A dedicated data team has been created by the Palaszczuk Government to support its efforts to reduce Queensland’s road toll.
The new five-member Road Safety Data Bureau will bring together staff from Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Police Service, Queensland’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission and Queensland Health’s Jamieson Trauma Institute.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the team would analyse data collected by various government agencies to develop a clearer picture of the social, emotional and economic costs of road trauma.
“In 2018, the economic cost of fatalities and hospitalised casualties as a result of crashes in Queensland was estimated at more than $5 billion,” Mr Bailey said.
“Queensland Health data shows almost 15 percent of hospital admissions are attributed to transport crashes across all age groups and account for almost 30,000 patient bed days each year.
“The true road toll includes more than fatalities alone.
“Eliminating death and debilitating injury on the road is an investment that also makes financial sense.”
Mr Bailey said road crash and trauma data collected by Queensland’s government agencies was generally excellent but acknowledged there was reporting gaps the new team would aim to better understand.
“Relationships between these agencies already exist but co-locating these roles will allow us to develop a deeper understanding of the causes of crashes and their impacts,” Mr Bailey said.
“We collect a lot of data across government and industry, so it makes sense for us to explore how data can allow us to make better and faster decisions.
“Single vehicle crashes, and crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are not always reported, so an accurate number and severity of safety issues maybe missing from the data.
“The team’s research will look at mental health impacts on the road toll, alcohol involvement of alcohol in rear-end crashes, the prevalence and severity of motorcyclist injuries and crashes considered ‘out of scope’ for the road toll.
“We have lost 152 lives on Queensland roads already this year.
“Our last budget boosted Queensland’s road safety budget by $205 million to more than $900 million over four years, but we can always do more.
“We want the road toll to be zero, and to do that means looking for new opportunities to build on and complement our current road safety program.”
Mr Bailey said $3 million had been allocated to cover the implementation, employment and on-costs associated with establishing the Road Safety Data Bureau over four years.