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Vision Zero rises from the grave!

johnboy 12 August 2010 32

[First filed: Aug 11, 2010 @ 15:04]

diagram

The Chiefly Stanhope (having recovered from his original vision zero preceding a road toll not seen in many years) has been chanting over the grave of the previous policy and now announces he’s going back to the people with a “discussion paper on how the ACT might adopt a ‘Vision Zero’ road safety strategy”.

The paper is up on the TAMS website and comes with details on how to get your submission into the discussion by 5pm 30 September.

The paper proposes doing more with the following motherhood statements:

— Engaging with the community on stronger road safety efforts;
— Emphasising speed management as a critical component of the safe system approach, with targeted awareness campaigns supported by strong enforcement and targeted engineering measures;
— Implementing safe system infrastructure—which could include local area traffic management measures, revised speed zoning, median barriers on undivided roads, and calming treatments at intersections;
— Strengthening efforts to encourage best practice in adopting vehicle safety technology;
— Developing an educational approach for all road users—with increased investment in strategic awareness campaigns and lifelong learning measures—in an attempt to change the ACT road safety culture;
— Supporting this broad educational approach with effective and sustained general enforcement measures;
— Implementing stringent controls to remove high end offenders from the road system, for example in relation to speeding and drink driving;
— Continuing efforts to obtain strong alignment with key road safety stakeholders on the overall approach to road safety in the ACT;
— Strengthening synergies between road safety and sustainability/environmental issues; and
Implementing best practice data and evaluation processes.

Possibly most striking is the paper’s musing over whether “towards zero” would be more useful than “vision zero” as a slogan.

UPDATE: Mr Stanhope has also announced the findings of a road safety survey which includes:

— a high proportion of residents believe that travelling on roads in the ACT is safe, with only 4% of respondents describing the roads as “unsafe” or “very unsafe”;
— 85% of residents believe that current speed limits in the ACT are “about right”, whilst 11% believe they are “too low” and only 3% believe they are “too high”;
— 85% of residents believe that increasing the number of police officers on the road would improve driver behaviour, and there is a very high level of confidence (85%) in the effectiveness of “police presence” in terms of speed enforcement;
— there is moderate belief in the effectiveness of fixed speed cameras (48%), point-to-point cameras (54%) and speed camera vans (56%);
— 87% of residents feel that compulsory breath testing helps to lower the road toll;
— 17% of residents admitted to answering their hand-held mobile phones when driving; and
roadside signage (electronic road signs and general road signs) was believed to be the most effective with regard to road safety advertising.

Further Update: The Liberals’ Alistair Coe is not impressed:

“Mr Stanhope has indicated that he will proceed with measures such as point-to-point speed cameras and a zero blood-alcohol limit for L- and P-plate drivers regardless of the outcome of any consultation; however we are yet to see any evidence to suggest these measures will make our roads safer.

“It seems that when it comes to a real analysis of the evidence surrounding road safety this data is simply not available,” said Mr Coe.

In an answer to a Question on Notice from the Canberra Liberals asking the number of motor vehicle accidents involving P and L plate drivers, the government replied that it was not possible to gather this data with ‘current systems’.

‘The availability of this data is crucial in targeting the government’s resources in the most effective way,” Mr Coe said.

“There is no consistency from this government when it comes to road safety with little to no meaningful action to make ACT roads safer, ” Mr Coe said.


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32 Responses to Vision Zero rises from the grave!
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astrojax 11:47 am 13 Aug 10

if all road users had to ride a motor cycle/scooter on the road for +12 mths before ever getting behind a steering wheel, we'd all be much better and courteous (and alert) road users.

can't see that happening, but.

Skidbladnir 11:22 am 13 Aug 10

1) They're using a model which includes a conclusion and then drawing up logic which supports that conclusion.

2) The logic of their modelling is itself strange.

Police investigate crash in an Y Km/h zone.

Car was traveling at X km/h.

X - Y = Z

When Z > 0, police say speed was a major factor or cause of the crash. Afterall, laws were broken and lawmakers don't make mistakes, and the (potentially arbitrary) speed limit was set for a reason (probably), and more law enforcement can't be a bad thing.

When Z is anything other than 0, scientists ask further questions.

Road has a notional 'safe rated speed' of P determined by designers.

P > Y.

Scientists investigate if X > P, driver error or overestimation of driving skill was probably the problem.

If Y < X < P , why was the driver driving over the 'legal' limit but under the 'unsafe' limit?

Other questions follow from that answer, conclusions may be made.

Both groups write reports for anyone who will fund them.

Police say "Travelling at speed in excess of Y is the cause of these crashes. If we can prevent everybody from speeding, nobody will die (except for random incidences of people who won't obey the rules, these cases are unlikely and can't be prevented anyway)."

Scientists say "The evidence suggests there may be a correllation between the magnitude of Z (positive or negative) and the associated risk of a crash. Certainly, positive values of Z experience a exponential increase in crash risk. Negative values of Z experience an exponential increase in crash risk, but not of the same magnitude and have a larger buffer between magnitude of Z and risk of crash. In any case, there is likely a lower boundary limit of human fatality under current conditions. We can probably prevent more accidents my managing traffic and roads appropriately, or using technological solutions to reduce the impact of human errors. Ideally we could do all three simultaneously and study the results."

Our Government's conclusion seems to be "Science is too hard, roll out the speed cameras. "

georgesgenitals 1:24 pm 12 Aug 10

[quote comment="273925"]It is illegal to speed, speed cameras catch people breaking the law, they get fined, that money goes into Government coffers. What is the problem?[/quote]

There's no problem. Except we're talking about road safety here, which is a somewhat different topic (speed cameras are only a part of the picture).

Deano 12:49 pm 12 Aug 10

[quote comment="273929"]fail to understand the broader implications of driver and community psychology.[/quote]

Are you suggesting that the community makes an unconscious trade-off between the convenience of driving cars and the risks of doing so, that results in an acceptable level of death and injury, and that they would actually resist attempts to impose a different trade-off?

Well, in that case, with only 4% of respondents describing the roads as "unsafe" or "very unsafe", I'd have to say that road safety is a not a problem.

troll-sniffer 11:42 am 12 Aug 10

[quote] Why don't they survey road safety experts - I'd value their opinion much more than the general public's. [/quote]

At the risk of getting a bloody forehead from repeatedly beating it against an intractable wall of narrow thinking...

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the so-called experts are failing to offer the best advice, simply because they are fixated on their theoretical models and demonstrated practical tests that 'prove' their pre-conceptions, and fail to understand the broader implications of driver and community psychology.

colourful sydney racing identity 11:22 am 12 Aug 10

It is illegal to speed, speed cameras catch people breaking the law, they get fined, that money goes into Government coffers. What is the problem?

AG Canberra 11:01 am 12 Aug 10

– 85% of residents believe that increasing the number of police officers on the road would improve driver behaviour, and there is a very high level of confidence (85%) in the effectiveness of “police presence” in terms of speed enforcement;

There's your answer. The people have spoken. We all actually agree (well 85% of those asked the question) that more coppers equals safer roads. That's because they can catch you doing alot more than speeding. They book you for no seatbelts, they breathalyze you, they make sure your crappy vehicle has lights etc. No camera can do all of that.

Bugger me it is so simple. And I am positive the money they raise will more than cover the cost of them.

Just think - driving to work next Monday knowing that every day, 24 hours a day there are at least 15 police cars on the roads watching what you do....

Sgt.Bungers 11:00 am 12 Aug 10

Further to my post above... the reason we have a road toll is that too many of us drive with the false belief that nothing unexpected will ever happen to us... over 99.9% of the time we're correct. The remaining 0.1%, we'd better be driving in a manner that allows us room for error.

The following video is a perfect example... from the US... a place with similar road rules and setup to Australia... if a driver is somehow able to miss a large pile of rocks on the road, what chance does a child have?

Complacent, laid back, confident drivers are deadly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNpn9ef4URM

Me no fry 10:47 am 12 Aug 10

Uh oh, people are quoting statistics and road safety studies.... I sense a Woody-bomb coming (and in the time it took to draft this, it arrived).

