Too many crashes and near misses occur in Yarra
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.
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.
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.
Value of a human life
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.
To reduce both the incidence of crashes and their cost to the taxpayer, local and state government should collaborate to invest in infrastructure (and speed limits) based on Safe System. This is a win-win that is bi-partisan, comprising both economic rationalism and equity for all road users. 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.