The Hunter region's road toll dropped by almost half over the past five calendar years, as NSW last year recorded its lowest number of deaths on the road in nearly a century.
Figures obtained by Australian Community Media show a break-down of deaths and fatal crashes in the years 2017 to 2021, inclusive, in Hunter local government areas.
The numbers show that Newcastle recorded no deaths on the road in 2021, while Mid Coast - which encompasses part of the Hunter - had seven and Lake Macquarie had six.
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The region, which also includes Cessnock, Dungog, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter, had 29 people die in road crashes in 2020 and 33 in 2021. This was a drop from 63 people in 2017, 41 in 2018 and 46 in 2019.
While we are pleased to report the number of road fatalities for 2021 is well under the state target, every life is precious and any death on our road is one death too many.Tara McCarthy, Transport for NSW.
The number of fatal crashes had a similar drop - from 59 in 2017 to 38 in 2018, 44 in 2019, 28 in 2020 and 31 in 2021. In all, 212 people have died in 200 crashes across the region during those five calendar years.
Statewide, there were 270 lives lost on the roads in 2021 - 14 fewer than the previous year.
It was the state's lowest road toll since 1923, Transport for NSW says.
Nine people have died in crashes in NSW so far this year, compared with four in the first 10 days of 2021.
Transport for NSW deputy secretary of safety, environment and regulation Tara McCarthy said in a statement that data showed more than 700 lives had been saved on roads across NSW in the past decade.
"While we are pleased to report the number of road fatalities for 2021 is well under the state target, every life is precious and any death on our road is one death too many," Ms McCarthy said.
"This is why we will keep working to drive the road toll to zero. Road safety is everyone's responsibility - stick to the speed limit, wear your helmet or seat belt, put the phone away and never drive if you're affected by drugs or alcohol."
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