Department of State GrowthTransport

National Road Safety Forum 2013

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National Road Safety Forum 2013

Following on from the successful inaugural National Road Safety Forum held in Canberra last year, Tasmania hosted the second National Road Safety Forum in Hobart commencing with a welcome reception on the evening of Monday, 29 July at the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery with a full day program on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 at MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art).

MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art)

The purpose of the forum was to bring together key stakeholders to discuss important issues identified in the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 in relation to vulnerable road users.

The forum featured four concurrent workshops with a combination of formal presentations and facilitated discussion.


Forum Workshops

Safe Roads and Roadsides

Pedestrians in the Safe System Context - Bruce Corben
Walking is fundamental to human existence. We tend to take it for granted in today's world in which private car travel is the dominant way of moving around. The world is changing rapidly, and not always in a positive direction. Population health is suffering because of our less physically active life styles, climates are under threat as never before, and the quality of the air we breathe is problematic for our health. At the same time, we value more highly the vibrancy and 'liveability' of our cities and towns.

While the Safe System road safety vision has now been with us for almost a decade, we are still working to understand what it means in practice.  This presentation explores how applying the principles defining the Safe System can make substantially better provision for walking, at low risk from traffic crashes, so that we will realise the major benefits of convenient, healthy safe walking in places where people live, work and visit. The opportunities available, primarily through infrastructure and speed management, to create urban areas which meet the expectations, needs and challenges of today's society will discussed.

Investing in Safer Roads (Andrew McKellar, AAA)
Improvements in road infrastructure can deliver significant safety benefits through reduction in road trauma for many years after they are implemented.

The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) is coordinated by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and considers the physical attributes of a road, quantifies the safety risk associated with each of these attributes and uses this to calculate Star Ratings of roads.  The risk associated with each individual road attribute varies depending on the road user group being considered - cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.

The AAA has examined 21,921 kilometres of the Australian national highway network with a speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour or above and awarded Star Ratings based on their level of safety.

The AusRAP project has also estimated the reduction in risk and consequent saving of lives and serious injuries that would arise from the implementation of various road treatments that can be applied, as well as estimating the costs associated with each road treatment to identify those with the highest benefit-cost ratio.

The analysis estimates that an investment of approximately $4.7 billion across the national highway network would save almost 36,000 lives and serious injuries over a 20-year period.

Safe Roads for People Riding Bicycles - Harry Barber, Bicycle Network

  • Who rides a bicycle on the roads today?
  • Who might ride on the roads tomorrow?
  • What are the risks?
  • What infrastructure treatments mitigate those risks?

Motorcycle Safety Improvements on the Great Ocean Road - Luke Britnell, VicRoads
I will be presenting successful and unsuccessful infrastructure treatments that VicRoads has installed on the Great Ocean Road under the TAC Motorcycle Safety Levy funding over the last 10 years. I will also discuss other initiatives undertaken on the Great Ocean Road to target a reduction in Motorcycle crashes including additional infrastructure improvements, speed limit reductions, behavioural initiatives and enforcement strategies. Furthermore, I will detail the development of future innovative projects to reduce the number and severity of motorcycle crashes on the Great Ocean Road that are currently underway.

Safe People

Drive Safe NT Remote Indigenous Driver Education and Licensing Program - Nick Papandonakis & Karen Young, NT
Is an innovative two-year trial program to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by providing greater access to driver education and licensing in remote Northern Territory communities. The program is about more than just getting a licence and aims to improve the lives of Indigenous Territorians living in remote communities by focussing on three main areas:

  • reducing the high number of Indigenous people killed or injured on our roads each year
  • increasing the number of people who have a licence thereby improving access to employment opportunities
  • reducing the high number of Indigenous people charged with driving related offences that often lead to imprisonment.

Disadvantage and Road Safety - Victoria Pyta, ARRB
The World Health Organisation has shown that across the world, disadvantaged people are generally more likely to be killed or injured due to accidents in transport, the workplace, and the home. Research in the UK over three decades has shown that socio-economic disadvantage is associated with increased risk of crash involvement and injury. This project focuses on the issue as it pertains to Australian drivers. This is in line with the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 goal of reducing the incidence of serious casualties among disadvantaged people (including indigenous communities). We will compare the injury rates of road users who come from more disadvantaged areas with those who come from less disadvantaged areas, and identify the risk factors that contribute most to the disparities in injury rates. We aim to generate information that will be useful in developing countermeasures and interventions.

Driving Change, an Aboriginal Driver Licensing Support Program - Rebecca Ivers & JakeByrne, The George Institute
Driving Change is a program aimed at supporting young Aboriginal people through the driver licensing system. Funded by the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme and Transport for NSW, it is currently delivering services to 6 communities across NSW.

Motorcycle Riders  Attitudinal Research - Evan Walker, NSW
The presentation will review the findings of a recent quantitative study of motorcycle rider and car driver attitudes to motorcycle safety in NSW.  A key feature of the study is a comparison between a representative online sample of motorcycle riders and an open sample obtained through motorcycle community channels.  The presentation will discuss the key findings of the research, the differences between the representative and the online sample and policy and communications considerations from the research findings.

Sydney CBD Motorcycle Response Team Addressing Needs of VRU's - Insp. Phillip Brooks & Margaret Prendergast, NSW
The NSW Police through Transport for NSW has implemented the Sydney CBD Motorcycle Response team to address congestion and pedestrian safety around the CBD.  The team addresses unsafe road practices such as queuing across intersections, blocking pedestrian access along with supporting safe crossing by pedestrians.  The operations are undertaken at key locations in the CBD.

