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Patron: His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC
Governor-General of Australia
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ACRS Weekly Alert No.189

The ACRS Weekly Alert is a benefit of membership to ACRS.  Copying or forwarding of this email is therefore prohibited under the ACRS Privacy Policy.  ACRS members are encouraged to submit items to be considered for publication.  ('Other news' outlines articles and commentary circulating in the public domain, listed in random order.  Inclusion does not imply endorsement)
 
Dear <<First Name>>,

This week in the Alert we have the following notices, events and news:

ACRS NEWS & EVENTS


2ND GLOBAL HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON ROAD SAFETY: BRASILIA, BRAZIL - LAST WEEK  ARSC2015 DECLARATION PRESENTED TO WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

We are delighted to report to members that the ARSC2015 Declaration, signed by delegates who attended our inaugural Australasian Road Saety Conference, was formally presented to Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Department for Mangement of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention at the 2nd High-Level World Confrence on Road Safety.  The ARSC2015 Declaration was officially supported by the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, along with many other organisations and individuals.

The formal presentation was made by Australia's federal Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Michael McCormack MP, and was attended by ACRS Presdient Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, and Austroads Safety Taskforce Chair Mr Iain Cameron.





As reported last week, around 1500 delegates from more than 100 countries including 60 Ministers met in Brasilia, Brazil on 18-19 November 2015 to agree ways to halve road traffic deaths by the end of this decade - a key milestone within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3.6).   The outcome document, the "Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety", is expected to guide action through the end of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and towards achievement of the SDGs.

The Australian delegation to Brazil included the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Michael McCormack, as well as the following high profile ACRS members:
  • Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM FACRS - President, Australasian College of Road Safety, & Trustee, Global New Car Assessment Program 
  • Dr Barry Watson FACRS - Chief Executive Officer, Global Road Safety Partnership - based in Geneva
  • Dr Soames Job FACRS - Global Road Safety Lead & Head of the Global Road Safety Facility, World Bank - based in Washington DC
  • Mr Rob McInerney FACRS - Chief Executive Officer, International Road Assessment Program
  • Mr Marcus James, General Manager, Surface Transport Productivity Branch, Deparement of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Mr Peter Frazer - President, Safer Australian Roads and Highways Foundation (SARAH)
  • Mr Iain Cameron FACRS - Chair, OECD Working Group on Safe System Implementation, & Chair, Austroads Safety Taskforce
  • Ms Samantha Cockfield - Senior Manager, Road Safety, Transport Accident Commission
  • Associate Professor Michael Fitzharris - Regulation and In-depth Crash Investigation, Monash Injury Research Centre
  • Mr Michael Paine - Technical Manager, ANCAP
  • Mr Martin Small - Independent Consultant, Martin Small Consulting
  • Ms Jessica Truong - Manager, Technical & Policy, Road Safety, TAC








"Some days are extraordinary and today was one of them.  Somedays are inspiring and today was one of them. I was privileged to meet wonderful road safety campaigner who also indeed opened the UN Conference. Like our family, Zoleka Mandela lost her daughter in a car crash."

"We spent a couple of minutes speaking of our road safety work, of our beautiful children, Zenani and Sarah, both killed in completely avoidable circumstances, of the need to protect those who are vulnerable."



"I also caught up with Michelle Yeoh, and met Jean Todt, both of whom are now wearing yellow lapel ribbons at the Conference."
 


Mr Peter Frazer
President
Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH Foundation)

 
Read more about the 2nd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety, and download the "Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety" here.  Read related articles: "Road Safety: More funding, coordination needed for poorest countries", "We must improve road safety worldwide", "India calls on SE Asia for road safety bloc" and "New WHO Declaration calls for increased attention to road safety to support Global Development Agenda".

 

MEMBER NEWS: EXCITING TIMES FOR FREE CUPPA 

Organisers of the already award-winning ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ scheme have had an exciting few weeks winning a number of awards and being part of the program for the inaugural Australasian Road Safety Conference.



Pictured with the 'Free Cuppa' poster presentation are Road Safety Officers:
Renee McMillan (Moree Plains, Gwydir councils), Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan (Orange, Cabonne),
Melanie Suitor (Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan) and Jayne Bleechmore (Dubbo, Gilgandra, Wellington).


Phase five of the ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ scheme was announced  winner of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (NSW) Local Government Excellence in Road Safety Award at the State Conference in Terrigal.   Phase four of the scheme won this award last year.  

At the same time in Sydney, the ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ scheme’s free smartphone apps were awarded a silver medal at the 2015 App Design Awards in the ‘health’ category.    The free smartphone apps (for iPhones and Androids) were a new initiative in phase five and were developed with GPS technology which can tell drivers how close the next participating business is and provided essential information such as opening hours and directions. 

