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A new road safety strategy

By johnboy - 15 November 2011 37

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Simon Corbell has announced a new road safety strategy in pursuit of his vision zero.

Mr Corbell tabled the ACT Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 and ACT Road Safety Action Plan 2011-2013 in the Legislative Assembly today.

“The strategy outlines the key goals for road safety in the ACT over the next 10 years, including a reduction in ACT road trauma of 30% to meet national road safety strategy objectives,” Mr Corbell said.

“Despite a generally good road safety record, each year an average of 14 people are killed and 565 people are injured on ACT roads.

“This strategy is influenced by the Swedish Government?s „Vision Zero? policy, which ultimately aims for no one being killed or seriously injured within the road transport system,” Mr Corbell said.

Until we all start doing an annual remedial driving lesson (needn’t be an exam, just an hour in the car driving around with an instructor) I can’t see anything seriously getting fixed.

UPDATE: We’ve now got a copy of the strategy for your perusal.

What’s Your opinion?


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A new road safety strategy
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Holden Caulfield 4:59 pm 16 Nov 11

Watson said :

And I meant to ask: what road rules have changed since you got your licence? And how often do you forget existing road rules? I just don’t get the testing for road rule knowledge… I think most people know the rules, they just choose to ignore them because they are either reckless or overcautious.

On the other hand, my mum lived in a small country town when she got her license. All she had to do was pay her 5 quid to the local coppers, who already thought she had a license, and she was on her way.

She’s never been tested. I’m sure there are countless others of her generation to have done the same.

Watson 4:52 pm 16 Nov 11

longshanks said :

+1 to the above.

I always used to be in a rush behind the wheel. Thankfully I never had an accident, but I did have a couple of near misses which could have been bad. Then I lived in Europe for a number of years, drove lots of nice cars at ridiculously high speeds, until one day I was first on scene at a nasty accident – mangled wreck, mangled bodies, the works.

Nowadays, I’m the guy who sits on 98kmh in the left lane of the parkway, always leaving a 3 second gap to the car in front. If someone moves into that gap, I back off to maintain the gap. If the light goes orange, I stop if I can. I don’t waste time (I’m always looking at the traffic before I get to an intersection, unlike a lot of Canberra drivers it seems) but if I’m late I don’t try to make up time either. It just isn’t worth it.

I don’t talk on the phone, I don’t even listen to the radio. I don’t think about work, or about what I’m going to eat for dinner. I concentrate on the road, I observe, I anticipate. I’ve avoided countless collisions, including a few potential nasties, simply by being alert.

I’m not saying I’m perfect – we all make mistakes. But I’ve seen what damage a car can do to a human body, and I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure that I never cause an accident.

And I would be all for programs to get that message through to drivers, especially those under 30. Not sure if letting them talk to relatives of car crash victims or showing graphic images of crashes and the human damage would make a difference to drivers’ attitudes but if it does, they should fund it and make it mandatory for all drivers.

Sleaz274 4:35 pm 16 Nov 11

johnboy said :

It’s all going to be moot in a couple of years when the cars get fully automated and only holders of advanced licences are allowed to actually drive themselves.

Amen, I’m glad someone said it. 2015 according to Mercedes but it’ll be another 10 years for it to catch on, become affordable and governments to change legislation to allow it (already happening in the US). It’ll be brand new cars to start with and eventually a retro-fit to any car. Pretty much inevitable in the grand scheme of things.

As usual the governments will be the slow bit…until they work out a way to increase REVenue from it. Courts may also take some time to adjust (2 automated vehicles crash, who goes to gaol?)

longshanks 3:51 pm 16 Nov 11

Grail said :

Focussing on skills used inside the car is not going to lower the accident rate. What we need to focus on is reshaping the attitudes of people before they get in the car: you’re getting in the car to travel from here to there.

For example, you shouldn’t be driving if you’re worried about how late you are: accept the fact you’re late, ring ahead, drive safely. Once you’re behind the wheel of the car your only concern is getting to your destination safely. Time is irrelevant, you should have taken care of that before you got in the car.

You shouldn’t be driving if you view driving as a form of entertainment. Go to the fair ground and drive dodgems or karts if you’re after entertainment.

Once you take the controls of a motor vehicle, you are in control of a deadly instrument, not a toy.

+1 to the above.

I always used to be in a rush behind the wheel. Thankfully I never had an accident, but I did have a couple of near misses which could have been bad. Then I lived in Europe for a number of years, drove lots of nice cars at ridiculously high speeds, until one day I was first on scene at a nasty accident – mangled wreck, mangled bodies, the works.

Nowadays, I’m the guy who sits on 98kmh in the left lane of the parkway, always leaving a 3 second gap to the car in front. If someone moves into that gap, I back off to maintain the gap. If the light goes orange, I stop if I can. I don’t waste time (I’m always looking at the traffic before I get to an intersection, unlike a lot of Canberra drivers it seems) but if I’m late I don’t try to make up time either. It just isn’t worth it.

I don’t talk on the phone, I don’t even listen to the radio. I don’t think about work, or about what I’m going to eat for dinner. I concentrate on the road, I observe, I anticipate. I’ve avoided countless collisions, including a few potential nasties, simply by being alert.

I’m not saying I’m perfect – we all make mistakes. But I’ve seen what damage a car can do to a human body, and I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure that I never cause an accident.

Henry82 3:23 pm 16 Nov 11

Watson said :

And I meant to ask: what road rules have changed since you got your licence? And how often do you forget existing road rules? I just don’t get the testing for road rule knowledge… I think most people know the rules, they just choose to ignore them because they are either reckless or overcautious.

You’re assuming the test 40 years ago was actually useful in determining understanding of the road rules and correct driver skills. Seatbelts were not compulsory or even implemented in certain cars, mobile phones were not a problem, child restraint laws etc etc. Many people may have been brought up in a town that doesn’t have a roundabout, yet alone used one.

Innovation 3:16 pm 16 Nov 11

Watson said :

And I meant to ask: what road rules have changed since you got your licence? And how often do you forget existing road rules? I just don’t get the testing for road rule knowledge… I think most people know the rules, they just choose to ignore them because they are either reckless or overcautious.

And I reckon that those bad habits that initially grew out of recklessness or carelessnes would show up at least in practical tests.

Henry82 3:07 pm 16 Nov 11

Innovation said :

As well, P platers need to be better controlled. I suggest a speed limit that is 10km/h below the posted limit (for all limits above, say 20km/h). They still get to their destination and they will be in a better position to react in unpredictable and previously unexperienced situations..

I think you should speak to someone who displays their P plates prominently on their car. From my experience the plate invokes “instant rage” from surrounding motorists, even if you’re at the speed limit and driving normally. People will see the plates, speed to overtake, then cut you off in order to get in front. Driving 10km below the speed limit will make this worse. Perhaps you should try your P plate and 10km/hr suggestion during peak hour and report back.

Mysteryman 3:03 pm 16 Nov 11

Watson said :

And I meant to ask: what road rules have changed since you got your licence? And how often do you forget existing road rules? I just don’t get the testing for road rule knowledge… I think most people know the rules, they just choose to ignore them because they are either reckless or overcautious.

You only need to read through a thread about roads/road users/motorists/cyclists on RiotACT to see how few people really do know the rules.

Watson 2:43 pm 16 Nov 11

And I meant to ask: what road rules have changed since you got your licence? And how often do you forget existing road rules? I just don’t get the testing for road rule knowledge… I think most people know the rules, they just choose to ignore them because they are either reckless or overcautious.

Innovation 2:15 pm 16 Nov 11

I hope that all of you (trollers excluded) are going to formally submit your ideas/suggestions rather than just listing them here? I did like the spike in lieu of an air bag idea though.

Personally, I like the idea of retesting at least every five years. They could even start out slow by requiring theory tests for the first five or ten years until everyone has got used to the idea.

I also like the idea of using the points system to punish people earlier (eg 1 week’s supension for one point etc). Another option might be to put those with multiple points (eg 6 or 9) on to P plates again until their points reduce below the limit.

As well, P platers need to be better controlled. I suggest a speed limit that is 10km/h below the posted limit (for all limits above, say 20km/h). They still get to their destination and they will be in a better position to react in unpredictable and previously unexperienced situations.

I was interested to read about the Police Office who was issuing too many on road offences. I understand that perhaps he was neglecting other duties but perhaps this means that we need an increased police presence on the roads. The infringements issued could pay for the extra police and the additional regular license tesing above.

Felix the Cat 1:36 pm 16 Nov 11

Tolerance, paitence and consideration for other road users would go a long way to cutting down on “accidents”.

Henry82 1:14 pm 16 Nov 11

Martlark said :

Plenty of studies have shown that extra training don’t do much, and can even increase accident rates. .

