Transport is a fundamental aspect of an advanced economy and has considerable social, economic and environmental impacts. Effective transport systems contribute to economic prosperity as well as providing benefits to individuals through access to a greater range of employment, residential, holiday and entertainment opportunities. Adverse impacts include road crashes, traffic congestion, emissions pollution and traffic noise.
In 2007 there were nearly 3.5 million registered passenger vehicles in New South Wales, almost 80% of the total vehicle fleet. In 2006 there were nearly 4.5 million registered motor vehicle licence holders in NSW with the 2006 Census revealing an average of 1.6 motor vehicles per dwelling in NSW. The 2006 Survey of Motor Vehicle Use showed that passenger vehicles travel an average of 14,000 kilometres per year.
The rate of road transport related deaths, injuries and accidents per 100,000 persons in NSW has been declining since the 1970s. Between 2000 and 2006 transport fatalities declined from 9.3 per 100,000 persons to 7.3 per 100,000 (-22%). Injury (-16%) and accident rates (-18%) have also declined.
The contributing causes to accidents has also changed. Alcohol as a contributing cause to an accident has declined from 7.1% in 1990 to 4.2% in 2006 while speed as a contributing cause increased over the same period from 13.4% to 17.2%. Fatigue as a contributing cause has remained steady.
CONTRIBUTING CAUSES TO ACCIDENTS,
Percentage change, NSW —
Fatality rates and contributing causes to accidents varied considerably between regions during 2006. Sydney had the lowest fatality rate of the regions at 4.5 per 100,000 persons. The contributing causes of speed, alcohol and fatigue to accidents were lower in Sydney than the rest of the state.
The North Western Statistical Division had the highest overall fatality rate at 20.7 per 100,000 persons, and the highest contribution of alcohol to accidents (8.1% of accidents). Speed as a contributing cause was highest in the South Eastern Statistical Division (34.9%) while fatigue as a contributing cause to accidents was highest in the Far West Statistical Division (15.7%). In all, 305 of the state's 496 road transport fatalities in 2006 occurred outside of Sydney.
By Statistical Division, NSW — 2006
The 2005 Household Travel Survey also showed that the private vehicle continued to be the most used mode of transport for every weekday trip in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area. For commutes to work, car use was significant at 69%. Public transport usage was highest amongst those people travelling for education/childcare purposes.
PROPORTION OF TRIPS ON AN AVERAGE WEEKDAY,
ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing
Motor Vehicle Census, Australia
Sydney Greater Metropolitan area —
(cat. no. 9309.0)
NSW Ministry of Transport, Transport Data Centre, Household Travel Survey, 2005
Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW
Survey of Motor Vehicle Use: Data Cubes, Australia
(cat. no. 9210.0.55.001)