About Us

Photo of a CARRS-Q lecture in progress Photo highlighting dangers of reversing in a 4wd when small children are present Photo of motorbike policeman using speed radar gun Photo of emergency crews responding to a traffic accident Photo of children on a zebra crossing Photo of traffic on a narrow road with large trucks

The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) is one of the leading centres in Australia dedicated to research, education and outreach activities in road safety, and is a vital player in the international pursuit of road safety. CARRS-Q exemplifies an approach to shaping and informing public debate that works through long-term partnerships with key government and industry bodies. The Centre was founded by well-known and respected Professor of Psychology Mary Sheehan Linked to another web site, and is currently headed by Professor Barry Watson Linked to another web site, with a very strong support team of leading academics.

CARRS-Q was established in 1996 as a joint venture initiative of the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Linked to another web site. The Centre was created to address the enormous human, economic and social costs resulting from road crashes. This was made possible by a grant from MAIC through the QUT Foundation. MAIC and QUT provide core funding for staff and research infrastructure. The Centre also obtains major funding support through successful national competitive research grants and consultancies.

The Centre has grown to be one of the leading institutions of its type in the world and the premier trainer of road safety researchers and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region. At the state and national level, CARRS-Q has had a major impact on road safety and injury prevention policies and practices, through both government and industry linkages. Internationally, the Centre's success in winning the ICADTS Institutional Widmark Award and its hosting of the triennial ICADTS Conference in 2013 confirms that it is a world leader in road safety.

The growing skill base of the Centre and the acquisition of key research infrastructure, such as the Advanced Driving Simulator, positions CARRS-Q in an ideal situation to expand the scope and significance of its activities. Over recent years, the Centre has established a growing international profile in new areas such as injury prevention among young adults, motorcycle and bicycle safety, intelligent transport systems (ITS), road safety infrastructure, workforce safety, and professional road safety training and capacity building.

Into the future, this renewed funding will both consolidate and extend CARRS-Q's capacity to undertake world class research and professional education activities, in order to become a leading international centre in both road safety and injury prevention.

CARRS-Q works collaboratively with strong networks in the road safety and injury prevention fields. One important mechanism for external involvement is the Centre’s Advisory Committee which has members from key groups within the industry including the Department of Transport and Main Roads, RACQ, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Trucking Association, iRAP, and the Workplace Health and Safety industry.

The Centre has successfully developed and maintained a strong research and consultancy profile, collaborative research linkages and activities with government, other universities, commercial organisations and cooperatives. It is a key member of the Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation domain of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Linked to another web site at QUT. The Centre also provides postgraduate research training and professional education in road safety. It has a large cohort of PhD and Masters students, as well as special programs for practitioners.

Road safety is an issue of global concern, and CARRS-Q is committed to participating internationally as well as nationally in efforts to promote road safety and reduce road fatalities and injuries.  We do this by participating in international organisations and conferences, collaborating with international partners, and by building road safety capacity through the training of professionals, practitioners and researchers in road safety.

Over the next three years, the Centre aims to strengthen and broaden research and intervention in priority areas that have been informed by four key considerations including the need to:

  • address issues of concern identified in the new draft National Road Safety Strategy (SCOT, 2010) and the current Queensland Road Safety Strategy (Qld Government, 2002), such as speeding, driver distraction, young driver safety and road infrastructure safety
  • consolidate existing areas of research strength within the Centre, such as impaired driving and fleet safety
  • align activity with emerging areas of research strength within the Centre
  • ensure the Centre has sufficient research capacity to conduct world class research in the identified areas.

Centre Profile - May 2012 [PDF, 544KB]

CARRS-Q Road Map 2013 - 2015 [PDF, 82KB]