You’re talking about advanced driver training like skid-pans. Not understand the road rules, working on skills like forward planning, head-checks, predicting traffic, having an escape, assessing risk etc etc

AAMI(?) were offering reduced rates if you take one of their free driving training courses, so they must think it has some (positive) effect.

Holden Caulfield said :

Advanced driver training need not mean how to drive fast on a track. In this context it should be about all aspects of driving, from attitude, to seating position, to anticipating traffic flow, to understanding emergency procedures and so on.

What if we rename advanced driver training as “improved driver education” would that make the doomsayers more comfortable?

I like this idea.

Personally i think we need to enforce driving as a privilege, not a right. Exponentially increase penalties for continual drink driving, red lights and speeding. Perhaps if you get 6 points in a quick succession, you have to retake the driving exam? Every year there could be a short 5 minute computer test on all the recent road rules, plus 1 or 2 random ones from the normal learner test.

We could also have a discount for drivers who report people for drink driving, or driving unlicensed. Say the cops catch up with that person, and it leads to a fine/conviction, the person who made the report gets 30% off their next license. It just amazes me that some people think its okay for unlicensed drivers to “just use the back streets”, or allow a family member who is legally blind to drive.

Thoroughly Smashed 1:12 pm 16 Nov 11

A couple of years?!

harvyk1 1:12 pm 16 Nov 11

Grail said :

You shouldn’t be driving if you view driving as a form of entertainment. Go to the fair ground and drive dodgems or karts if you’re after entertainment.

Whilst I agree about the basic premise that the driver should both be in the right frame of mind prior to driving and they need to have the right attitude towards driving prior to getting behind the wheel (see my comment about a ton of metal at 110km/h) I disagree that driving can not be a form of entertainment provided it’s done safely.

Give me one good reason why driving can not be a form of entertainment. A few years back I was part of a car club, one of our favourite things to do was go on drives.

We’d pick some out of the way roads and drive along it, it was a great way to see some countryside which we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.

johnboy 1:04 pm 16 Nov 11

It’s all going to be moot in a couple of years when the cars get fully automated and only holders of advanced licences are allowed to actually drive themselves.

Grail 1:00 pm 16 Nov 11

Focussing on skills used inside the car is not going to lower the accident rate. What we need to focus on is reshaping the attitudes of people before they get in the car: you’re getting in the car to travel from here to there.

For example, you shouldn’t be driving if you’re worried about how late you are: accept the fact you’re late, ring ahead, drive safely. Once you’re behind the wheel of the car your only concern is getting to your destination safely. Time is irrelevant, you should have taken care of that before you got in the car.

You shouldn’t be driving if you view driving as a form of entertainment. Go to the fair ground and drive dodgems or karts if you’re after entertainment.

Once you take the controls of a motor vehicle, you are in control of a deadly instrument, not a toy.

Watson 12:42 pm 16 Nov 11

For those going on about driver inexperience:
“Advice from ACT Policing is that the main causal factors for serious injury
and fatal road crashes in the ACT are:
– Alcohol and/or drugs
– Speeding
– Failure to wear a seat belt, and
– Driver distraction including mobile phones and other electronic devices.”

42% of fatalities are people under 30. I think this has all to do with the brain not maturing until the age of 25 and the increased risk taking that comes with that and much less to do with experience.

This is interesting too:
– 11% of all crashes are “single vehicle crashes” (indicative of driver error
or actions independent of the road system or other traffic)
– 45% of all crashes are “rear end collisions” (the most frequent crash
type), and
– 35% of all casualty crashes are “right angle collisions” (the most
frequent type in terms of severity).

And then for those who are quick to point out that the evil cyclists and pedestrians should share the blame:
In terms of road user casualties over the last five years:
– 68.5% were car drivers or passengers
– 15.3% were motorcycle riders or pillions
– 10.1% were bicycle riders, and
– 5.6% were pedestrians.

You gotta love stats!

And I think there are some useful points in that report. Their comments on the consultation outcomes in regards to speed are funny to read.

Some of their intentions regarding safer roads make sense.

And this gave me a chuckle: “calming treatments at signalised intersections to reduce speeds
and the impact energies involved in right angle crashes.”
WTF are ‘calming treatments’??? Will they be burning lavender oil and play soothing music?

It is light on detail, but they refer to the 2011-13 plan for more in depth strategy implementations.

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