Rural road safety literature review and
Literature review into Indigenous road safety issues
These documents were prepared in cooperation with the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB).
Contact: Colin Edmonston
Rural and remote road safety collaborative study: research and intervention to reduce economic, medical and social costs of road crashes in North Queensland
People living in rural and remote regions of Australia and most similarly motorised countries are significantly over represented in road transport related fatality and injury figures. This research program will undertake a major collaborative investigation to reduce the impact of rural and remote road crashes in north Queensland. The major collaborators are the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q) and senior researchers at James Cook University (Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa); the northern region Ambulance Service and the major hospitals in the region. The program is funded through a whole of government initiative of the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Queensland Transport (QT), Queensland Police Service (QPS), Department of Main Roads (DMR), Queensland Emergency Services (QES), Queensland Health (QH), Division of Youth Affairs, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland Rail (QR), QFleet, Department of Premiers and Cabinet. The program region is the rural and remote area of northern Queensland with the southern boundary defined by a line west from Bowen to the Northern Territory border. The catchment hospitals are Cairns, Townsville, Mt Isa, Atherton, Mareeba and Charters Towers.
The study has two general aims: (i) to understand behavioural and social factors contributing to crash involvement in the research region in order to inform prevention strategies; (ii) to develop, identify and trial targeted counter measures. Three nested studies will be undertaken. The first is a screening study of all road crash patients admitted to hospitals in the target region (approx 700 cases). The second is an in-depth investigation of 400 consecutive crash patients [and fatalities] involved in rural and remote region crashes defined as those occurring outside the urban borders of Townsville and Cairns and who remain in hospital for more than 24 hours. The third is a case-control study: crashes that occurred within 100km of each of the recruiting hospitals, with comparison road users recruited at the crash site a week later.
This is a prospective program of research which is designed to identify factors related to the occurrence, in rural and remote areas, of serious traffic incidents which cause persons to be killed or hospitalised, and to the factors related to the immediate and subsequent trauma suffered by victims. The program is innovative because particular attention is given to the characteristics of the persons involved in these incidents and the circumstances of the incident in order to target education, deterrence and other prevention strategies. The program is designed to be proactive and research findings will be used to develop and implement intervention strategies and to inform related research and policy development.
Another component of this study is a PhD scholarship funded by the NRMA to research and develop a brief intervention trial to reduce rural and remote road crashes arising from 5 fatal lifestyle behaviours and attitudes. The trial intervention will target hospitalised crash patients in North Queensland.
The Five Year Crash and Area Profile of North Queensland Report (PDF, 1MB) provides a comprehensive profile of the study area for the Rural and Remote Road Safety Project. This report presents the findings from the first stage of the project which is to "Undertake a comprehensive review of sociodemographic and transport statistics to develop a comprehensive baseline data set on the region."
It includes: (i) regional profiles and comparisons within North Queensland (with respect to demographics and the major indicators of the socio-economic climate, general health status, primary production, and access to health and other services); and (ii) provides an overview of road traffic crashes in the area during the five-year period preceding the study (January 1st 1998 to December 31st 2002). As such, the information presented in this document serves as baseline data prior to the commencement of the project.
The focus of the Q-RIDE evaluation will be:
Contact: Mary Sheehan or Vic Siskind
Evaluation of Queensland Transport's Q-RIDE motorcycle licensing scheme
In conjunction with Queensland Transport, CARRS-Q has developed an action plan to evaluate the current trial of Q-RIDE - a road safety initiative for Queensland motorcycle riders. Q-RIDE is an optional, alternative motorcycle licensing scheme in which accredited rider trainers will provide competency-based training and assessment to motorbike licence candidates.
(a) To assess the impact of Q-RIDE competency-based training and assessment on road safety outcomes for motorbike riders in Queensland (ie. exposure measures such as licensing rates and riding patterns; self-reported attitudes, intentions and behaviour including risk perception).
(b) Assess whether the Q-RIDE scheme meets its original objectives from a process perspective (ie. barriers/facilitators to participation; review of the syllabus; consumer satisfaction - quality of the training/service delivery at the instructor, provider, system and QT levels; stakeholders' perceptions of the scheme; review of internal QT audit and training given to instructors/examiners; cost implications - in terms of time and money - for both consumers and service providers).
Contact: Barry Watson
Pedestrian travel: Getting Queenslanders walking safely
This report is a literature review of national and international research, policy, evaluation and other forms of evidence relating to the benefits of increased pedestrianization and improved road safety.
Researchers have identified the components of good practice programs, together with some national and international examples of programs that report positive results in encouraging increased pedestrianization and pedestrian safety. Policy directions that support and encourage increased walking and pedestrian safety are also discussed and some examples provided. The report also provides some recommendations for possible priority directions for future research, monitoring and evaluation in the area of increased pedestrianization and pedestrian safety.
As part of this project, a catalogue of resources in database format to help inform Queensland Transport's future activities was developed. The catalogue is also a resource for practitioners, community organisations, local government or any other organisation or individual who wishes to access information, resources or material in relation to pedestrians.
