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'Heartening': Record Low Serious Injuries On Roads

Police have praised road users for the biggest reduction in road death toll in five years, but said there is still a long way to.

The number of casualties on NSW roads in 2018 stood at 354. While the number is high, police said that's 35 fewer lives lost than in 2017.

The number of serious injuries sustained on state roads has also dropped by more than one thousand -- with numbers now at the lowest since records began in 2005.

The number of hospitalisations also decreased across all road users last year.

The year marks the biggest reduction in the state road death toll in five years , but the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight services warned it's not a sign road-users should become complacent behind the wheel.

“It’s heartening to see that the road toll as a whole has dropped and we are committed to ongoing action but road safety is a two way street, we all need to be our best selves when driving,” Melinda Pavey said.

“As a country member of parliament, I’m pleased to see the reduction in lives lost on regional areas."

"It’s known while we are a third of the population, we make up two thirds of the road toll, so this result is a positive one for our regional areas".

Speed, fatigue, drugs and alcohol, and not wearing a seat belt were still the big killers on roads in 2018, however the number of speed-related crashes dropped from 167 to 138.

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Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy also praised the decline in fatal crashes involving passengers.

“This means more passengers are empowering themselves to speak up if they are concerned about their driver’s behaviour,” Corboy said.

It comes as NSW Police also revealed 21 fewer lives were lost this Christmas period, than the same period last year.

Seven people lost their lives on state roads between December 21, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

But Corboy said officers were disappointed the closing days of the Safe Arrival operation were marred by "extraordinarily bad choices made by drivers".

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“Some of the decisions made by drivers in NSW have left even the most seasoned highway patrol officers flabbergasted," he said.

"We had situations where inexperienced drivers were detected at almost double the speed limit, others where infants were not properly restrained – what does it take to get the message through?"

Police said more than 20,000 infringements, not including speeding, were issued over the holiday period.

A further 11,812 speed infringements were handed out to NSW drivers.

Nearly 800 people were charged with drink-driving in the 12-day period.

READ MORE: Man Caught Allegedly High-Range Drink Driving With Three Young Kids In Car

Featured Image: AAP

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au