Two thirds of the Australian population live in capital cities and metropolitan areas but more than half of the road fatalities occur on rural and remote roads.

Despite this, the rural and remote road safety problem has received limited attention


  • Defining where ‘urban’ areas end and ‘rural’ areas begin is not always clear. Differing classification systems categorise road crashes according to different criteria, which makes comparisons between individual studies difficult. Broadly, ‘rural’ can be considered as those areas with a low population density and without ready access to medical services.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses a geographic classification system for locations based on road distances from major population centres.3 Classifications of rural crashes using speed limits e.g. 100km/h or greater as a proxy indicator have been used in Australian Transport jurisdictions.4  A strong case can be made for consistency in this area both nationally and with health related classifications.5