The Scheme was also named one of 25 finalists for the 3M ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award, but unfortunately was not overall winner.

Finally some team members presented an overview of the Scheme as a poster presentation at the inaugural Australasian Road Safety Conference on the Gold Coast.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said while the recognition from peers was very pleasing, acknowledgment for a project where the whole team was passionate and proud to deliver it to their local communities was extremely rewarding as well.

“It has again proven a successful and worthwhile campaign that continues to deliver its objectives of encouraging drivers to stop and take a break, increasing awareness of driver fatigue, highlighting strategies to avoid fatigue driving, and even encouraging visitors to new towns and villages in our area,” she said.

“Building great partnerships between councils and local participating businesses has been gratifying.  Councils provide the marketing, and local businesses provide the free cuppas.”

Plans are well underway for phase six of the scheme  operational from March 1 to  May 31, 2016.

Read the Full Story here.

 
ACRS VICTORIAN CHAPTER EVENT 'ROAD SAFETY FAMILY FEUD': KEW, MELBOURNE - WED 2 DECEMBER 2015

The Victorian Chapter of ACRS would like to invite you to the Road Safety Family Feud seminar.

  • Date               Wednesday 2 December
  • Time               3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Location         186 High Street, Kew VIC 3101
  • Cost               Free for ACRS members, $30 for non-members
  • RSVP             Please RSVP to Greg Rowe at greg.rowe3@optusnet.com.au

For more information on the event, please refer to the Event Flyer.  Feel free to pass this invitation on to your colleagues that may be interested in attending.

OTHER EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES


POSITION VACANT: RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE - BE PART OF THE RESEARCH TEAM UNDERTAKING AN ARC-FUNDED ROAD SAFETY PROJECT APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1 DEC 2015

  • University of Melbourne: Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning
  • Research team: Undertaking the ARC-funded project 'The effects of feedback and incentive-based insurance on driving behaviours'.
  • Salary: $92,654 – $110,022 p.a. plus 9.5% superannuation  
  • Closing date:  Tuesday 1 Dec 2015

The Research Fellow is a key member of the research team undertaking the ARC-funded project 'The effects of feedback and incentive-based insurance on driving behaviours'. 

The research team is a collaboration between academics from the Melbourne School of Design, Monash University and key industry partners including Insurance Box (QBE Insurance) and the Transport Accident Commission.

The project, will apply the first experimental study to examine the extent to which direct-feedback and incentive-based insurance modify a driver's behaviour.

The study will apply in-vehicle telematics and, by linking information obtained from the technology directly to personalised safety messaging along with the calculation of individual personal injury and property damage insurance premiums.

The research fellow will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the project, including data acquisition, preliminary analysis and preparation of academic material for publication including high calibre international journals.

This is a full time fixed term position available until 31 October 2017.

For more information please visit the Vacancy Website and Download the Position Description here.  

 

AUSTROADS ROADWATCH ALERT: NOVEMBER 2015

 

This edition of Austroads RoadWatch: November 2015 includes information about new and updated Austroads publications and resources as follows:
 

Improving the Performance of Safe System Infrastructure: Final Report

This report summarises the findings of a three-year study which reviewed the safety performance of selected road infrastructure elements and provided solutions that were more closely aligned with the Safe System ideal.

The review examined the performance of signalised intersections, roundabouts and wire rope barriers. The solutions were developed following a literature review, statistical analysis of site data, in-depth crash data analysis, and expert guidance.

The review found that the safety performance of signalised intersections can be improved by managing high entry speeds and unfavourable impact angles using signalised roundabouts, and horizontal and vertical deflections on entry.

Roundabouts showing poor safety outcomes for cyclists and motorcyclists can be made safer by reducing approach and entry speeds. In these cases, tighter geometric design or additional supporting infrastructure can help reduced speeds.

Wire rope barriers were seen to deliver positive safety improvements relative to other roadside design options. Guidance refinement could further optimise safety outcomes.
 

Safety Management Systems for Road Agencies ISO 39001 and the Next Step Towards a Safe Road Transport System

This report promotes a systematic approach to road traffic safety within road agencies using ISO 39001 as the template.

The report contains a Starter’s Guide to implement ISO 39001, a summary of survey results of Australian and New Zealand Road Agencies, a gap analysis and ten recommendations on how to address the current gap in understanding of the role of Safety Management Systems for Road Safety.

