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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.192

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 Claire,

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



As this is our final Weekly Alert for 2015, the Australasian College of Road Safety would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season.  Below is a message from our ACRS President Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, and following this a summary of College activities for 2015.  It's certainly been a busy year and we sincerely thank our many members for the continued success and growth of the College, and for your support in our combined efforts to reduce road trauma.

A Message from ACRS President, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM FACRS
On behalf of the College, I would like to take this opportunity to send all ACRS members and colleagues our sincere appreciation for helping to ensure that 2015 has been another active and successful year for all of us who are united in our aim to achieve road trauma reductions.  All of our efforts continue to be directed towards extending our reach, and building capacity, to help members - and many others - reduce road trauma.  In particular, we are actively contributing to the success of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2010-2020.

Every Christmas the community is encouraged to think more about road safety, as their reason for travel is often different to the rest of the year. There is a much higher media interest and also increased enforcement on roads over the holiday period. Several studies have show that in general the number of road crashes is relatively the same as the rest of the year, even thought the roads are used more for holiday rather than commuter purposes. 
It is valuable to reflect on what has happened during 2015 to reduce crash risk and hence resultant trauma.  
  • Hundreds of kilometres of roads have been upgraded to reduce hazards, not just black spots, but with traffic separation, special bike lanes, pedestrian facilities and truck stops to mention just a few, such that the chance of crashes on those upgraded roads will be reduced.
  • Perhaps a million new cars have gone into the fleet of +10 million cars.  Maybe not so many have been retired, but around 90% of the newer cars will be ANCAP 5-star, and many of those retired will be ANCAP 1-3-star. Some have new driver or rider assist technologies. This will also have served to reduce the number of crashes and resultant trauma in the fleet considerably. Many new and safer trucks, buses and motorcycles are also on the road.
  • Enforcement, communication and education programs have developed resulting in better targeting to encourage drivers, both old and new, to drive within the system capability, also resulting in a reduction of the risk of crashes and the subsequent trauma.
So we can reasonably expect a reduction in crashes, not only over the holidays, but into 2016 and beyond. While this may be a reasonable assumption, we know that other countries are reducing crash rates faster than we are, and that our injury rates seem to be rising, while death rates are falling.

The challenge for us all then is to keep finding more and better solutions and to implement them. This is the primary goal of the College - to bring all stakeholders together in order to support efforts to find the best solutions to this complex issue. Our over-arching goal that no one is to die or be injured in road crashes, and this will require us all to continue to work successfully together.
Of course, we all know more can be done - and must be done. We all have a personal view of zero road trauma for ourselves and our families, and we have to translate that into action for the whole community.
I am pleased to report that the College has broadened our reach over the last year, extending the work we do to help our members find more solutions and translate them into that action. We have made submissions to the Federal Government and Senate Inquiries to put the case for more collaborative and system-based action. Our weekly newsletter is keeping members and many others well informed, and the Journal and conference continue to ensure a professional level of reporting of quality research and practitioner programs.
Our Annual Conference in October (detailed below), attracted 670 delegates and 40 sponsors, many who had not previously participated.  We were pleased that the recently appointed Federal Assistant Minister with responsibility for road safety, the Hon Michael McCormack, was able to join us at the Conference as well as the Queensland State Minister, the Hon Mark Bailey.
At that Conference we were able to finalise and endorse a Declaration showing our strong support for improving road safety outcomes. We were encouraged by the support from the Australian Medical Association and many others, and from Assistant Minister McCormack who was able to present the Declaration to the World Health Organization in Brasilia in November. At that meeting, of over 100 countries and 2,500 delegates, there was strong commitment to a range of actions to reduce world road trauma by 50% by 2020. A very tough, but eminently laudable goal. 
The College is lead by the Executive Committee who represent the Chapters and some of our specialists. Our Australasian Head Office team, led by Executive Officer Claire Howe, has this year excelled again.  My personal thanks go to them, the Executive Committee, and all the members who have contributed through Chapter, national and Australasian events, the Journal, and of course for finding new solutions, sharing these projects, and translating them into action and impact.
I join with the team at ACRS Head Office, who support the work of our many members, in wishing you all the best for a safe and happy festive season, and look forward to making further progress in 2016.

Best wishes,

Lauchlan McIntosh AM FACRS
Australasian College of Road Safety

ACRS Activies in 2015: The Wrap-up
2015 has again been an active and productive year for the College.  A few highlights for the College over 2015 include:
  • Maintaining a positive relationship with our Patron, His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Governor-General of Australia.  We are hoping His Excellency will be able to join us all at ARSC2016 to help us celebrate excellence in road safety - watch this space!
  • In tandem with Austroads, establishing the Australasian Road Safety Conference as the premier road safety event in our region.  A great deal of gratitude goes to everyone at Austroads - from Nick Koukoulas (CEO, Austroads) and Iain Cameron (Chair, Austroads Safety Taskforce), through to all Australasian road transport and traffic agencies - for their foresight (and trust in the capabilities of the College, our Executive Committee and members!) in merging our two conferences, the Australsian College of Road Safety Conference and the  Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference.  
  • Thanks to this support from Austroads, and the unprecedented support from 670 delegates and more than 40 sponsors, exhibitors and supporters, Australasia’s inaugural Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC2015) was a phenomenal success!   The 200+ papers and posters, workshops & symposia, keynotes, invited speakers & panellists ensured there was something for everyone in our combined efforts to drive down road deaths and injuries. This record number also coincides with an increasing community interest in getting Australia's road safety performance level back into the top ten in the world during the UN Decade for Action for Road Safety 2010-2020. Read the ARSC2015 Post-Conference Wrap-Up and view the ARSC2015 Photo Gallery here.  Our sincere thanks to Kerry Armstrong our Queensland Chapter Chair, the entire ACRS Queensland Chapter Executive Committee and members, and ACRS Executive Committee member Professor Narelle Haworth and the team at CARRS-Q for their generous support in ensuring the success of ARSC2015.  We certainly could not have done it without you! 
  • We will continue the momentum with ARSC2016 to be held in Canberra in Spring, 2016.  We are joined again by our Founding Partner Austroads, plus The George Institute for Global Health, as Inviting Partners for ARSC2016. We are delighted that our ACT & Region Chapter Chair Eric Chalmers joins with Professor Rebecca Ivers from The George Institute to co-Chair ARSC2016, and thank the ACT & Region Chapter for their continued hard work in ensuring the event is a success.  We look forward to bringing you more ARSC2016 news shortly!
  • Continuing to build on a positive working relationship with all stakeholders, including the Federal Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Michael McCormack MP.  We were delighted that the Assistant Minister was able to join with a large delegation from Australia to participate at the United Nations Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety in Brazil recently.  The Minister's engaging style and commitment to ensuring he was an active participant at plenary sessions and concurrent sessions means that Australia's global relationship in terms of road safety have been lifted significantly.  We look forward to continuing this productive relationship to ensure our joint efforts have the best outcomes for road trauma reductions across our region and beyond.
  • Celebrating outstanding achievements in the road safety sector at the 2015 ACRS Award Ceremony held during the ARSC2015 Conference Dinner, celebrating and rewarding the achievements of the many varied sectors working to reduce road trauma.  A special congratulations to Mr Rob McInerney, our new ACRS Fellow, awarded for his outstanding commitment and achievements in reducing road trauma, and to the Queensland Government, awarded Australasia's most prestigious road safety award for an exemplary road safety project - the 2015 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award.  The Queensland Government's award winning program provides a formula to produce a rapid roll-out of effective life saving improvements, and is expected to be replicated widely across our region. The Queensland Government is being congratulated through this award for driving such a transformative project involving around 100 team members.  The benefits of this safety legacy will be felt by our entire society for many years to come.
  • Presenting our 2015 Submissions to two Senate Inquiries, including the provsion of expert witnesses at Public Hearings at the invitation of the Senators - 1) Senate Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety in Australia and 2) Senate Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts.  Each of these submissions comprehensively inform all stakeholders, including the general public, of the opportunities that are available to address road trauma in Australia.   These submissions also highlight the potential social and economic gains to Australia through road trauma reductions.
  • Presenting our ACRS 2015-16 Pre-Budget Submission to the Federal Government.  This submission outlined the College's overall aims to boost Australia's productivity and international standing  through collaborative action to expedite road trauma reductions
  • Continuing to enhance the effectiveness of ACRS Chapters who have been running successful events from a 'Moving Forward Together Forum' bringing all stakeholders together to network and discuss strategies for road trauma reduction, to a 'Road safety Family Feud' event, to an event aimed at 'Celebrating the work or postgraduate students and early career researchers in road safety'.  We congratulate all Chapters for their continuing efforts to engage with their regional stakeholder communities in order to improve road safety outcomes.
  • Strengthening our networks to achieve better outcomes, including encouraging and communicating to the Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety group, providing input to other road safety initiatives such as the National Road Safety Forum held in Sydney in August, supporting the UN High-Level Conference on Road Safety in Brazil, the TAC Towards Zero Campaign and many others.
We would also like to take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to our many members who continue to commit their time and resources to further the diverse work of the College.  This effort ensures the College continues to support a vibrant community of professionals and members of the public who are focussed on sharing their expertise to save lives on our roads.

