VicRoads data

VicRoads publishes data showing the crashes that occur on our roads, including a dataset for the last five years:

Crashes in Yarra can be seen on a map, either as dots or a “heat map”. The maps show that many crashes occur on our main shopping streets, which is why their design needs to be improved.

Image credit: VicRoads
Image credit: VicRoads

WalkSpot and BikeSpot data

Other crash data is available from WalkSpot and BikeSpot, showing that our main shopping streets contain significant hazards and need to be improved.

Image credit: WalkSpot
Image credit: BikeSpot

Cost of crashes

Crashes cost taxpayers money, either directly through car repair costs and insurance premiums, or indirectly via taxes that pay for higher health and rehabilitation costs. Crashes also deter taxpayers from choosing lower-cost modes of transport, such as cycling. This is a financial burden on our economy. In Victoria, for 1993-94, the cost of crashes was estimated at over $2 billion dollars. Now in 2019 we have more traffic and more crashes, costing us even more money.

The Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Office of Best Practice Regulation values a human life at $4.5m and the value of a statistical life year at $195,000 in 2018 dollars.

If Yarra invests $10m per year in safe travel infrastructure and thwarts the loss of two lives, then the investment has not cost us anything. In contrast, all the other benefits (such as reduced population health costs) mean the investment definitely has a positive benefit/cost ratio.

Conclusion

To reduce both the incidence of crashes and their cost to the taxpayer, the State Government and the City of Yarra should collaborate to implement Safe System. This is a win-win that is bi-partisan, comprising both economic rationalism and equity for all road users.