Nov 14, 2008

Government Commissions New Road Safety Research

Government Commissions New Road Safety Research

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 14 2008

I have today approved funding for two new road safety research projects.

The funding will be provided from the Rudd Labor Government’s Road Safety Research Grants Program which aims to encourage researchers from a range of disciplines to apply their skills to better our understanding of driver behavior and the causes of road accidents.

We are focused on making our roads safer for all Australians.

The latest research grants have been awarded to:

  • Mr Gavan Palk ($24,050) from Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety to develop a profile of first time drink driving offenders including demographic, attitude and behavioural characteristics. His research will explore early intervention methods aimed at helping these drivers avoid re-offending.
  • Dr Maurice Nevile ($29,166) from the Australian National University to study how distractions affect drivers. His study will use video recordings of ‘real-world’ driving distractions such as mobile phones, entertainment systems and satellite navigation systems to explore how they impact on a person’s ability to drive safely.

The results from these studies are expected to be available in around 12 months.

Road trauma imposes a huge burden on the community and research is crucial if we are to reduce the number of Australians killed or injured on our roads. Last year alone over 1,600 Australians died on our roads.

Today’s announcement is particularly timely, with new figures from my Department showing that despite substantial improvements over the last 30 years, Australia still ranks 13th amongst the world’s 30 developed countries when it comes to road fatality rates.

According to the International Road Safety Comparisons: The 2006 Report Australia’s road fatality rate was 7.7 deaths per 100,000 population – lower than the OECD median (8.8), but significantly above the world’s best performing nations such as the Netherlands (4.5) and Sweden (4.9).

The full report can be downloaded from: www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety