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Lowest NSW road toll in almost a century

NSW road toll
NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole says the road toll reduction means hundreds of lives have been saved. Photo: AAP
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The NSW road toll fell in 2021 to the lowest number in nearly a century.

Some 270 people lost their lives on the state’s roads last year, 14 fewer than the previous year.

It’s the smallest road toll since 1923.

The number means the NSW government has met its 2012 goal of reducing road deaths by 30 per cent.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole says the reduction of the road toll over the past decade means hundreds of lives have been saved.

“An additional 725 people would have died on NSW roads in the past 10 years had the state’s road toll remained at the same level as it was between 2008 and 2010 – that’s 725 people who would be missing around the family dinner table,” he said in a statement.

A months-long COVID-19 lockdown across the state made 2021 an unusual year.

But Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward says NSW was on track to achieve record low fatalities even before the lockdown.

“During the first six months of 2021, there was a record low 139 people killed on NSW roads, 25 less than the average number of people between 2018 and 2020,” Ms Ward said.

Ms Ward said the statistics showed that the government’s $822 million Safer Roads program was working.

The program involves reducing speed limits in cities, upgrading safety features at intersections, and slowing down traffic with pedestrian refuges and crossings.

Mr Toole said even one life lost on the roads was too many, pledging to work to take the toll down to zero.

He urged drivers and motorcycle riders to stick to the speed limit, wear helmets and seatbelts, put phones away and never drive if affected by drugs or alcohol.

– AAP