28 May 2010

Road safety goes back to the drawing board

| johnboy
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This time last year Mr Stanhope was aiming for a “vision zero” of road deaths.

This sort of thing often makes one a hostage to fortune and with the total so far this year already above last year’s (which had no vision at all) the Chief is looking for answers.

The ACT Government is to dig deep and discover how aware Canberrans really are about risks on the road, and will use the research to improve its safety education campaigns, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

“This research will help the Government to identify what Canberrans do and don’t know about safe driving practices and the effectiveness of Government campaigns aimed at changing driver behaviour – such as the current driver distraction television campaign,” Mr Stanhope said,

“With the ACT’s road toll already exceeding last year’s total, barely five months into the year the ACT Government wants to know what is going on in the minds of Canberra drivers.

The results are expected in July.

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There should be a reward system that rewards ACT drivers who:
1. keep left unless overtaking… or turning at the NEXT intersection only.
2. merge lanes in the appropriate manner, as opposed to speeding up and pushing in in a way that makes the driver beside them brake and nearly get rear-ended.
3. drive under 60km/hr in 40km/hr road work zones.


And yes, ACT drivers, because it seems to be the NSW drivers that have the most trouble coping with this phenomenon.

georgesgenitals11:46 am 01 Jun 10

ML-585 said :

The people who won’t like the zero tolerance policy are the ones driving around with only one headlight working, fail to indicate at roundabouts and park in loading zones.

Or the ones who are scared they’ll get nicked for having having drugs in their system (because it’s not a safety issue).

The people who won’t like the zero tolerance policy are the ones driving around with only one headlight working, fail to indicate at roundabouts and park in loading zones.

georgesgenitals8:48 pm 30 May 10

ML-585 said :

The best way to improve road safety: PUT MORE POLICE ON THE ROAD! And adopt a zero tolerance policy.

Whilst I agree, I think you’ll find lots of people don’t like the zero tolerance policy.

The reality is that lots of people are simply not fearful of being caught by an unmarked vehicle. Further, we should be thinking more of how to make roads safer, as opposed to getting all excited because we see someone else getting booked.

I’d be happy with better skills training, driving test on each license renewal and more marked police on the road. These things would be a good start, but unlikely to get serious consideration, because they are:
a) expensive; and
b) harder to measure than the number of people caught speeding or drink driving.

Put more Traffic Police on the road!!

Over the last few years I’ve noticed the speed camera vans are out more often, but the Police are on the roads less. I’ve even noticed lately speed camera vans sitting in the spot the Police use to hide on Yarra Glen.

It WOULD NOT bother me if I saw someone pulled up by the Police in the middle of peak hour if it made the roads safer. That would be done by unmarked Police cyclists riding past all the cars stopped & photographing someone on a mobile phone, etc. They would radio for a Police motorbike to scoot up through the traffic & nab them.

While some Canberra drivers probably don’t know half the road rules anyway, the biggest cause of poor driving on our roads is that there is little fear of getting caught. Driver training and changes to demerit points make little difference is you’re not going to be caught doing the wrong thing. The best way to improve road safety: PUT MORE POLICE ON THE ROAD! And adopt a zero tolerance policy.

merlin bodega11:31 am 30 May 10

Getting back to the topic of zero deaths related to motor vehicle use, this is probably only going to happen when we have zero cars and zero roads. the idea is so stupid as to be more indicative of the comment provider than the state of our traffic.

Roads and cars are dangerous places to be and made much more dangerous by users who either don’t get that point or who fundamentally should not be there due to their personal circumstances through things like drug and alcohol or are just not fit to drive because of their health. Agree with all the people who think the system should be set up to deal with these people rather than as a revenue raiser on mugs who go marginally over the speed limit on deserted roads.

What about all the people whose driving skills are diminished through aging they are a hazard? They may not have a lot of accidents but fuck don’t they cause a lot. Pity the poor cyclist for these guys. They took me and my bike off the road forever after the last cross into the cycle lane that pushed me up the gutter – and I was the one who had the blood test in hospital! Heaven forbid these fuckers should be denied their inalienable right to community mobility.

Stanhope – you’re dreaming.

Is this the same Jon Stanhope who is actively planning to make Northbourne Avenue dangerous for drivers cyclists and pedestrians, by removing the cycle lanes on Northbourne Avenue that have kept cyclists safe for many years- thereby forcing them either into car lanes or onto paths used by pedestrians?

troll-sniffer (#5) has got it exactly right. I’ve said the same on RA before.

The blame lies fairly and squarely with Stanhope and his traffic “experts”; thay have actively encouraged the toll to rise.

By expending virtually all their enforcement efforts on fining some poor bastard doing 3-4km/h over the speed limit, they have told every other bogan driver they can keep driving exactly as they like – talking on the mobile, driving with their wanker lights on and blinding other road users, changing lanes without looking or indicating, and generally being ignorant pricks.

Until the emphasis is off minor speeding and onto the really dangerous, killing stuff, then the road toll will continue to rise.