Particular thanks to our 
Australasian Executive Committee who have generously committed their resources in 2014 to ensure this has been another active and successful year for the College - a College that continues to engage with a collaborative road safety community:
  • Mr Lauchlan McIntosh, ACRS National President
  • Prof Raphael Grzebieta, Immediate past President
  • Mr Eric Chalmers, ACT & Region Chapter representative (Chair) & co-Vice-President
  • Mr David Healy, co-Vice-President
  • Dr Kerry Armstrong, Treasurer & QLD Chapter representative (Chair)
  • Dr Jeremy Woolley, Secretary & SA Chapter representative (Chair)
  • Mr David McTiernan, NSW (Sydney) Chapter representative (Chair)
  • Ms Jessica Truong, VIC Chapter representative (Outgoing Chair)
  • Mrs Melinda Spiteri, alternate VIC Chapter representative (Incoming Chair)
  • Dr Paul Roberts, WA Chapter representative (Chair)
  • Dr Paul Graham, NZ Chapter representative (Chair)
  • Prof Narelle Haworth, Committee member
  • Dr Peter Palamara, alternate WA Chapter representative
  • Dr Julie Hatfield, Committee member
  • Prof Mark Stevenson, Committee member
  • Dr Marilyn Johnson, Committee member
  • A/Prof Teresa Senserrick, Committee member
Our ACRS Chapter Executive Committees also continue to work hard to further our road safety efforts across states and regional areas. We thank you all for your support!

We look forward to another productive year in 2016 and especially to being in touch in the new year.  The first Weekly Alert for 2016 will be with you in mid-January.  Best wishes everyone!



As the holiday season approaches police have started to push the road safety message, hoping for a zero road toll over Christmas and New Year.  Wellington police have taken a novel approach to their message, penning a letter to Santa.  Published this morning the letter reads:


Dear Santa

We've been so busy Santa Claus, us boys and girls in blue;

Keeping all our cities safe and our roadways too.

We're counting down the sleeps, with loved ones, 'til you're here,

But Santa, there are just some things we ask of you this year.

Please help all drivers to slow down and think of what's ahead

So we don't knock on someone's door and get them out of bed;

To tell them that their loved one, with gifts beneath the tree,

Won't be coming home tonight to be with family.

Dear Santa, please don't let them drink too many wines or beers,

We know it's fun to celebrate and toast the Christmas cheer,

But Santa please don't let them drink and then decide to drive

Make sure that someone's sober and gets them home alive.

And Santa there is one more thing we'd like to ask of you,

As people travel near and far, make sure they're rested too.

A thin paint line upon the roads is all that stands between,

Them and other travellers, so make sure that they're seen.

And we'll be out there on the roads keeping a watchful eye,

Reminding folks to play it safe, as summer days roll by.

So thank you jolly old St Nick for listening to our call

Here's to a Merry Christmas, that's safe for one and all.

Yours sincerely,



The official holiday road toll period will begin at 4pm on Thursday 24 December and end at 6am on Tuesday 5 January.

Last holidays there were 14 fatal crashes and 226 reported injury crashes. Those crashes resulted in 16 deaths, 78 serious injuries and 267 minor injuries.

Read the Entire Article here.



Visit the Queensland Police Service Website here.



Job Purpose

The purpose of this position - Global Manager, Global Road Safety Partnership - is to effectively and efficiently manage a large global programme that aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries as a result of road crashes. Globally, road crashes are estimated to cause some 1.3 million deaths and 50 million serious injuries annually and are an silent humanitarian crisis. Approximately 85% of the casualties in this global man-made crisis are in low and middle income countries. In addition to the incalculable pain and suffering, there is an estimated economic cost in these countries of some $65 billion per annum. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies has made one of the largest private donations to reduce the costs and impacts associated with Road Safety in low- and middle income countries. The 2015 -2019 programme will reach out to a minimum of 10 major cities and 14 countries. Activities will include: capacity building of lead road safety agencies and actors; capacity building of traffic police and building the capacity of civil society organisations to advocate for stronger policies that protect road users. 

The job also requires provision of leadership and direction for the GRSP organisation and to provide strategic and practical support to the CEO as requested.