Contact: Cynthia Schonfeld
Indigenous licensing project
The Indigenous Licensing Project is a joint initiative of Queensland Transport (QT), the Centre of Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q) and Indigenous communities throughout Queensland and the Torres Strait. In addition to individual community councils and justice groups, the project is supported by both the Aboriginal Coordinating Council (ACC) and the Islander Coordinating Council (ICC).
Following discussions in late 2002, CARRS-Q and QT embarked on this research study to better understand the cultural, access and procedural barriers impacting on this vulnerable road user groups' capacity to obtain and retain appropriate drivers licences, with a view to improving licensing protocols in remote communities.
The rationale for the project was based on four key observations: (i) there are many barriers that impede Indigenous peoples from obtaining learners' and drivers' licences; (ii) many Indigenous people do not retain drivers' licences; (iii) there is an over-representation of Indigenous people incarcerated for drivers licensing offences; and (iv) there is an over-representation of Indigenous people involved in road trauma.
The goal of the Indigenous licensing project was to improve all aspects of Indigenous licensing policy and practice in Queensland - from entry into the licensing system to offender management. The project now boasts 'whole-of-government' support and, over the next three years, the Queensland Government is committed to identifying, developing and implementing a number of programs and policies to maximise Indigenous involvement in the driver licensing system.
Contact: Colin Edmonston
Child seating positions in passenger vehicles
Motorcycle training and use of driver behaviour scales
A Rider Risk Assessment Measure (RRAM) will be developed to assess self-reported rider behaviour and intentions, along with the personal, social and environmental factors contributing to unsafe riding practices. This will provide a valuable tool for researching rider behaviour, evaluating rider safety countermeasures and informing rider training and education programs.
Contact:Barry Watson or Darren Wishart
This project is concerned with examining where drivers seat children under 12 years in cars and other passenger vehicles. The rear seat has been shown to be safer for all passengers, but particularly for children aged 5-9 years. This is because children of this age are too big to use belt-positioning booster seats and may still be too small to fit into adult seat belts fully, making them especially vulnerable to injury in the event of a crash.
The project is divided into three parts. Part 1 is designed to assess the extent to which children under 12 years travel in the front seats of passenger vehicles. Parts 2 and 3 are designed to uncover what driver-parents think are the barriers to seating their children in the rear seat of passenger vehicles on every trip. Subsequent to the study, an intervention will be designed to raise parent awareness of the safety considerations involved in their choices of seating for their children and to encourage them to seat children in the rear seat on every trip.
Contact: Alexia Lennon
A content analysis of Australian motor vehicle advertising
This study evaluates the effect of the Advertising for Motor Vehicles Voluntary Code of Practice (FCAI, 2002). Advertisements randomly selected from the 3 years before the Code, and since its introduction in August 2002, will be analysed for content themes. Particular attention will be paid to activities prohibited by the Code, such as extreme changes in speed or direction and illegal driving practices. Additionally, the content analysis will examine the implied messages in manufacturer advertising. The results from the analysis of the Australian ads will be compared to a content analysis of changes in UK and New Zealand vehicle advertisements resulting from the introduction of a similar code; as well as being compared with themes identified in ads shown to groups of young drivers. The project is a joint initiative of CARRS-Q, Queensland Transport and the ATSB.
Contact: Cynthia Schonfeld
Level crossing risk management
Currently there is a lack of research on implementing and evaluating community education and intervention programs targeting level crossing safety. This project will develop a national model, framework and resources for community interventions in this area.
Researchers will also identify intersectoral organisation, political and social contexts in which railway level crossing safety currently operates and impediments to the development of effective programs.
Contact: Jeremy Davey
The safety of international visitors on Australian roads
(a) Research into the safety of international road users
To identify factors contributing to road crashes involving international tourists, CARRS-Q: (i) analysed all reported crashes involving international drivers in Queensland between 1993 and 1998; and (ii) hosted, in conjunction with the Parliamentary Travelsafe Committee, a one day seminar to promote discussion among key stakeholders [ie. Insurance Companies, Police and Transport Departments, Tourist Authorities]. The project has increased awareness of the issue and contributed to the development of a number of national initiatives.
Contact: Barry Watson
(b) International visitor safety: An update
CARRS-Q was contracted by Queensland Transport to produce a report on international visitor involvement in road traffic crashes in Australia. This report is to be used in the development of the National Road Safety Strategy for International Visitors 2004-2010. The strategic objectives of the National Road Safety Strategy for International Visitors are to:
- reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes involving international visitors to Australia;
- develop strategies and actions for improving the road safety of international visitors; and
- complement the National Road Safety Strategy 2001-2010.
CARRS-Q used data from the Bureau of Tourism Research, jurisdictionally based transport agencies and motor accident insurance agencies as well as traffic infringement data to assess the road safety issues for international visitors to Australia and to provide recommendations for policy.
Contact: Barry Watson