It’s simple, Stanhope – forget revenue-raising and start doing something about standard-raising.

Perhaps they need to look at the groupings within the list of people who died. From memory, there were several older people, a couple of cyclists, several motorbike riders and the 4 people who died in the Narrabundah crash. So the question might actually be: what was it about those people and the circumstances in which they died that might be relevant to the accident? For example, a couple of Saturday mornings ago, there was a group of middle-aged male cyclists chatting and riding two abreast in the cycle lane (and intruding into the car lane) heading south on Northbourne Avenue. It would have been very easy for them to have come into contact with a truck/car.

Why does he need to ask drivers?
What he needs to do is examine the circumstances of recent serious accidents in basic analysis of causes and then act on the analysis by addressing the causes.

From memory of recent deaths on ACT roads, most were the result of either:

– criminals who are out on bail and shouldn’t be driving anyway
– unskilled motorcyclists
– people with bad eyesight who don’t spot motorcyclists before pulling out at an intersection

Therefore, our road death toll would be reduced drastically if we did the following:

– stop allowing crims out on bail if they have any driving-related priors
– reduce the number of unskilled motorcyclists on the road
– remove people with bad eyesight from the road. Driving around in the middle of the day with their headlights on, or using foglights when there’s no fog, are both dead-giveaways that you’ve got crap eyesight so Stanhope should have these people pulled-over and cancel their licences.

Well to begin with, driver training should be taken away from mum and dads who are teaching their children bad habits. This will be at least a start to having well qualified drivers on the road, but in itself is not a solution. As part of this, scrap rubbish restrictions for new drivers such as the ones in NSW, they are useless.

Ban the Governments from wasting out money on “road safety” signs like, they are also useless.

Legislate that speed cameras should only be placed in locations where there is a track record of serious accidents relating to high speed crashes. In Canberra, the only locations will likely be at intersections.

Expand red light/speed cameras, although amber light time should be sufficient for cars to cross the intersection at lower speeds.

Put more police on the road, the majority of problems on our roads are people who think giving way is optional, that lane changing requires only tugging on the steering wheel to the side and all other traffic will yield, that merging is a race of who’s the first to get there and motorcyclists who think they can do whatever they wish because they’re the next Casey Stoner.

Compulsory road rule tests with renewal of licences.

ChrisinTurner11:20 pm 28 May 10

Doing this study is just a way the Chief can delay or avoid doing anything that might solve the problem. While the police hoon around in their brightly painted cars they won’t see the idiots you and I see every day. I suggest doubling the demerit points and halving the fines for all traffic offences. At the same time get rid of those “restricted” licenses which make losing your license a joke. Also get rid of the warning signs on speed cameras and allow the speed camera vans to operate anywhere in the ACT, such as road works, school-crossings, residential streets and shopping centres (all places where they are currently banned).

I wonder how many more crashes there will be when Stanhopeless gets his point to point cameras installed and everyone is too busy watching their speedos rather than watching the road in front of them?

Driver education and training doesnt increase his revenue….

Mr Evil said :

Make car registration $3000/annum = less cars on the road = (possible) drop in road fatalities = more money for public artworks.

I should run for ACT Labor!

I think it should be the other way around. … make a licence $1000 or $1500 a year, and car rego a lot less. … included in that fee should be a lot better driver education when you initially get your licence, and what, on a 5 yearly basis some kinds of skills/competency based test to renew?

As others have said, its about driver education and training, … not revenue camera’s and bullshit like that.

Every road death is a random event with its own set of circumstances so it hard to find a solution to cover all occasions.

Further, you cannot legislate against individual acts of stupidity…

astrojax said :

no, you’re either a ‘well trained’ driver or you ain’t….

This really isn’t true either. Some people have lots of training and would be poor drivers by anyone’s standards. Many people have relativity little training (older people quite possibly have never had a lesson or real driving test in their lives), yet manage well enough.

For years I’ve thought the best way to make drivers think before they break the law would be to A. make it easier to take their license. And B. At the end of a license suspension they should have to go back through the whole process. Written test, L plates, driving test and then P plates for 3 years. All at the cost of the person who broke the law!!

When a person gets their license back after a suspension, its often yippee and lets go for a drag race kind of attitude. Their license is handed back to them on a silver platter with no effort required by the suspendee. If they had to go through the whole process to get their license back after a suspension it would be a much greater pain in the ass and they probably wouldn’t do it more than once.

If you’ve done something stupid enough or often enough to lose your license then we should be making it as onerous as possible to EARN it back.

Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of idiots who drive unlicenced. But that’s where RAPID comes in to catch the unlicenced idiots. Using the revenue generated by more people paying to go through the licensing system.

Who can spot the flaws?

You’re either a good driver or you aint!

no, you’re either a ‘well trained’ driver or you ain’t, cap’n… what we need is a lot more education in manners/attitude from an early age, in both driving and behaviour generally – much bad driving mirrors the inherent attitudes of drivers who should be taken out the back for the good thrashing they never got in school.

Captain RAAF1:48 pm 28 May 10

Driver training, speed camera’s, all a waste of effort in reducing road tolls.

The only real answer is identifying crap drivers via repeat offences and cancelling their licences! You can, easily, drive quite safely at 100 in an 80 zone or 130 in a 110 zone as long as you abide by simple rules;

Drive to the road/traffic conditions;
Display competant driving abilities.

Most accidents are caused by someone who abuses or fails to meet one or both of the above criteria.

Having pumped thousands of dollars into the Victorian economy as a young man via speeding fines, I still haven’t caused an accident in over 20 years of driving yet I’ve been in a handful and they’ve all been caused by someone who lacked skill or abused the road conditions. Driver training will never be comprehensive enough to properly educate people and would only ever be a band-aid solution for tree hugging hippies to feel good about themselves. You’re either a good driver or you aint!

I wonder what the stats are in relation to the population regarding crashes now that there are less larger cars on the roads and people throw their little buzz boxes about like they are a wannabe Fangio?

Clearly speed cameras are about revenue, not safety (idiot political rhetoric notwithstanding). At heavy traffic intersections, the red light camera component makes sense. On a clear stretch of road, speed cameras are voluntary taxation pure and simple. And passing a speed camera on a road like Tuggy Pkwy is a green light to accelerate … the danger zone is clearly defined. I’m surprised they catch anyone at all.

Driver training is the only answer. But that costs $$, as opposed to earning them for the gummint. They’ve even outsourced licence testing to driving schools – it’s never been easier for an incompetent (or borderline) driver to get their wheels.

When I got my motorbike licence, I had to do 2 days (from memory … it was decades ago) of Stay Upright courses. No idea if that’s still the case. I thought then – and still do – that similar for car licences ought to be bare minimum.

Doubt you’ll ever eliminate the Mully factor though.

Mr Evil said :

Make car registration $3000/annum = less cars on the road = (possible) drop in road fatalities = more money for public artworks.

I should run for ACT Labor!

fewer cars, mssr evil – nonetheless, i’d vote for you! 🙂

neanderthalsis12:18 pm 28 May 10

If you take out the 4 killed in when Mully went on his GTA inspired rampage, we’re not doing too badly.

It’s hard to plan ahead when you have wankers like Mully intent on causing mass carnage on the roads.

georgesgenitals12:03 pm 28 May 10

Skills training – we need some.

Very interesting article in the Sunday CT about road accidents in the ACT over the last 5 years, i would have liked a little more depth instead of the huge graphic, but it made some valid points. The distribution of fatal accidents was interesting – i wonder if thats where the speed cameras are sited ?

One of the main problems with these types of campaigns is that they are doomed to failure, guilt and selective memory. I think this every time a ‘nowaste by 2010’ garbage truck rumbles down my street.

troll-sniffer12:01 pm 28 May 10

To add to chewy’s little gem:

Until the road ‘safety’ engineers and consultants realise that the current all-encompassing focus on speed to the exclusion of more meaningful campaigns is misguided, they can be lumped together with the bureaucrats who insist that prohibition is winning the war on drugs, and classified as dinosaurs.

Tailgating and other anti-social behaviours, inattention, poor visual techniques and the like, and the virtually unsolvable ‘don’t give a f*ck’ attitude of a fair percentage of bogan heroes cause far more accidents than reasonable speeding. Sure, combined, the speeding can add to the severity of an accident caused by the other factors, but slipping a few klicks over the posted limit on a quiet open road is perfectly safe.

To compound the problem, Canberra is full of speed limit anomalies that only serve to make motorists treat all speed limits with contempt. For instance coming into the ACT section of the Sutton Road, a wide open and relatively good condition rural road, the speed limit drops to 80km/hr. Near the airport, after the Brindabella roundabouts heading to Queanbeyan, the limit stays at 70km/hr all the way to the Fairbairn lights. Monaro Crescent in Red Hill, a road wide enough to park a semi sideways, and relatively straight, has a 50km/hr limit. There are many many more examples of these inconsistencies across the territory, and they only serve to make the average motorist treat all speed zones as possibly ridiculous until demonstrated otherwise.

Make car registration $3000/annum = less cars on the road = (possible) drop in road fatalities = more money for public artworks.

I should run for ACT Labor!

This is what I hate about 99% of road campaigns.

If we have a low road toll then they all clamour over themselves to take credit because their campaigns are “obviously working”.

When we have a year with a higher toll, which considering the variability of road deaths isn’t surprising, we need a review as to why drivers aren’t paying attention to our wonderful road safety campaigns.

The results of which are usually higher penalties, fines and more speed cameras

I’ll give them a tip:

Nothing you do is going to make a flying f*ck of a difference to the way people drive on the road unless more actual driver training is included. Unfortunately for us that would mean actually spending money rather than finding more ways to raise revenue.

Oh no, here we go again

“the ACT Government wants to know what is going on in the minds of Canberra drivers.”

They’re busy thinking about what they’re texting to their friends or about the **** who just cut them off, duh.

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