Safe Vehicles

Effects of Vehicle Speed and Design on Injuries and Risks for VRU's - Associate Professor Robert Anderson (CASR)
Making the transport system safer for pedestrians and cyclists is an increasingly important area in road safety. While crash rates amongst vehicle occupants have improved in recent years, pedestrian and cyclist crash rates have not declined at the same pace, and as a consequence are more prominent in crash statistics. Countermeasures that discourage walking and cycling can contradict environmental and health-related objectives, and other means need to be found to reduce risks.

The interaction of speed, aspects of vehicle design and the joint effects on risk are amenable to analysis, and this presentation will show results of recent research that can provide a systematic approach to mitigating the risks of conflicts between traffics and pedestrians and cyclists.

Future Assessment of VRU Safety Features - Nicholas Clarke, ANCAP
Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users make up over one third of our annual road toll.  Through ANCAP pedestrian testing, a key component of ANCAP's overall assessment of vehicle safety,  ANCAP is encouraging manufacturers to build pedestrian-friendly cars.  This is being achieved through vehicle design and improvements in materials used, as well as the inclusion of safety assist technologies (SAT) that can help detect, and intervene to avoid, incidents all together.  Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is one of these.

VOLVO vehicle technologies, pedestrian and cyclist avoidance - David Pickett, Volvo
This presentation will examine current Volvo safety technologies including Autonomous Braking Systems for Pedestrian and Cyclist detection , lane departure , driver alert and driver support systems. Future advances including pedestrian detection in the dark, animal and barrier detection and steering assist will also be examined with the benefits they will bring.

Safer Motorcycle Technologies - Rhys Griffiths FCAI

Night Vision Head Up Display Technology to Reduce Pedestrian and Cyclist Crashes - Raphael Grzebieta, TARS

Conspicuity Issues for Motorcycles and Bicycles - Prof. Narelle Haworth, CARRS-Q
For cars and trucks, advances in active safety have often focused on improving braking and steering to maintain control of the vehicle. However, for motorcycles and bicycles, a major challenge is to prevent crashes in which the driver of a larger vehicle didnt see them. Thus, measures to improve the conspicuity of motorcycles and bicycles can be important active safety measures. This presentation will examine some of the factors underlying the lack of conspicuity of these vehicles, present data on the use of conspicuity aids, and review research which examines their effectiveness.

Safe Travel Speeds

Why Travel Speed is Important for VRU's - Ian Johnston
The role of speed in crash causation and injury severity is a controversial topic. The majority of road users do not consider all 'speeding' as dangerous and intense enforcement is widely seen as a revenue raising rather than a safety strategy. The evidence for the primacy of effective speed management is briefly reviewed and the case for an approach based upon the principles of preventive medicine approach is made.

Speed Limits for Pedestrians - Amy Stebbing, VicRoads
VicRoads is improving speed limits for pedestrians and cyclists in the updated Speed Zoning Guidelines.  The Guidelines consolidate speed limits at locations with high pedestrian activity, which include Pedestrian Activity Precincts (such as strip shopping centres plus additional land uses); remote school speed zones (a new addition to the Guidelines); school speed zones; 40km/h local (residential) areas and rural town centres.  In addition, the revised Guidelines include consideration for pedestrians and cyclists when determining speed limits on roads greater than 50km/h.

Living Neighbourhoods: Using Systems Thinking and Behaviour Change to Create Community Demand for Lower Speed Limits - Margaret Howard, SA
'Living Neighbourhoods' will provide information, tools and resources to create change at the local level in line with values and aspirations of a community about the way they'd like to use their streets and roads. Rather than selling a message that lower speeds are safer, it takes a 'placemaking' approach - with lower speeds more conducive to safer, greener and more active travel as a by-product. The underpinning methodology of 'Living Neighbourhoods' builds on work by the South Australian Government in travel behavior change, which has been robustly evaluated and shown to have very high 'bang for buck' and therefore an important component to be included in the overall approach to improved road safety outcomes.

How Does Local Government Protect its Vulnerable Road Users? Doug Bradbrook, Mornington Peninsula Shire
The answer to this question is .... introduce Safer Speed limits; the "Peninsula Safer Speeds" project.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire discovered through analysing crash data on our Local residential streets that we had "areas" within our 50km/hour residential streets that had high levels of cyclist and pedestrian crashes. We know that councils always have limited funds to devote to LATM type treatments and there is an awful lot of resident negotiation involved in the design and installation of these traditional approaches. The research around lower travel speeds leading to lower crash risks is extensive and well proven so, when we read that; a 10km/hour speed limit reduction leads to a 5% drop in mean speeds and that results in a reduction of serious and fatal injury crashes of between 15- 30% our minds turned to the Shire's Road Safety Strategy Peninsula DriveSafe 2008- 2018. This strategy states as one of its key aims;  ' Mornington Peninsula Shire is committed to continually improving the quality of life for all residents and visitors and achieving safer travel speeds forms a key component of how we deliver the goals of this strategy.

This program was not as easy to implement as the research and Peninsula DriveSafe might suggest, it has been a considerable journey that others can hopefully learn from.

Keynote Speaker - Dr Amantha Imber

Dr Amantha Imber

We are pleased to confirm the keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Amantha Imber of Inventium. Dr Amantha Imber is a creativity and innovation psychologist, best-selling author, and founder of the award-winning innovation consultancy Inventium.

Inventium are 'science geeks' applying the latest and greatest findings from psychology and neuroscience to help organisations gain a competitive edge through innovation.

They are the only innovation consultancy in Australia that uses a scientifically proven approach. Their clients include a large number of ASX 200 and Fortune 500 companies around the world.

Dr Imber will inspire delegates to promote creative thinking which might expand our ideas in how we think about the challenges in road safety. For further information see: