Exploring the spatial-temporal influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on road crashes in Greater Perth

Sam Mazzer, Tianqi Xiao, Sae Chi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


The COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions in Greater Perth significantly affected the road network and safety outcomes. This paper uses a spatial-temporal approach to examine their impact on road safety and trends that emerged. The analysis revealed a 35% reduction in crashes during the early 2020 outbreak compared to the same period in 2019, before gradually increasing to pre-pandemic levels by 2021 as the network returned to ‘normal’. The temporary reduction in crashes was not uniform with fatal and severe collisions showing a smaller decrease than other lower severity crashes while active transport users were overrepresented in the statistics during the lockdowns and restrictions. Demographic characteristics including occupation (‘white’ and ‘blue’ collar), distance from the Perth Central Business District (CBD)and vehicles per household also influenced the demand for the road network and crash trends. Interestingly, there was a significant reduction in crashes around strategic employment centres while there was a smaller decrease around neighbourhood centres as people still travelled for essential goods. Implications for policymakers include the continued need for targeted road safety campaigns and education to improve road safety to a level seen during the pandemic. Further, investment in active transport infrastructure and the application of frameworks such as Movement and Place may enhance safety by reducing conflicts between private vehicles and active transport users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralasian Transport Research Forum Conference Proceedings 2023
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2023 - Perth, Australia
Duration: 29 Nov 20231 Dec 2023


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2023


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