The survey results overall suggest that there is substantial variance in awareness of ISO 39001 and safety management systems between Australasian road agencies. The very low level of awareness highlights a lack of safety assurance practices in the provision of road transport services.

There is a strong case for raising awareness and promoting the importance of safety management systems across all road agencies.

The recommendations for Austroads and its members focus on raising awareness, setting context, leadership, planning, monitoring, evaluation and improvement of road safety management systems.

Read more about these Austroads publications, 'Improving the Performance of Safe System Infrastructure: Final Report', and 'Safety Management Systems for Road Agencies ISO 39001 and the Next Step Towards a Safe Road Transport System' here.  

 

CENTRE FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH (CASR) REPORT: EVALUATION OF THE USE OF 80KM/H SPEED ADVISORY SIGNS ON UNSEALED ROADS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

 

CASR has released the following report:

  • Evaluation of the use of 80 km/h speed advisory signs on unsealed roads in South Australia
  • Report number: CASR130
  • Date: November 2015
  • Author: Kloeden CN

A number of 80 km/h advisory speed signs were placed on unsealed roads in the Yankalilla area in South Australia in November 2014. As part of the evaluation of this trial, two weeks of vehicle speed measurement data was collected at 12 sites on these roads in June 2014 and again in January 2015. While the legal speed limit for these roads was 100 km/h, typical vehicle speeds at the measurement sites were well below this limit with typical mean speeds being around 60 km/h and only around 10 per cent of vehicles exceeding 80 km/h and less than 1% exceeding 100 km/h. Based on this, it is clear that a 100 km/h travel speed is not suitable for these roads and that an 80 km/h maximum advisory speed sign is not out of place.

A reduction in vehicle speeds (using various measures) was found after the advisory speed signs were installed. However, the interpretation of this reduction is complicated by the seven month gap between the two surveys. There were significant changes in the road surface conditions between the surveys on some roads and in fact the roads with improved surfaces also tended to exhibit higher speeds. When roads with obviously changed surface conditions were taken out, the reduction in vehicle speeds was considerably greater. However, it is not possible to disentangle the seasonal effects from the effect of the advisory speed signs using the current data. Another survey conducted at the same locations in June 2015 would be useful as it would remove the seasonal effect from the comparison.

Read more on the Report Flyer here.



ROADS AUSTRALIA ANNUAL LUNCH EVENTS ABOUT TO KICK OFF

Roads Australia 2015 Annual Lunches are now OPEN for bookings - Events have already started... but there is still time to book! 

  • SOLD OUT BRISBANE Thu 26 November – Annual Luncheon with Deputy Mayor (Proudly sponsored by Transurban) CLICK HERE
  • PERTH Tue 1 December – Annual Luncheon (Proudly sponsored by GHD) CLICK HERE
  • DARWIN Wed 9 December – Annual Luncheon with Minister Chandler (Proudly sponsored by BMD)  CLICK HERE
  • ADELAIDE Tue 15 December – Annual Luncheon with Premier Weatherill  (Proudly sponsored by Aurecon) CLICK HERE                                                                                                                                  
  • MELBOURNE Thu 17 December – Annual Luncheon with Minister Allan  (Proudly sponsored by Laing O’Rourke) CLICK HERE                                                                                                                            
All bookings can be made from the Roads Australia Home page



INSTITUTE OF TRANSPORT ENGINEERS EVENT: VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT'S AGENDA ON ROAD SAFETY - RMIT, MELBOURNE - TUES 15 DECEMBER 2015

“For the first time, Victoria has a dedicated Minister for Road Safety, who is developing a new road safety strategy and plan of action, with ambitious goals and a fresh approach.”

The Minister will present the Government’s Agenda on Road Safety. Besides, continuing the current safe system approach (safer roads, safer vehicles, safer road users and safer speed), a big emphasis of the Government’s positive road safety agenda is generational change, by establishing safer driving behaviours from a young age to keep people safe for life. The removal of 50 of Melbourne’s most dangerous level crossings will also make the road network safer for pedestrians and cyclists and other road users, as Victoria’s population grows and more people share the roads. (More … come and hear from the minister!).

Hon Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads & Road Safety, Minister for Ports

Luke was elected as the State Member for Narre Warren North in November 2002 and served as the Shadow Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC from 2010-2014.

He was born in Melbourne, and attended Xavier College 1977–84. He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne in 1987. After finishing university he worked as a commercial real estate agent, financial planner and client services manager.

Luke Donnellan is Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports in the Victorian Labor Government led by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Read more on the Event Flyer.



NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM:  NEW NRSPP CASE STUDY ON INDUSTRY ROAD SAFETY ALLIANCE IN WA, PLUS SURVEY 'DOES STRESS AFFECT YOUR DRIVING?'

