Alcohol And Roads Don’t Mix

Northern Territory Police are urging motorists and pedestrians across the Territory to reflect on their safety as we move into the Easter period.

Detective Senior Sergeant Brendan Lindner of the Major Crash Investigation Unit highlights a pressing concern: the Northern Territory has by far the highest lives lost on roads per capita compared to anywhere else in Australia. Alarmingly, this rate surpasses that of numerous countries worldwide.

Primarily, alcohol emerges as the predominant factor contributing to the distressing number of fatalities on our roads.

The Territory’s relatively small population size, and our preference for only comparing our fatality statistics to our own previous years, has resulted in a dangerous complacency as to just how high the NT numbers really are said Mr Lindner.

“Last year the NT lives lost on roads was 31 people, a record all-time low, considerably smaller than the larger states which frequently record numbers into the 300’s. When taken in isolation, our lives lost on roads can appear to paint the NT in a positive light, but when those fatalities are compared against other population sizes, we start to see the real picture.

Road fatalities per 100’000 people in 2023:

• Northern Territory – 13.06

• Queensland – 5.03

• New South Wales – 4.27

• Victoria – 4.18

• South Australia – 5.88

• Western Australia – 5.51

• Tasmania – 5.76

• Australian Capital Territory – 0.86

Even during the Territory’s best years for road safety, you are still more than twice as likely to die when compared to every other state in the country. In 2022, NT residents were closer to 3 times more likely, and when compared to New South Wales, you were 5 times more likely.

“These numbers aren’t just a reflection of expansive highways or the effects of smaller population sizes. They are a reflection of the NT’s harmful relationship with alcohol and road safety.

“Alcohol is consistently a factor in up to 90% of all fatal crashes across Territory. In the 5 years between 2019 and 2023, 97% of all pedestrian crash deaths involved alcohol or drugs as a factor.

The Northern Territory Police stress a clear message – Alcohol and roads do not mix.

“It doesn’t matter if you are behind the wheel on the Stuart or Tanami Highways.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re 4-wheel-driving the beaches out at Gunn Point or Nhulunbuy.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re walking across Mitchell Street or Todd Street. If you are under the influence of alcohol, stay away from roadways.”

While everyone is responsible for their own actions, we as a community need to start holding those around us to higher standard. If you know someone who drives while intoxicated or who consistently walks through busy thoroughfares while intoxicated, talk to them about the dangers of what they are doing.

This Easter weekend, the Northern Territory Police does not want to deliver that dreaded message to families’ door.

/Public Release. View in full here.