State's road toll leaps back up to 37

THE 2013 state road toll of 37 shows a spike in deaths among motorcyclists, cyclists and people aged over 64.

The toll is the highest since 2009, when 63 people were killed on Tasmanian roads.

The five-year average is about 37 fatalities.

However, the 2013 figure is provisional and coronial inquiries may reveal that some of the deaths were medical-related.

The 10 motorcyclist fatalities last year was double the 2012 figure of five deaths, while in 2011 the number was three.

All of the 2013 motorcycle deaths were men, almost a third were not wearing helmets and speed was a factor in almost half the fatalities.

Two-thirds of the crashes occurred in 100km/h speed zones.

``We will continue to work with the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council to address the over-representation of motorcycle riders in our crash statistics,'' Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne said.

Deaths and serious injuries involving cyclists were also above the five-year average in 2013.

Four cyclists died last year, while one died in 2012.

Mr O'Byrne said the government had plans for a campaign about cycling safety.

``I've already commenced discussions about cycling safety with the Road Safety Advisory Council, including the One Metre Matters campaign,'' he said.

Last year also saw an increase in road deaths among people aged over 64, making them the highest-represented age group.

Mr O'Byrne said refresher driving courses for people in this age group were available.


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