1.  New Case Study

So much more in road safety can be done through partnerships than in isolation. Case and point is demonstrated by Industry Road Safety Alliance South West which includes 10 organisations and accounts for 10,000+ employees operating along a notorious regional black spot area in Western Australia.

The partnership consists of local government, enforcement, state government and industry with achievements across all modes (heavy and light) and elements of the safe systems.

Shires of Boddington, Collie and Harvey; the Office of Road Safety (now Road Safety Commission); WA Local Government Association (RoadWise); WA Police; Main Roads WA; and local corporations BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina (now South32 Worsley Alumina), Newmont Boddington Gold, The Griffin Group, Wesfarmers Premier Coal, Verve Energy (now called Synergy) and Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers.

The alliance truly represents an example where the various partners worked together, drew on each others strengths and interest to influence road safety within their region. For example, enforcement worked with closely industry and featured at tool box talks or coordinated resources to align with peak workforce travel flows. South 32 Worley Alumina introduced bus services and car pooling to take staff of the road and combat fatigue for shift workers.

When working together the major elements of safe systems can also be influenced such as safe roads and roadsides and safe speeds. The business case for improvement is a lot easier than a sole organisation trying to advocate change as they simply don't have the authority or influence.

For further information please read the NRSPP case study or be part of the webinar on 24 November by featuring one of the key drivers of Industry Road Safety Alliance South West.


2.  Call for Survey participants - 'Does stress affect your driving?'

Ever feel STRESSED out while you are DRIVING? Ever think about how the experience of stress and other adverse life events may affect your driving ability?  Funded by the NRSPP, The 'Headspace' project aims to shed light onto such questions with the overall aim of examining how stress and negative events may impact on a driver's state of mind or 'headspace', which in turn may impact on his/her ability to drive safely.

We have recently developed a short survey that we need YOUR input in. The survey will only take roughly 5 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

Your participation will be invaluable to this understudied topic and please do not hesitate to contact Mitch Cunningham (lead researcher) if you have any questions or would like to know more about the research.

Read more about the Survey here.


MIDDLE EAST ITS AND SMART MOBILITY FORUM: ABU DHABI, UAE - MON 21 - TUES 22 MARCH 2016

“It is clear to see that the UAE presents an excellent opportunity for global leadership in smart mobility. ITS has been spoken about before. Let’s focus on Smart Mobility. Let’s focus on what is not tangible yet and how we can work together as an industry to make this tangible” - Nabeel AlZaka, Managing Director – UAE, Transpo Group

Among the top priorities, smart cities need smart mobility. Smart mobility needs intelligent ITS eco-systems. Intelligent ITS eco-systems need smart solutions. Smart solutions need clever platforms to be expressed and evaluated. This is where we come in.

An evolution of the successful ITS UAE forum and dubbed as the second annual, the ITS & Smart Mobility Forum finds it home in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 21-22 March 2016, developed with support from Transpo Group who have led several strategic initiatives in the Middle East and around the world.

Why attend?

  • See how the transport sector in the UAE is rapidly evolving and collaborate with industry partners in the quest for smarter and more sustainable mobility
  • Meet, network and hear from government leaders and how you can align your strategies with smart government initiatives
  • Be part of the movement – Smart mobility has the potential to boom in the Middle East owing to the many projects and initiatives currently in planning or underway
  • Participate in live theatre sessions and build the programme you want to see to meet your project needs
  • Get information on the latest innovations in ITS and Smart Mobility initiatives that are driving more safe, sustainable and less congested transport systems
Read more on the Event Website.

OTHER NEWS


(Other news' outlines articles circulating in the public domain, listed in random order. Inclusion does not imply endorsement.)

IMPROVEMENTS TO AUSTRALIA'S CHAIN OF RESPONSIBILITY LAWS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER FOR ALL

Australia’s chain of responsibility obligations will be restructured to improve consistency and allow more flexibility in how all parties along the supply chain who can influence on-road behaviour achieve the desired regulatory outcomes.  The NTC has published details of the reforms in a policy paper.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the reforms were approved by the Transport and Infrastructure Council earlier this month, and introduce a primary duty of care on all current chain of responsibility parties to ensure the safety of road transport operations, and include obligations on executive officers.

“These reforms will help to make Australia’s roads safer for everyone who uses them. Those people in the supply chain who can make our roads safer should be encouraged to do so, and these reforms do exactly that,” Mr Retter said.

“These parties include consignors, consignees, loaders, schedulers, transport operators, contractors, employers and their executives.”

