University Professor says road toll economically undervalued

The cost of a person dying on our roads needs to be better understood when prioritising funding for roads says Sydney University Professor Dr David Hensher from the Institute of Transport and Logistics.

"The cost of loss life on our roads has been undervalued," he said today.

"The RTA used to put a value of $1.5 million on the loss of a life; however, we have had that moved up to $6 million."

Dr Hensher pointed out that cost benefit analyses such as the one used by Infrastructure NSW, in its report which said the Pacific Highway upgrade in the Clarence Valley should not be a top priority, do not properly factor in the cost of deaths on the road to society.

Dr Hensher said if we chose to change the rules for society and put a zero road toll as our top priority then roads with a high road toll would move up the list, however government's view is different.

"At the end of the day it is a political decision,' said Dr Hensher.

Topics:  economy road toll

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