Job Duties and Responsibilities
  • To be accountable to the GRSP CEO for the overall management and implementation of the Bloomberg Philanthropies programme that will be known as the Bloomberg Initiative – Global Road Safety.
  • To provide professional and technical road safety leadership within GRSP, and at the global level in the field of road safety under the auspices of the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety.
  • Develop global annual plans for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety programme, including, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs), timelines, communication plans, monitoring and evaluation activities in order to reduce death and serious injuries on roads.
  • To support the development and implementation of specific standards, monitoring and reporting and communication tools in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety programme, and similarly, support the development of tools to drive forward the work of GRSP in reducing death and serious injuries on the world’s roads.
  • To provide leadership and direction for GRSP staff and specialist consultants in order to translate and work towards achieving the overall strategic objectives of GRSP and the annual operating plans of the Bloomberg Initiative – Global Road Safety..
  • To provide overall management and strategic advice to the GRSP Bloomberg Initiative – Global Road Safety grant making, capacity building and road policing activities – in line with the objectives and KPIs agreed with the Donor.
  • To utilise the people and the funds allocated to the Bloomberg Initiative – Global Road Safety programme efficiently and effectively and in line with IFRC values and protocols.
  • To ensure effective communication within the GRSP team and other relevant stakeholders to enhance operational effectiveness, share information and to inform future work within the Bloomberg Initiative Global Road Safety programme .
  • To deputise for the GRSP CEO when necessary.
  • Provide leadership on significant GRSP internal projects and contribute to the development and delivery of the global annual plans and strategic objectives of the GRSP and externally through bodies such as the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration within the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
  • To act as a professional leader in the field of road safety and road safety advocacy, to share good practices both within the GRSP in Geneva and in countries where GRSP is involved, and globally to the field of road safety in general.
  • To develop, motivate and set performance objectives for staff working on the Bloomberg Initiative-Global Road Safety in order to meet the broader GRSP objectives, to support a culture of continuous improvement, and, provide high quality support to National Societies and GRSP members.
  • To lead on relationship building and collaboration internally and with National Societies, and externally with key partners: Bloomberg Philanthropies; World Health Organisation; World Bank Global Road Safety Facility; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; World Resources Initiative/EMBARQ and Global New Car Assessment Programme and GRSP members.
  • To plan, manage and monitor available resources in Bloomberg Initiative-Global Road Safety in order to deliver the agreed activities.


Post Graduate degree in a field that contributes to Public Health or to Road Safety (for example: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Evaluation, Advocacy)

  • A minimum of 10 years working in the field of road safety at a National, Regional and International levels
  • Strategic Road Safety programme development and implementation experiences at a National, Regional and Global levels
  • Strong working knowledge of road safety initiatives and priorities at the international level under the auspice of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration Decade of Action for Road Safety, that aims to reduce the numbers of people globally who are killed or seriously injured.
  • Authored or co-authored a minimum of 5 peer reviewed articles in the field of road safety
  • Managed complex and multi-faceted road safety programme teams across a country, region and internationally
  • Has experience managing large and complex budgets across a multi country programme
  • Has experience speaking with authority about road safety on the global stage.

Knowledge, skills and languages
  • Can strategically provide oversight of the planning and implementation of a multi country programme sharing the same objective
  • Can efficiently manage a budget across countries and in line with IFRC systems
  • Has specialist skills to oversee capacity building programmes in relation to road safety management; advocacy for road safety policies; road policing.
  • Can manage staff development and delivery.
  • Fluently spoken and written English (Required)
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic)

Read more on the Position Vacancy Website.



Schools are finishing up, business are closing down and people are starting to get into the festive spirit.  What better time for us to say thank you to all the people and organisations who supported road safety education in 2015.

The year saw the release of statistics showing a massive 47% reduction in the number of young people aged 17-25 years killed in road crashes over the past decade.  With the combination of government initatives and campaigns, safer roads and cars, increased policing and, of course, education, we have reason to celebrate - together we are making a real difference.

So we are celebrating our achievements - but we don't plan to rest for long because there is much work left to be done and our team is looking forward to meeting the challenge in 2016.  We hope you will again join us on this important journey.

Looking for some light holiday reading? Check out our newly released 2015 Concise Annual Report.

Featured on pages 11-13 are the results of our extensive evaluation and social impact research on participating students, teachers and other stakeholders. Through this process we measure RYDA's effectiveness but also have the opportunity to look at effectiveness of government messages (eg advertising campaigns) through the eyes of our students.  We are pleased to share these encouraging results.

Read more on the RSE e-Newsletter


For only the second time since its inception, the Group of Eight (Go8) has today chosen to use paid media advertising (*attached) to communicate its views on the future of university research in Australia.

“As Australia’s leading research intensive universities, we feel strongly that what we can deliver for Australia and the world, in this new era of Government commitment to research and innovation - as set out in yesterday’s National Innovation and Science Agenda - is worth stating to the community,” says Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson.

“As a group we do see infinite opportunities available to all sectors of the community if the values and determination that underpin yesterday’s statement are followed through,” she says. “It won’t all be easy however increased collaboration, restored funding, incentives for investors, and a whole of Government longterm commitment is a direction worth being enthusiastic about.”

Ms Thomson said the Go8’s existing commitment to innovation was large with 80% of the sector’s commercialisation income. “Importantly the Go8’s income from industry research which embraces collaboration is twice that of the rest of the sector combined, so we have a solid base from which to escalate our collaboration and innovation agenda.”
  • The Go8’s agenda, “Innovation 2016” was delivered to Minister Pyne on 25 November. The Go8 plan includes:
  • The creation of a $200m early stage commercialisation fund;
  • Expanding participation in internship programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate level;
  • Drafting elements of a reward and recognition framework for academics that promotes the symbiosis between excellent fundamental research and impact research that delivers outcomes for the community;
  • Establishing an Industry/Innovation Board to help the Go8 implement its strategy; and
  • Supporting the development of a national research impact assessment mechanism.
“History shows that paid media is something the Go8 does rarely,” says Ms Thomson. “We have done so today because establishing our position relative to the Innovation Statement was seen as vital. We can indeed be as optimistic for the future as the Prime Minister if all sectors work collaboratively.”

Read the Complete Media Release here.



This Intelligent Transport Systems Australia (ITS) Showcase is anticipated to draw together over 200 professionals from ITS and related disciplines to get an update from industry leaders on autonomous and connected vehicles.  This is one of a series of ITS Showcase events across Australia that will build the anticipation as we head towards the 23rd ITS World Congress in Melbourne in 2016.  

  • Date: Thursday 4 February 2016
  • Time: 8am - 1pm
  • Venue: Club Pavilion Room – RACV Level 2/501 Bourke Street Melbourne  Vic 3000

Open to ITS members and non-members. Admittance is complimentary - registration required.   Register for the ITS Showcase - Melbourne Event here.



Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium 2016 will bring together the world’s leading engineers in the field of autonomous vehicle research, testing, validation and development. The conference will be held in Stuttgart alongside Automotive Testing Expo 2016, the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to new vehicle development and testing, and in conjunction withTraffic Technology International magazine, the world’s leading magazine for advanced highway and traffic management technologies. It will boast over 60 of the world’s leading experts in driverless vehicle testing.

Advanced driver assistance systems giving rise to fully automated driving vehicle technology is nothing new. Since the final meeting of the Eureka PROMETHEUS Project in Paris in 1994, it’s been clear that fully autonomous self-driving vehicles are set to become a reality, yet 20 years later the final stages of testing, validation and fail-safing pose a huge challenge to the automotive industry.

The rigorousness and thoroughness of the testing processes need to be conducted at an altogether higher level of fidelity than anything that has gone before, if the final reality is to be achieved with complete safety and integrity guaranteed.

Read more on the Event Website and the Speaker e-Alert.


Communications Minister Mitch Fifield today called for nominations of mobile black spot locations around Australia to be submitted by December 31st for consideration under Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

“The Commonwealth Government has committed $60 million to provide new or upgraded mobile coverage to black spots in regional and remote Australia under Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, and we’re calling on members of the public to nominate black spots in their local area by 31 December,” Minister Fifield said.

“This new funding is on top of the $100 million committed to Round 1 of the programme, which leveraged co-contributions from mobile operators, state and local governments and third parties for a total funding envelope of $385 million.”

Locations nominated by the public as mobile black spots will be added to a national database which will be provided to mobile operators as part of a competitive selection process. Operators will be required to nominate sites where they would build new or upgraded base stations to serve the black spot locations nominated by the public.

Successful locations will be determined in accordance with the ranking process set out in the Mobile Black Spot Programme Round 2 guidelines, which will be issued publicly prior to the commencement of the competitive selection process.

The competitive selection process is scheduled to begin in early 2016, and the Government expects to be in a position to announce the successful locations under Round 2 by the end of 2016.

More than 6,000 locations were nominated under Round 1 of the programme, with Round 1 set to provide new or upgraded coverage to around 3,000 of the nominated black spots. Black spots which are not set to receive new or upgraded coverage under Round 1 of the programme will remain in the database as eligible locations for Round 2.

The Commonwealth Government announced the successful locations under Round 1 in June 2015, with the first of the 499 base stations funded under the programme due to be switched-on by the end of 2015. The full rollout will be completed over the next three years.

A map of mobile black spot locations and the locations which will receive new or upgraded coverage under the Programme is available on the National Map.  Black Spot Nominations can be Made Online for Round 2 of the Programme, and close on 31 December.  Read the Complete Media Release here.


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


This bulletin contains current counts and summaries of road crash deaths and fatal road crashes in Australia. It is produced monthly and published on the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economic's (BITRE's) website on or around the 14th of each month. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction.

Monthly Australian road deaths - last five years, with trend

November 2015 : At a glance

  • There was a total of 91 road deaths during the month of November 2015. In comparison to the average for November over the previous five years, the current figure is 22.5 per cent lower.
  • During the 12 months ended November there were 1,194 road deaths. This is a 1.6 per cent increase compared to the total for the 12-monthly period ended November 2014.
  • Presently the rate of annual deaths per 100,000 population stands at 5.0. Compared to the figure for the 12-monthly period ending November 2014, this is a 0.3 per cent increase.
Monthly deaths by jurisdiction - last 24 month
(raw and smoothed, 13-point moving average)

Read the Complete Bulletin here.


Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been fined $455 and has lost four demerit points after he was caught using his mobile phone while driving in Melbourne.  A video, obtained by News Corp, showed Mr Shorten driving along Kings Way in August this year with his phone in hand.

Today he made a public apology for the incident.  "Like most drivers, I always try to do the right thing," he said. "But there's no doubt that using your phone while driving is the wrong thing to do — there's no excuse for it.  I shouldn't have done it and won't do it again."

Mr Shorten told reporters he had contacted Victorian Police about the vision and would accept any fine that is issued.  It is understood Mr Shorten had just dropped his children off at music practice.  The vision suggests the person who filmed the incident may also have been driving at the time.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has defended Mr Shorten.  "Bill has said exactly that, that he did the wrong thing, that he won't do it again," Mr Albanese told Channel Nine.  "He hasn't made excuses, he's put his hand up and it's a regretful incident but it's one that he's done the right thing and apologised for."

Industry Minister Christopher Pyne took the opportunity to suggest the incident was a metaphor for Mr Shorten's standing as Labor leader.  "My strong advice to Bill is to keep both his hands on the wheel at all times and then he's not going to get into any trouble," Mr Pyne told Channel Nine.  "But obviously I sympathise with him because obviously things aren't going very well for him."

It follows an incident last month where Mr Shorten sideswiped a number of cars in Melbourne, after he spilled coffee on himself.

Read the Original Story here.



When drivers' bodies are torn apart in serious crashes on the ACT region's roads, Canberra Hospital trauma surgeon Dr Ailene Fitzgerald is among those tasked with putting them back together.   Hospital staff and emergency services crews are bracing themselves for the summer onslaught and urging motorists to take it slow as they prepare to hit the roads for the summer holidays.

Dr Fitzgerald, who is director of the hospital's Shock Trauma Service, said road crashes accounted for 50 per cent of the hospital's trauma patients and young people were over-represented among that group.  "We know over the holiday period we absolutely will see some road traffic accidents and often they're preventable, often they're caused by speed, alcohol, fatigue, texting or other distractions," she said. 

Ten people have died on the territory's roads so far in 2015, which is already one more than last year's road toll.  Provisional drivers make up 20 per cent of all ACT drivers involved in fatal crashes and 15 per cent of drivers in crashes that caused injuries, despite only making up six per cent of licence holders.

Patients were rushed into emergency wards with life-threatening head and chest injuries, internal abdominal injuries and shattered and broken bones.  But in the weeks and months after the crash they were often plagued by ongoing mental health problems, chronic pain and disability. 

Dr Fitzgerald said the impact on patients, families and the health system was significant.  "We talk about mortality, but it's often the younger age groups who have long-term disabilities so the amount of lost work years is huge."  While trauma staff were focused on treating patients in emergency situations, nobody went untouched by the tragic circumstances surrounding some critical crash patients.

She said families faced with the worst of news about a loved one tended to respond with overwhelming grief and, often, disbelief.   "I think if you've been involved in that situation you really think twice before getting behind the wheel."

Dr Fitzgerald said the majority of hospital resources were sucked up in the patient rehabilitation phase and motorists with a disability who needed long-term care.   "The cost to the individual, the family and the community at large is huge and often underestimated in trauma."

Read the Complete Article here.



A 132-kilometre stretch of highway connects Queanbeyan to Batemans Bay. Knowing where its blackspots are may help you make it to the end.  Highway patrol officers will begin a blitz of the Kings Highway this week as waves of Canberrans roll down the coast for summer, but researchers have shed light on where, when and why people are likely to crash on the road.

Sahar Alian​ co-authored a paper on the Kings Highway which was presented to the Australasian Road Safety Conference earlier this year, and said road geometry, time and direction of travel and driver behaviour all interact to influence crashes on the road.  "In general the risk of having a crash is higher at night. But crash rates are higher during the day travelling eastbound down the coast probably due to the stronger effect of road geometry [the combination of curvature and vertical grade] on driver behaviour travelling eastbound," she said.

The biggest crash clusters are located in the first five, windy kilometres of the Clyde Mountain area travelling eastbound. Mrs Alian said most of these crashes occur during the day.

The researchers homed in on driver behaviour in this area in particular, especially in the way the road geometry impacted the crash rate.  They found while the high rate of night crashes may be written off as speed, the lack of visual field or driver experience, the daytime results means the road geometry may have a stronger influence.  They unequivocally found you were more likely to crash during the day if you were heading eastbound, downhill.

Mrs Alian said further study will be required to fully explore the driver's role in crashes in this particular area. All in all, they found there was a crash rate of 2.45 cars for every 100,000 motor vehicles which travelled on the Kings Highway in a 24-hour period between the years 2007 and 2011.

The mean age of the driver involved was 40 years and the majority were male, however the age plunged to a mean of 33 years at night.  The crash rate also rose to 3.25 crashes per 100,000 motor vehicles during the 12-hour evening period.  The researchers chose to focus on Kings Highway as it bucked the trend in terms of road casualties.

While casualty rates on Australian roads decreased in the decade leading up to 2010, a 2013 review by NSW Transport found casualties actually rose on the Kings Highway between 2009 and 2011.  Research undertaken by the NRMA in 2005 found the Kings Highway had an average of one crash every four days over the period of a decade.

Since 2011, the NSW state government has invested more than $62.5 million in safety upgrades on the Kings Highway upgrades.  The researchers suggested road authorities look at implementing variable speed limits along the road.

President of the Australasian College of Road Safety and Bungendore resident Lauchlan McIntosh said those efforts to "cut out a lot of blackspots" aren't reflected in this dataset due to its age.  But he believed it was a useful analysis of where money can be better invested along the highway to reduce hazards.

"Quite often we take crashes as the only indicator of where the road is bad and that may not be the case, we may have a lot of near-misses," Mr McIntosh said.  "You've got to take as much data as you can and see what you can do to avoid the crash. It's a welcome paper and it should help if people take the data and reduce the hazards on the highway."

Read the Complete Article here.



John Lamers could see the terror in the old man's eyes.  "It was a look on his face that said 'this is the moment'."  Lamers, 52, gripped the steering wheel tightly. His foot was hard on the brakes, but the crash was inevitable.  "I remember saying 'stop, stop, stop', but I couldn't."

His red Toyota Hilux, which was towing a horse float, slammed into the driver's side of the silver Nissan Primera at a rural intersection near West Melton, west of Christchurch.  Lamers, who was not at fault, walked away from the crash.

The occupants of the Nissan, Patrick and Betty Barry, from Christchurch, were not so lucky.    The couple, aged 88 and 81, are among 43 people who have died on Canterbury's roads this year, compared to 33 for the same period in 2014.

Their grieving family are preparing for their first Christmas without them. They are urging people to drive carefully, particularly on rural roads they do not know well.  "It was instant, sudden and unexpected," the couple's daughter Anne-Marie Tulkens said, wiping tears from her eyes. "I didn't get a chance to say goodbye."

Read the Full Story here.



Decisions on how driverless cars are programmed to avoid collisions and protect passengers must be open to public scrutiny.

It's 2025. You and your daughter are riding in a driverless car along the highway. The autonomous vehicle rounds a corner and detects a crossing full of children. It brakes, but your lane is unexpectedly full of sand from a recent rockslide. It can't get traction. Your car does some calculations: If it continues braking, there's a 90 per cent chance that it will kill at least three children. Should it save them by steering you and your daughter off the cliff?

This isn't an idle thought experiment. Driverless cars will be programmed to avoid collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles. They will also be programmed to protect the safety of their passengers. What happens in an emergency when these two aims come into conflict?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is trying to draw up safety regulations for autonomous vehicles. These regulations might or might not specify when it is acceptable for collision-avoidance programs to expose passengers to risk to avoid harming others – for example, by crossing the double yellow line or attempting an uncertain manoeuvre on ice.

Google, which operates most of the driverless cars being street-tested in California, prefers that the department not insist on specific functional safety standards. Instead, Google proposes that manufacturers "self-certify" the safety of their vehicles, with substantial freedom to develop collision-avoidance algorithms as they see fit.

Regulatory agencies will need to set some boundaries. For example, some rules should presumably be excluded as too selfish. Consider the oversimple rule of protecting the car's occupants at all costs. This would imply that if the car calculates that the only way to avoid killing a pedestrian would involve sideswiping a parked truck, with a 5 per cent chance of injury to the car's passengers, then the car should instead kill the pedestrian.

Read the Full Story here.


Some of the most expensive kids booster seats on the market have performed poorly in new safety tests conducted by the NRMA.  Ahead of the Christmas holiday period, the motoring association wants parents to know they do not have to spend big to keep their little ones safe in the car.

The Child Restraint Evaluation Program, supported by the NRMA and other major motoring organisations including the RACV, VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission, tested 17 kids booster seats under extreme conditions.  While each of the child restraints met Australian Standards, the NRMA gave two products — the forward facing Safety 1st Sentinel II and the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOGO — a minimum one star rating for safety.

NRMA’s Senior Policy Advisor, Dimitra Vlahomitros, said it was “disturbing” the two child seats scored so poorly, given the testing program has been running for 15 years.  “Some of the most expensive restraints have the poorest safety scores,” Ms Vlahomitros said.  Ms Vlahomitros said the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOGO, which scored one safety star, sells for around $430, while the best booster seat in testing sold for less than $64.

“The fundamental message to parents from these tests is that safety does not necessarily come at a price and that price is not the guarantor of safety,” she said.

But Sharyn Perry, the head of marketing for Dorel, the company which manufactures the Safety 1st Sentinel II and the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOGO, said the NRMA audit was not representative of the full Australian Standards testing regime.  “Both products have undergone and passed rigorous Australian standards testing and certification as well as ongoing batch testing. ,” Ms Perry said.

“We are very concerned these results will confuse consumers as the definitive car seat safety criteria in Australia is certification to AS/NZ 1754 by SAI Global and the ‘Five Ticks Certified Product’ standards mark as a sign of quality and excellence in the marketplace,” she said.

