pedestrian safety also emerges as a pressing issue, with 9 out of the 31 fatalities in 2023 involving adult pedestrians.

Zooming out to the national level, the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) aimed to halve road deaths by 2030. However, recent data paints a different picture. Over the 12-month period ending in December 2023, Australia witnessed 1,266 road fatalities—a 7.3% increase compared to the previous corresponding period. Australia’s annual road deaths are now 15.4 per cent higher than when the National Road Safety Strategy began. These figures surpass the projected pro-rata target of 971 fatalities, sparking a critical revaluation of current road safety measures.

A closer examination of the Northern Territory's statistics unveils a nuanced scenario. While a 34.0% reduction in road deaths for the period ending December 2023 signals progress, a comparison with tolls from 2021 and 2020 reveals a more tempered improvement. Notably, the 2023 road toll stands just two fatalities shy of the NT's pro-rata target of no more than 33 deaths for this stage of the NRSS.

Access to data about policing, road conditions and the causes of accidents is essential for understanding the underlying causes of accidents and informing targeted interventions. Improved transparency in sharing this data could facilitate better analysis of driver behaviours, community awareness campaigns, and more effective policy targeting. It's why AANT has joined forces with the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and other motoring clubs nationwide to advocate for enhanced data availability, supporting informed road safety policies and NRSS objectives. 

Note: The data used to produce this information were sourced from the Australian Road Deaths Database:, accessed on 15 January 2024 and Road Deaths Australia December 2023 monthly bulletin ISSN 1449-1168. 

It's time to use data to save lives

Find more information about the Data Save Live campaign in AANT “It’s time to depoliticise road funding” article.