Article from: AAP , May 14, 2009 02:19pm
THE final road toll for 2008 was 1464 deaths, new Federal Government data shows.
The 8.7 per cent drop on the 2007 figure represents a significant win for campaigners seeking a fresh focus on the annual carnage.
Road safety campaigner Russell White is leading calls for May 22 to be made a day to reflect on the thousands lost on the roads.
At a launch for Fatality Free Friday in Brisbane, 1600 pairs of shoes - representing the nation's annual road toll - were placed in the forecourt of Suncorp Stadium.
Today's launch came as new national figures showed there were 151 road deaths in April, 36 per cent more than in April 2008.
Five-year road-toll trends contained in a report from the Federal Government show Queensland's toll has risen 2.1 per cent.
Elsewhere the news is better.
The greatest average annual decrease was seen in South Australia where the toll fell by 7.9 per cent, followed by NSW with a cut of 5.6 per cent, Tasmania which was down 2.3 per cent, and Victoria, down 1.6 per cent.
However, other states and territories saw a rise in their five-year trend.
"The states that have adopted the Fatality Free Friday philosophy have in fact had a fatality-free day,'' Mr White said.
"It puts more ownership on individual road users that ultimately it is our responsibility.
"There's plenty of evidence these campaigns do work in changing attitudes and beliefs over time.''
He said a range of measures was needed to cut the road roll, including better education and raising the age of eligibility to drive.
"There is no silver bullet. There needs to be a range of counter-measures,'' he said.
A pledge to take part can be signed on the website http://www.fatalityfreefriday.com
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