Fatal traffic crashes like this one in Gympie have cost an estimated $340 million in the past five years. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times.
Fatal traffic crashes like this one in Gympie have cost an estimated $340 million in the past five years. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times. Craig Warhurst

REVEALED: The $340 million cost of tragedies on Gympie roads

DEPARTMENT of Transport and Main Roads data has revealed an estimated cost of more than $730 million for crashes on Gympie Local Government Area roads in the past five years.

A TMR spokeswoman said there had been 562 "serious crashes”, in which the result was fatal or hospitalisation, at a cost of "about $686,526,000” in "willingness-to-pay” value within the Gympie LGA between January 1 2012 and December 31 last year.

Sergeant Steve Webb addresses media after a fatal crash just north of Gympie on Saturday night.
Sergeant Steve Webb addresses media after a fatal crash just north of Gympie on Saturday night. Josh Preston

READ MORE: $1.3b cost of tragic crashes to Coast's economy

The spokeswoman said 36 fatal crashes in that time period had cost an estimated $339,983,000 and 37 total fatalities had cost about $305,666,000.

967 total crashes had returned a combined Willingness-to-pay value of "about $732,245,000”.

672 hospitalised casualties, 483 medically treated casualties and 161 minor injuries resulting from crashes cost approximately $359 million, $51 million and $6 million in WTP value.

The spokeswoman said WTP was the "estimated value the community is willing to pay in order to reduce the likelihood of a death or injury occurring”.

"WTP replaces the Human Capital Cost estimates for determining the benefit of crash reductions,” the spokeswoman said.

"Human Capital Cost was based on estimated actual costs such as loss of productivity, quality of life, rehabilitation, funeral costs, insurance, and so on.

"WTP places a greater value on the physical, physiological and emotional impacts of road trauma.”

The Gympie LGA crash data used "Inclusive Willingness-to-pay”, which combines WTP casualty values with "vehicle and general costs such as vehicle towing, emergency services, administrative costs and other economic impacts of a crash”.

The Gympie information comes after the financial toll of tragedies on Sunshine Coast was revealed to cost more than $1.34 billion in the past five years.

Those figures came from the Sunshine Coast Council's Integrated Transport Strategy.

University of the Sunshine Coast road safety researcher and leader of the Adolescent Risk Research Unit Dr Bridie Scott-Parker told The Sunshine Coast Daily "most people had no idea about the financial costs of road accidents”, or the flow-on effects resulting from them.

Scene of a fatal crash between a station wagon and a semi-trailer at the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Gympie St at Torbanlea.
Scene of a fatal crash between a station wagon and a semi-trailer at the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Gympie St at Torbanlea. Alistair Brightman

THE FACTS

From 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2017 within Gympie Region Local Government Area there were:

  • 967 crashes with a combined Willingness-to-pay value of about $732,245,000.
  • 36 fatal crashes with an estimated cost of about $339,983,000.
  • 562 serious crashes (fatal and hospitalisation crashes) within Gympie Region Local Government Area which equates to a Willingness-to-pay value of about $686,526,000.

From 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2017 within Gympie Region Local Government Area there were:

  • 37 fatalities as a result of crashes with an estimated cost of about $305,666,000
  • 672 hospitalised casualties as a result of crashes with a combined Willingness-to-pay value of about $358,873,000
  • 483 medically treated casualties as a result of crashes with a combined Willingness-to-pay value of about $50,621,000
  • 161 minor injuries as a result of crashes with a combined Willingness-to-pay value of about $5,756,000
Gympie Times


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