Centre for Road Safety spokesman person Bernard Carlon said whatever product parents choose, it is vital child restraints are correctly fitted.  “If children aren’t correctly secured, they’re seven times more likely to receive life threatening injuries than those properly secured,” he said.

Read the Original Story here.



A police raid on a Coles distribution centre at Sydney's Eastern Creek on Thursday has led to two drivers returning positive drug tests and 62 truck defect notices.  The discovery has prompted NSW Roads and Maritime to warn the supermarket giant that "rapid cultural change" is needed to ensure it complies with heavy vehicle safety laws.  

As part of Operation Capicure, more than 60 officers and inspectors from Roads and Maritime Services and NSW Police swooped on the Coles distribution centre following complaints about overloaded trucks, driver fatigue and load restraints.

RMS safety and compliance director Peter Wells said it was the third time inspectors had carried out operations at Coles' distribution centres in 18 months and "we are seeing the same poor practices".  "As one of the largest distributors in the country managing the movement of thousands of trucks every day, these results are unacceptable and compromise safety," he said.  The defects included a truck with two punctured tyres, another with bald tyres and others with oil and fuel leaks.

Apart from issuing 62 defect notices, inspectors found more than 29 load restraint problems. One driver tested positive to cannabis, and another to both cannabis and methamphetamine.

Mr Wells called on Coles management and directors to "ensure there is rapid cultural change to ensure legal compliance with the requirements for heavy vehicle safety".  "It seems from today's results that no effective checks and balances are in place to ensure loads are safely secured or associated risks minimised," Mr Wells said.  "We will meet with Coles executive directors to discuss the disappointing findings to ensure there is a vast improvement in compliance levels and safety."

Mr Wells said company directors could be held criminally responsible for the kind of breaches inspectors discovered at the Coles centre on Thursday.  Fines for non-compliance exceed $10,000 for individuals, and can be more than $50,000 per offence for freight companies. 

A Coles spokesman said the company took road safety and its chain-of-responsibility obligations "very seriously and always responds immediately to any concerns raised" by authorities or partner companies.

Read the Complete Article here.  Read related articles 'Retailers must do better on Chain of Responsibitily: TWU' and 'Coles say they will take compliance issues seriously'.



A rider who hit a kangaroo on an outback NSW road in 2013 has won his bid for compensation in the NSW Supreme Court which is good news for riders involved in blameless accidents.  The case may still be subject to appeal, so caution is needed in celebrations but the ruling was so comprehensive an appeal seems unlikely.

The rider was travelling south on the dirt road between Hungerford and Bourke in 2013 on an BMW F 650 GS Dakar when a roo jumped out of the shadows and hit the rider, resulting in serious injuries.  Hungerford road is one of the long straight and wide red dirt and bull dust roads typical of the far west of NSW. It is only graded every six months or so and often corrugated, with low scrub on both sides.

A claim for injury compensation was made under the NSW CTP no-fault insurance scheme.  The CTP insurer rejected the claim on the basis that the driver in a single vehicle accident was not entitled to claim under the NSW CTP scheme and secondly that it was not a blameless accident due to the speed the rider was travelling at even though it was under the 100km/h speed limit for the road.

The case required thorough examination of the way the NSW legislation is written to determine the ability of the rider to make the claim and then examination of whether the speed of the rider was a factor in the cause of the accident.

The court case has clarified that under the NSW CTP scheme a rider or driver is entitled to claim where the accident is not as a result of their own actions or in other words is a “blameless accident”. This is an important legal point for riders and drivers.

Secondly the Judge has accepted the rider’s judgement that the speed at the time of the accident was appropriate in the road conditions at the time of the accident. It is not often a rider’s judgement is accepted over the experts who are brought into a case years after the fact of an accident.

Read the Full Story here.



South Australia has revealed an overhaul of its CTP insurance scheme which will see four insurers become providers of the cover in the state.  The changes will see QBE, AAMI, SGIC Insurance and Allianz become the four providers of the cover from July 1 2016.

The move will see more than one million motorists in the state allocated to one of the four insurers and state treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis said the move will be an easy transition.

“Importantly, this model provides a seamless transition for South Australian motorists,” Koutsantonis said.  “All four private insurers have entered into an undertaking and agreement in which they have accepted the duties and obligations of the private provision of CTP. These are designed to protect motorists and ensure fair and affordable CTP insurance premiums.”

Read the Entire Story here.



Three people have died in separate road crashes overnight, less than a day after a horror weekend on Victoria's roads that claimed five lives.  A grandmother and her 11-year-old granddaughter were among eight people killed in less than three days.  Their deaths take the state's road death toll to 243, three more than at the same time last year. 

In the latest crashes, a motorist was killed and a truck driver suffered minor injuries when their vehicles collided at Merebin South near Mildura at 6pm on Monday.  The crash occurred at the intersection of River Avenue and the Sturt Highway.

In a separate incident, a truck driver was killed when his semi-trailer slammed into a tree and burst into flames at Arcadia, near Shepparton.  The prime mover was travelling south on the Goulburn Valley Highway, between Gribben and Karramomus roads, when it veered off the road and hit the tree about 12.50am.  The truck caught fire, with the driver trapped inside.

A second fiery crash occurred in Moriac, near Waurn Ponds, about 1.40am.  It is believed a Holden sedan was travelling east along Cape Otway Road, through the township, when it veered right off the road, hit a power pole and burst into flames.  The driver and sole occupant of the car died at the scene.  Cape Otway Road was expected to remain closed, between Hendy Main and Church roads, until 7am.

All three victims are yet to be formally identified.

The crashes come after a horror weekend on the state's roads, which claimed the lives of five people, including a grandmother and her 11-year-old granddaughter.  There were three major crashes, two of which resulted in double fatalities.

The fatalities prompted police to make an impassioned plea for all Victorians to take responsibility on the road as the holiday period approaches.  "We all have a voice when it comes to road safety and it is important that we use it to ensure that our loved ones are not lost on the road," said Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer.

Read the Entire Story here.


Victorian police launch Operation Roadwise, a state-wide blitz targeting motorists over the holiday season, as the family of a young woman killed by a drunk driver pleads for motorists to obey road rules. 

Mary Holloway's daughter Cody was killed in December 2006 when a speeding, drunk driver slammed into her car at Montrose.  "You say goodbye to your daughter, you tell her you love her thinking she'll be home in a few hours and she's never coming home. It's the worst," she said.

It is these sorts of heartbreaking family tragedies that Victoria Police wants to avoid through Operation Roadwise with the aim of zero fatalities in the next 20 days.  The blitz will target speeding, fatigue, distraction, seatbelt offences, drink and drug driving.  It will run until January 3 with extra police resources across the state in the Surf Coast, Geelong, Benalla, Wangaratta and the Mornington Peninsula. Police will also focus on Glen Eira, Yarra Ranges, Brimbank and Casey.