Mr Retter said the reforms removed many prescriptive obligations under the current Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and implemented clearer, more flexible and performance-based obligations, without increasing the overall burden on industry.

The reforms better align the HVNL with Australia’s workplace health and safety laws. This will make the law easier for industry to comply with, and help both industry and enforcement agencies better understand their requirements.

They also give business greater flexibility, as they specify road safety as the outcome but remove many prescriptive obligations. This allows individual businesses to find the best way to comply based on their individual business needs.

“This reform will help enforcement agencies target and prevent unsafe behaviour by organisations in the supply chain, rather than waiting for a crash to happen,” Mr Retter said.

Consistent with the approach used in other national safety laws, supply chain parties and executive officers will be considered innocent until proven guilty. New penalties for offences related to the new primary duties will ensure the most dangerous safety risks attract the most serious penalties.

These changes were achieved in consultation with the NTC’s government and industry stakeholders, and received broad support from Australia’s transport industry.  To give effect to these reforms, the NTC will prepare legislative amendments for ministers to consider in May 2016.

Read the Full Press Release here.



UNIVERSITIES GO ONLINE TO SEEK THEIR PERFECT MATCH IN BUSINESS

A new website will allow companies to search all the intellectual property patents held by Australia's universities and public research organisations.   This new resource is crucial in expanding the take up of Australian research breakthroughs.

The Source IP digital marketplace will be an online match-making service for industry-university collaboration.  It will enable businesses to look through all the intellectual property patents held by universities that could help to improve their products, services or productivity.

Every Australian university has listed their patents on the new Source IP site, making it a comprehensive searchable source of Australia's university-held patents. It also notes which ones can be licensed.  Universities Australia welcomes the launch of Source IP today by the Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said universities were keen to ensure the widest possible access to their ground-breaking research.

"Every single one of our member universities has signed up to share their information on this site. This highlights the fact that Australian university researchers are seizing opportunities to work with business," she said.  Source IP is a great initiative by IP Australia. It removes a key barrier for business in collaborating with universities, ending the problem of not knowing what IP is available and who to contact about a patent.

"Of course, this is only the beginning. We all have a part to play in making the site a success. We need to get the word out to businesses across Australia not only about this site, but also about the great benefits from partnering on research and innovation," she said.

Read the Complete Media Release here.



ACT/NSW NEWS: SLOW DOWN, CALM DOWN AND CONCENTRATE ON THE BARTON HIGHWAY

Police will target speeding and dangerous driver behaviours on the Barton Highway during a two week blitz from 27 November to 11 December.

Sergeant Pidgeon of Yass Highway Patrol says "Highway Patrol police will be focusing on the Barton Highway for this period in an effort to reduce dangerous driver behaviour. Speed, fatigue, distraction and impatience are all factors that increase the risk of a serious collision. Particularly for the large number of drivers that travel this road every day, it is far too easy to become complacent."
 
There were 133 crashes on the Barton Highway in the five years from 2010 to 2014, seven people lost their lives and 111 were injured. This campaign reminds motorists to slow down, calm down and concentrate.
 
Yass Valley Council Road Safety Officer, Melissa Weller says “We have run this campaign each year for five years, combining safety messages with increased police enforcement and we are seeing results. Barton Highway crash numbers (recorded with speed as a causal factor) have fallen from a high of 25% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2014.”
 
“Disturbingly 22% of crashes have fatigue recorded as a causal factor and police are also very concerned about drivers’ use of mobile phones” she adds.
 
NSW crash data from 2010 to 2014 showed there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers was identified as a contributing factor. This included seven fatal crashes. From July 2014 to June 2015, more than 35,300 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for using mobile phones, showing the problem is prevalent.
 
“Motorists need to be responsible and consider the impact that road trauma can have, this includes taking a break or not driving if they are feeling tired, avoiding distractions like mobile phones and driving to the conditions and speed limits” Ms Weller adds.

Read the Full Story here.


MORE ACT NEWS: AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW MOBILE PHONE GPS FUNCTIONS WHILE DRIVING

ACT motorists and riders are now able to use their mobile phones’ GPS systems when the phone is mounted correctly while driving and riding, following changes introduced by Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury.

The GPS function found on most current mobile phones has previously been illegal to use while driving and riding in the ACT, but amendments will now allow motorists and riders to access the function when their device is safely secured.

“A mobile phone can now be used for navigation purposes, provided it is securely mounted to the vehicle. A mobile phone that isn’t mounted can also still be used to make or receive a call, provided it is not being held or touched by the driver or rider,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The legislation previously allowed a driver to use a standalone GPS device, but not a mobile phone, for navigation purposes.  Given that most phones now have the capacity to provide GPS or navigational assistance, it makes sense that drivers should be able to use this function in the same way they would use a standard GPS system.

