During the past 16 years, the road accident fatality rate in the State of Victoria has been reduced from being one of the highest among motorised countries to among the lowest. It has dropped progressively from 8.1 deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles in 1970 to 2.7 in 1986.
The paper examines various countermeasures which have contributed to this reduction, as applied to road users, vehicles and the road system. These include compulsory use of seat belts, drink/driving countermeasures, motorcycle engine capacity limits for novice riders, promotion of bicycle safety helmets, vehicle safety features, accident black-spot programs, roadside hazard reduction and various traffic engineering treatments. An attempt is made to predict future directions for measures aimed at reducing either the incidence of crashes or their severity.