The Transport Accident Commission has also unveiled its new commercial which steers away from scaring motorists, instead highlighting how all Victorians can work together to improve safety.  The TAC has received $1 billion of funding to make roads safer, and says it is working on improving intersections and installing more wire barriers along freeways and country roads.

Read the Original Article here.



The State Government has launched its latest road safety campaigns, urging motorists to eliminate drink driving and 'grow up'.  Ahead of the holiday season road Safety Minister Liza Harvey claimed the drink driving adverts, 'Only A Little Bit Over' and 'Grow Up', primarily target young men and reinforce that drink driving is juvenile behaviour.

Ms Harvey said although all motorists had something to learn from the campaign the highest proportion of drivers in serious or fatal alcohol-related crashes were men aged between 17 and 24.  "More than 80 per cent of people killed or seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes were men and they need to understand that it's not just a matter of losing your licence - you could lose your life or kill someone else," she said

"Recent statistics show about a quarter of fatal crashes were related to drink driving and that should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks even a little bit over the limit is okay."

"After intense education campaigns this year we have seen about half the number of people killed in motorcycle crashes in 2015 but there are still many families who will be without a loved one this Christmas because of road trauma,"

The new campaign has been released this week in conjunction with the re-launch of the State Government's motorbike campaign, after 44 motorcyclists and passengers were killed on WA roads last year.

Read the Complete Article here.



  • Two initiatives made possible by Road Safety Commission grants of $626,600
  • New equipment means quicker and more comfortable extrication of vehicle occupants

Firefighters attending road crashes will be able to rescue passengers more quickly and comfortably thanks to an expansion of road crash rescue capability across the State.  Minister for Emergency Services Joe Francis and Minister for Road Safety Liza Harvey today announced the rollout of specialised heavy rescue equipment to key locations across WA, along with a suite of modern lithium ion powered rescue tools.  The projects have been made possible by $626,600 worth of grants from the Road Safety Commission.

Mr Francis said many road crashes attended by fire and emergency services occurred in remote and regional areas, some involving heavy vehicles like buses and trains.  “Road crashes can occur in any location across the state, so the need to have well-equipped road crash rescue and heavy rescue units available is vital,” he said.  “These specialised pieces of equipment will mean our firefighters, including volunteers, are better equipped than ever to deal with these sorts of incidents.”

Ms Harvey said the new initiative would contribute to improved road trauma outcomes.  “The new equipment will enable emergency responders to extract vehicle occupants more quickly and comfortably, reducing the likelihood of critical injury,” she said.  “This will undoubtedly help us move toward the Road Safety Commission’s target of reducing road deaths and injury by 11,000 by 2020.”

The two initiatives will mean faster deployment of rescue resources and will also expose volunteers to new and advanced rescue methods.

Read the Complete Media Release here.



A father drives his kids home after drinking at a barbecue.  He loses control and crashes, killing his daughter and severely injuring his son. He walks away with only minor injuries but has to live forever with the choices he made.

It's one of many tragedies emergency doctor Sally McCarthy will never forget.  "Clearly that was a very, very tragic case on many levels and had substantial impacts both on the staff in emergency departments and obviously on the poor family," she said.  "I've never forgotten that one and unfortunately we all know about why we shouldn't drink and drive but people unfortunately still sometimes do it."

On Friday Associate Professor McCarthy, chair of the Brisbane-based Emergency Medicine Foundation, made a plea on behalf of the doctors whose job it was to put broken bodies back together after car crashes.

As of Friday, 227 people had died on Queensland roads in 2015, 12 more than the same period last year.  Nationally, the 12 months to October had seen more deaths than the previous period in every state except Western Australia.

The EMF, along with just about every agency regularly involved with the horrific aftermath of road crashes, was calling on drivers to take extra care on roads at Christmas time - a plea that had so often fallen on deaf ears.

Read the Complete Article here.


Queensland Rail is pleading with motorists to obey signals and signs at level crossings following a spike in crashes and near misses in the Far North.   The State Government has launched a regional rail safety campaign highlighting the dangers of ignoring signals and signs at level crossings, and warning motorists and pedestrians not to risk their lives around the rail corridor during the Christmas school holidays.  This follows a crash involving a cane train and a car and boat at Gordonvale on Monday, and a bus that crashed into a tourist train at a level crossing at Portsmith in June, injuring 22 people.

Last financial year 100 motorists and pedestrians risked their lives around rail lines in regional Queensland by running the gauntlet in front of an oncoming train – an increase of 10 per cent on 2014.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said he was disappointed near misses at level crossings in regional Queensland were continuing, as every incident had the potential to turn into something much worse in just a matter of seconds. “This Christmas the State Government has launched a media campaign across print and radio in Rockhampton, Longreach, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Mt Isa, pleading with people to stay safe at level crossings,” he said.  “Saving a few minutes at a level crossing is just not worth the ultimate risk of potentially losing your own life or the lives of loved ones.”

Queensland Rail Train Driver Shaun Wrobluskie said what many people did not realise was that trains could travel up to speeds of 160km/h and could not swerve to avoid someone and could take several hundred metres to stop.  “It’s not just the motorist or pedestrian who is affected by these incidents, but the passengers, train crew and drivers can suffer long-lasting psychological effects that can impact them for years.  “I have had several incidents involving level crossings in my time as a driver and it is not something I would want any of my colleagues going through. It can be very traumatic,” he said.

Read the Complete Article here.



A Queensland coroner has recommended trucks be banned from congested city roads unless they are fitted with technology that warns drivers of the presence of other road users in their extensive blind spots.  Coroner Christine Clements delivered eight findings on the September 2014 death of Danish cyclist Rebekka Tine Lousdal Meyer on Wednesday, following a week-long hearing in August.

The 22-year-old student was hit and killed by a truck at the intersection of Stanley Street and Annerley Road in South Brisbane, as she cycled to the University of Queensland on the morning of September 11, 2014, in front of dozens of horrified onlookers.

The notorious intersection is regarded one of the most dangerous in Brisbane for cyclists, feeding into Annerley Road, which has been identified as Queensland's worst black-spot for cyclist crashes by the RACQ. At the inquest, distressed truck driver Jody Jeffrey said he did not see Ms Meyer sitting in the black-spot of his truck as both sat in Stanley Street, waiting to turn right into Annerley Road.

In her findings delivered on Wednesday, Ms Clement made eight recommendations, including that conventional trucks such as that driven by Mr Jeffrey that day be banned from congested roadways if they were not fitted with warning technology that alerted them to other road users in their blind spots.

The inquest heard that such trucks have a seven-metre blind spot in which drivers can not see other road users.  "Conventional-shaped heavy vehicles should be prohibited unless they are fitted with appropriate technologies to warn the driver of any obstacles or other road users within the forward blind spot of the truck," Ms Clements found.