“These changes recognise that a growing number of ACT motorists and riders are using their mobile phones to perform the functions of a standalone GPS device, and will allow them to do so in a manner that is safe.”

The new legislation will align the ACT’s road rules with other Australian jurisdictions, including NSW.

Read the Original Media Release here.

 

SA NEWS: ROAD CRASH VICTIMS REMEMBERED AT ADELAIDE MEMORIAL SERVICE

A memorial service has been held in Adelaide and butterflies set free in remembrance of victims of road trauma.  Police and family members who have been affected by road deaths or injuries involving loved ones took part in the ceremony as part of a global remembrance day for road accident victims.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens spoke at the service, held at the Road Safety Centre at Thebarton.  "It is a sombre day, where we remember as a community those killed and injured on our roads here in Australia and around the world, as well as pausing to acknowledge the loss and grief of their families, friends and many others who are also affected," he said.

Mr Stevens said accidents affected many more people than those directly involved.  "For every one person killed or injured in a motor vehicle collision, the ripple of impact can flow on to dozens, if not hundreds of people," he said.  "The effects last long after the scene has been cleared and the physical wounds have healed.  We see today that people are grieving and that grief just doesn't go away."

Butterflies were released from a cage during the service and a special memorial plaque was unveiled in memory of children killed on the roads. 

The Police Commissioner said public education remained the key to reducing fatal crashes and injuries.  "We must never forget that road fatalities are not statistics," he said.  "They are someone's mother or father, son or daughter, colleague or friend. They are real lives cut short."

Mr Stevens said police had their eye on achieving a long-term decline in road trauma by combining law enforcement with educational campaigns.  "There is this level of acceptance we need to challenge," he said.  "We need to get people to think about this as something which is preventable and act responsibly on our roads."

South Australian Road Safety Minister Tony Piccolo said safe driving messages would continue to be a focus of road education campaigns.

Read the Complete Article here.

 

MORE SA NEWS: POLICE AND MOTORING GROUPS WANT CYCLISTS TO PAY THE SAME STEEP TRAFFIC FINES AS DRIVERS

Cyclists should pay the same steep traffic fines as drivers, say police and key motoring organisations.  Under current regulations, cyclists are only fined $54 for offences such as running a red light — while motorists are hit with the full $437 impost.  Police have called on the State Government to review the regulations so cyclists and motorists are equally penalised for the same traffic offences.

The Government said it would review the penalties imposed on cyclists if riders’ “behaviour’’ warranted it. The RAA and the SA Freight Council said they supported the police call for a review.

In response to recent changes to cycling laws, police said the fines for cyclists, such as breaking rules for riding on footpaths, did not reflect the “obligation’’ riders had to share the space with pedestrians and other cyclists.

Police said in their submission to a Citizens Jury — which suggested law changes that came into effect last month — that penalties had been increased in Queensland when similar changes to cycling laws were introduced there earlier this year.

Key law changes include requiring motorists to keep at least a metre from a cyclist when the speed limit is 60km/h or under and 1.5 metres when the limit is above 60km/h.  Cyclists can also now ride on footpaths — but they must keep to the left and give way to pedestrians.

The police submission is revealed in the Transport Department’s Regulatory Impact Statement into the new laws, which was released in September. The RAA also made a submission calling for tougher fines for cyclists.

The state’s largest motoring organisations said penalties should be equal “to counter the view that cyclists are exempt from rules that apply to motorists’’.  “The rationale for the increase is that cyclists who disobey road rules such as riding through red lights put themselves and other users at risk,’’ the submission said.  However, the RAA pointed out that cyclists pay a much smaller fine for this offence.

RAA road safety manager Charles Mountain, who wrote the submission, said a review of fines was needed for the sake of equity and road safety.   “Some may argue that a cyclist running a red light is not as dangerous as a car — but there is still the propensity to cause a crash,’’ he said.  “Take a pedestrian crossing, for example, with schoolchildren crossing while cars are stopped but a cyclist comes through on the inside at 30km/h. There could be a serious injury.’’  Mr Mountain said it was “very important’’ that cyclists obeyed the road rules and increasing penalties might encourage riders to do so.

SA Freight Council chief executive Neil Murphy said “tougher penalties’’ would remind cyclists of their obligation to obey the road rules.  “The repercussions are much lower for cyclists than other road users when breaking the law,’’ Mr Murphy said.

Read the Full Story here.

 

NZ NEWS: CORONER SAID ROAD SAFETY MEASURES FOR TOURISTS SUFFICIENT

A coroner has ruled that road safety measures for tourists in New Zealand are sufficient, although two fatal crashes in two months on Waikato roads were caused by overseas drivers.  In February, Americans Warren Lee, 53, Aesoon Lee, 52, and their daughter Julia Lee, 20, died in a crash on State Highway 1, north of Tokoroa. Their son Griffin Lee, 17, died in Waikato Hospital a week later.  The following month, American tourist Richard Lee Barnett was driving the vehicle that crashed killing his wife Tamara Garlick Barnett, and friends Bishop Mitch Peterson, 50, and wife Ruth-Ann, 49, near Temple View, outside Hamilton.

Barnett plead guilty in the Hamilton District Court of careless driving causing the deaths before he returned to America to bury his wife and two friends.

At an inquest into the deaths in September, Coroner Gordon Matenga heard that Julia Lee was driving on the wrong side of the road when she crashed in to a logging truck and killed her family.  Taupo Constable Bayley Orr said she believed Lee thought she was driving on the correct side of the road, however she'd actually been driving on the wrong side of the road for quite some time during the trip.

NZTA's Jim Harland said although crashes caused by overseas drivers were highlighted in the media, both local and overseas drivers had similar crash rates.  The heart of Harland's evidence was that public perception that overseas drivers were a problem on New Zealand roads, was just that - public perception. 

Harland said the statistics did not support public perception and many more people are killed on our roads by New Zealand drivers compared to overseas drivers.  Harland also said measures already in place, including a national road safety programme targeting overseas drivers, were effective ways to improve road safety.

After considering all the evidence presented, Matenga agreed and said that road safety issues were being appropriately addressed and no further comment or recommendation would be made.

Read the Entire Story here.

 

MORE NZ NEWS: ASSOCIATE TRANSPORT MINISTER WELCOMES ONLINE SIMULATION FOR VISITING DRIVERS

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is welcoming an Automobile Association (AA) initiative to help visiting drivers keep themselves and others safe on New Zealand roads.  The AA launched its Visiting Drivers Training Programme — an online driving simulator — at Parliament today.

“This programme puts visitors in the driver’s seat of a car and asks them questions about New Zealand road rules and conditions. It will help inform visiting drivers, improve safety and save lives,” Mr Foss says. 

The programme is free; however, users are given the option of paying $10 for a certificate that entitles them to discounted rates at rental vehicle firms Thrifty and Europcar.

The AA is part of the Safer Journeys Visiting Drivers Signature Project (VDSP) — a partnership between central government, local government and the private sector.

“The Visiting Drivers Training Programme builds on a number of recently announced initiatives, both Government and industry-led, promoting safe driving messages to international visitors at all stages of their holiday — planning, booking, in-flight, on arrival and on our roads,” Mr Foss says.

“Together, these numerous small actions create a safer system for all road users, including the increasing number of overseas visitors choosing to explore our country by car,” Mr Foss says.

Read the Entire Press Release here.

 

WA NEWS: DRINK DRIVING - NEW STANDARD DRINK WEBSITE FROM THE WA ROAD SAFETY COMMISSION

Western Australia's Road Safety Commission has launched a new interactive website - Drink Stupid, Drive Stupid - to educate drivers on what constitutes a standard drink.


 

Visit the Standard Drinks Website here.

 

QLD NEWS: NEW TECHNOLOGY GIVES EMERGENCY SERVICE VEHICLES PRIORITY AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS ACROSS QUEENSLAND

New technology for Queensland's fire trucks and ambulances will give them green light priority at intersections when travelling to emergency situations throughout Brisbane and major regional centres.  Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) provides a green light signal to approaching emergency vehicles when safe to do so.

The technology has already been installed at more than 800 intersections, and in 215 ambulances and 69 fire trucks across the state.  Over the next four years, a further 1,600 intersections and nearly 700 emergency vehicles will be fitted with the devices at a cost of $13.5 million.

Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have welcomed the rollout of the technology, which they say has already cut travel time by up to 20 per cent in some instances.

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said he believed the technology to be an Australian-first.  "It's a fantastic program. We're looking to do nearly 1,000 new intersections over next couples of years and 680 emergency vehicles," he said.  "It's an innovative project of high tech application, we get more out of our road network ... this is the way of the future."

The rollout will begin next year in Mackay and Toowoomba before being progressively rolled out to Gladstone, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast.

The technology is already in place on the Gold Coast, Bundaberg and Townsville where earlier versions were trialled as far back as 2009.