The coroner also recommended an education campaign for other road users to warn them of the extent of the danger when travelling alongside trucks.  "Publicly disseminated information for car drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists should aim to educate them about the extent of the blind spot in front of conventional-shaped heavy vehicles," she found.  "Eye-level signage at the back of the vehicles ... could assist in alerting other road users to the danger of positioning themselves directly in front of conventional-shaped heavy vehicles."

Among the seven other recommendations Ms Clements made were that Brisbane City Council engage with cyclist advocacy groups to plan more dedicated exclusive bikeways across Brisbane, as a matter of priority.

Read the Original Story here.

The U.S. Department of Transportation today proposed high-tech changes to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 5-Star Safety Ratings for new vehicles. The planned changes will improve on the well-known safety ratings by adding an additional crash test, using new and more human-like crash test dummies, rating crash-avoidance advanced technologies, and assessing pedestrian protection. These proposed changes will give consumers even better information to help them choose a safe vehicle, and will encourage manufacturers to produce vehicles with better crash protection and new technology innovations that will save lives.

“NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings have set the bar on safety since it began in 1978, and today we are raising that bar,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The changes provide more and better information to new-vehicle shoppers that will help accelerate the technology innovations that saves lives.”

The 5-Star Safety Ratings, also known as the New Car Assessment Program, crash-tests new vehicles every year and currently rates them on how well they protect occupants in frontal, side and rollover crashes. Results from these tests are compiled into a rating of 1 to 5 stars, with more stars indicating a safer car. The vehicle safety ratings appear on window stickers of new cars, and searchable ratings are available on NHTSA’s Safercar.gov website. The current program also includes a checklist of recommended advanced technology features such as rear-visibility cameras, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning.

The planned changes to the 5-Star Safety Ratings system include:

  • A new 5-Star Safety Ratings system, which will, for the first time, encompass assessment of crash-avoidance and advanced technologies as well as pedestrian protection;
  • New tests to assess how well vehicles protect pedestrians from head, leg and pelvic injuries that occur when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle;
  • A new frontal oblique crash test that measures how well vehicles protect occupants in an angled frontal crash;
  • An improved full frontal barrier crash test to drive safety improvements for rear seat occupants;
  • New crash test dummies, including the Test device for Human Occupant Restraint, (THOR) and WorldSID, that will provide vastly improved data on the effects a crash is likely to have on the human body;
  • An assessment of additional crash-avoidance and advanced technologies that offer drivers the most potential for avoiding or mitigating crashes;
  • Use of half-star increments to provide consumers more discriminating information about vehicle safety performance; and
  • The ability to dynamically update the program more swiftly as new safety technologies emerge.

“NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program was the first of its kind, and the idea has now spread around the world,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Today, we’re adding to that legacy of global safety leadership, ensuring that American consumers have the best possible information about how to protect themselves and their families, and taking a significant step forward in our efforts to save lives and prevent injuries.”

Read the Complete Press Release here.



The federal tourism minister will propose translating Australian road signs into Mandarin at a meeting of state and territory tourism heads next year.  In a bid to get Chinese tourists off the beaten track, federal Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck is proposing translating road signs into Mandarin.

Senator Colbeck is floating the idea in an effort to capture more of the lucrative Chinese tourism market. Despite having "no firm plans", he says he will present the suggestion to state and territory leaders at his first tourism ministers' meeting in 2016.

"With close to a million visitors from China coming to Australia, injecting $7.7 billion into the economy annually and growing, we must do whatever we can to ensure they enjoy their experience and want to return," he told AAP.  "About 40 per cent of Chinese tourists are choosing to self-drive so signage, roads, wi-fi and basic amenities are important to encourage them to explore our vast country safely."

Tourism & Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond fully supports the proposal, adding dual language signage is already evident at a number of private sector tourist attractions.  "It's not just about bus tours anymore, they want to get in the car and they want to drive so they need to understand the Australian road rules, and we need to help them get around," she said.  She said the use of electronic signage could be the key to reducing potential roll-out costs.

According to data from Tourism Research Australia, the country experienced a 22 per cent surge in Chinese tourists and a 43 per cent rise in their expenditure in the year ending September 2015.

Read the Full Story here.


Whether it is by foot, bike, car, bus or train, the morning commute to work is something most Australians undertake every working day.  The question of how to get from ‘a’ to ‘b’ is solved by the prevalence of reliable and safe transport and infrastructure.

The sad truth is that how this infrastructure and these transport systems are built and maintained may never be fully understood by the general public. A commuter driving to work won’t necessarily see the road they’re using as more than a just road. However, sadder still, according to Mike Shackleton, Executive Manager of ARRB Academy, young university graduates do not see beyond the face value of a road either and, more importantly, don’t see the valuable research and maintenance roles behind these roads as a viable career path.

“It doesn’t get a lot of hype – a lot of people haven’t really thought of transport or infrastructure as a serious career option,” he says.  Dr. Shackleton says that he believes there’s a gap in young scientists and engineers entering the transport and infrastructure sectors, and refers to a report from Austroads which highlights this particular issue.

In 2006, the Austroads Capability Taskforce commissioned BIS Shrapnel to provide a detailed outlook for road construction and maintenance activity for 2006 to 2015. Following the global financial crisis in 2007/2008, an updated report was commissioned for the decade to 2019 and was published in 2010.

The report, Australia and New Zealand Roads Capability Analysis 2009-2019, through its nominated capability model detailed that after the 2014/15 financial year, new skilled labour (i.e. graduates) in Australia will not be enough to meet the forecasted labour demand in the roads sector. The report found that this gap between demand for and stock of labour, in theory, may result in a capability shortfall between the 2014/15 and 2018/19 financial years.

The report also noted that the global financial crisis saw many private sector companies curtail their graduate intake programs during 2010. This, the report found, may hinder growth, particularly if careful consideration is not given to graduates as they leave university, as students considering engineering will opt for careers based on the experience of existing graduates.

Despite the report’s findings, Dr. Shackleton explains there are a lot of ways to entice young graduates to a rewarding career in the transport, roads and infrastructure sectors, particularly if the whole industry shifts its focus to said future engineers and researchers.

Part of the struggle is communicating to graduates and students that a career in transport and infrastructure is one where they can be both in the field getting things done and in the laboratory working out how they should be done. “Young people want to get out and get things done,” he says. “Very few of them think about a career in road research – they think that there’s too much of one thing.” That one thing being either predominantly lab work or field research.

Dr. Shackleton says seeing past the simple function of a road or transport reveals an innovative and open-minded industry that perfectly suits the environmentally minded engineers and scientists of tomorrow, one that doesn’t just limit a researcher to one sector of the industry.

Read the Complete Article here.



Claire Howe

Executive Officer
Australasian College of Road Safety
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