 

MORE QLD NEWS: MORE WILD HORSES CULLED NEAR BLUEWATER IN BID TO BOOST BRUCE HIGHWAY SAFETY

A Townsville city councillor says a program to cull feral horses near Bluewater, in north Queensland, appears to be preventing fatal car crashes.  About 20 horses have recently been culled in the Clemant State Forest since a mass shooting from helicopters last month.  The Queensland Government started the operation in response to car crashes caused by horses wandering onto the Bruce Highway.

Cr Sue Blom said she believed the program was working.  "The State Government have tried different ways over the years and it hasn't worked," she said.  "I'm hoping this, even though it was a severe intervention, this is going to protect us a little better than before."

Cr Blom said she believed the feral horses had now been driven away from the area into the nearby hills.  "Going by residents' report and different reports from landowners that I've been speaking with around the Bluewater area, I believe a lot have been removed or moved, so it makes for a safer time," she said.  "But by no means be less vigilant because you never know when one might wander down to get a feed on the road."

Read the Full Story here.


NSW NEWS: NSW ROADS MINISTER BANS 'HOVERBOARDS'

In a move sure to have Doc Brown jumping in the DeLorean to head back to a time when this wasn't true, the NSW Government has declared hoverboards aren't fit for the state's roads. 


In a statement, roads minister Duncan Gay said the government was acting to keep people safe, with hoverboards the 'hot ticket' item on Christmas wishlists this year.  'Hoverboards are the hot ticket item on many Christmas wishlists, but we need shoppers to keep safety front of mind before they put their money down,' Mr Gay said.

There's just one catch: the 'hoverboards' Mr Gay is referring to...don't actually hover.

'You may have seen these new contraptions that look like a skateboard with two wheels, or a Segway with no handles,' Mr Gay said, describing a gadget entirely unlike the actual hoverboard so famously ridden by Marty McFly.

The two-wheeled devices took off in the US earlier this year, and cost anywhere up to $1000.

'I don't want to be the Christmas Grinch, but I want people to know and send a message that these new toys have real safety concerns,' the minister added.  'They are motorised and can travel at speeds up to 26km/h, yet require no training to use them, they don't have adequate brakes and don't have lights or warning indicators, meaning they can't interact safely with other road users like pedestrians.'

Anyone caught 'hoverboarding' faces a fine of up to $637. DeLoreans remain legal to drive on NSW roads, provided they remain below 88 miles per hour (or the speed limit).

Read the Complete Article here.


MORE NSW NEWS: NEW POLICE CAMERAS TARGET UNREGISTERED VEHICLES IN NSW

If you drive an unregistered car, you will be caught thanks to revolutionary new cameras fitted to police cars in NSW.  All 405 Highway Patrol cars on the state's roads now carry hi-tech cameras that can scan up to six licence plates a second, looking for potentially deadly unregistered cars.

The Mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition (MANPR) units are helping to nab more than 150 vehicles every day.  And in an effort to rid the roads of the dodgy cars, MANPR is also fitted to 54 general duty cars attached to local police stations.

In the 12 months to 30 June alone there were 16 fatal crashes and more than 400 injury crashes involving an unregistered motor vehicle, figures from the NSW Centre for Road Safety show.  Last financial year more than 55,000 drivers of unregistered vehicles were caught.

"We know unregistered vehicles pose a safety risk for everyone on the road," the centre's acting executive director Bernard Carlon said.  "They haven't undergone roadworthiness inspections and aren't likely to be adequately covered by insurance."

Read the Full Story here.
 
 
DUTCH NEWS: MORE PEOPLE HOSPITALISED AFTER ACCIDENTS ON DUTCH ROADS

The number of people seriously injured in traffic accidents rose again in 2014, continuing the increase seen in most years since 2007. Figures from the transport ministry show that 20,700 people were hospitalised following traffic accidents in 2014, compared with 18,800 in the year earlier period.

The rise is largely due to accidents involving bikes, stemming from the increased popularity of electric bikes and the use of smartphones by cyclists, road safety organisation VVN said. ‘We do not want people to think cycling is dangerous – we want to get as many people as possible on their bikes,’ the organisation said. ‘However, improvements appear to be needed in 30 and 50 kph zones where most accidents happen, and there should be a greater focus on the needs of bikes and e-bikes,’ director Felix Cohen said.

Only the years 2012 and 2013 showed a slight decrease in the number of serious injuries, for which the ministry has no explanation.

The ministry is collecting more data about traffic accidents in order to improve the situation. Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen had aimed to reach a maximum of 10,600 series injuries on the roads by 2020, but she said in June that this target will not be achieved.

Read the Original Article here.

 

 

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