Putting Stanhope's ridiculous and amateur Vision Zero aside for a moment, along with its risible "Safe System Framework" chart, if you look at the roads in Canberra they are generally in very good condition. In general, things are well signposted, and speed limits seem appropriate (to me at least). I can't be the only person to drive past an accident site and wonder how on earth a person managed to crash there.

I think that to some degree the road toll in Canberra is measuring a baseline of human stupidity.

On the topic of the government's obsession with speed cameras, well, as Albert Einstein said, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. The focus on speed limit enforcement will probably never yield the results the government claims it wants.

georgesgenitals 10:36 am 12 Aug 10

[quote comment="273902"]Driving quickly under controlled circumstances would provide a much better indicator of whether someone can actually control a vehicle than the current test.

...in your expert opinion.

Apparently not all ACT police officers agree with Mr Stanhope’s views on the dangers of speeding.

...says the guy who reckons he'd happily run over your kids if he saw them on a suburban street.[/quote]

I know that would get a rise out you.

It's an opinion, much like any other. I'm surprised you waited this long to get into the discussion. Normally any thread containing some research gets you wound up pretty quickly.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:19 am 12 Aug 10

Driving quickly under controlled circumstances would provide a much better indicator of whether someone can actually control a vehicle than the current test.

...in your expert opinion.

Apparently not all ACT police officers agree with Mr Stanhope’s views on the dangers of speeding.

...says the guy who reckons he'd happily run over your kids if he saw them on a suburban street.

georgesgenitals 10:01 am 12 Aug 10

[quote comment="273892"]Maybe a new type of test, if you can't get round WakeField Park track driving a V8 powered sedan in under 1 min 20 sec, then you not allowed to have a license, that should sort it shoudln't it?[/quote]

Driving quickly under controlled circumstances would provide a much better indicator of whether someone can actually control a vehicle than the current test. Of course, there's a lot more to the story (such as knowing the road rules), which would also need to be evaluated.

Wraith 8:09 am 12 Aug 10

Maybe a new type of test, if you can't get round WakeField Park track driving a V8 powered sedan in under 1 min 20 sec, then you not allowed to have a license, that should sort it shoudln't it?

Deano 11:40 pm 11 Aug 10

[quote comment="273875"]That diagram is terrible - it's like someone has tried to justify sending the grad on an MS Paint course.[/quote]

Maybe but they should have employed a proper researcher instead.

85% of residents believe that current speed limits in the ACT are “about right”, 85% of residents believe that increasing the number of police officers on the road would improve driver behaviour, 87% of residents feel that compulsory breath testing helps to lower the road toll

In another survey 87% of five years olds believe in the existence of Santa Claus - just because a lot of people believe it doesn't make it true.

Why don't they survey road safety experts - I'd value their opinion much more than the general public's.

Zero is not a target to be achieved by a certain date.

Good to see they have learnt from the 'No Waste by 2010' nonsense.

This statement appears at the bottom of page 10 of the paper:

Advice from ACT Policing is that the primary contributing factor to serious and fatal crashes

in the ACT is impaired driving, generally alcohol, but sometimes in combination with illicit

drugs. This has been a factor in almost 50% of fatal crashes in the three year period 2007 to

2009. Of major concern to ACT Policing is the high rate of recidivism for impaired driving.

On average, about 35-40% of all drivers apprehended by police for a drink driving offence

have been convicted at least once before.

Well there's your problem! Stamp out drink driving and you could potentially halve the road toll.

If drink driving is still such an issue, why are the suggested Action Items related to speed all high priority but those related to drink driving only medium to low priority?

Towards the end of the paper:

As covered in the Road Safety Action Plan for 2009-2010, efforts are required to improve

ACT speed and crash data collection and analysis processes and to implement evaluation

processes for engineering programs and other road safety initiatives.

In other words, they don't actually have any understanding as to why crashes occur and the recommendations are based on someone's preconceptions supported by a bit of anecdotal data from the police.

This paper is quite a shoddy piece of work. It provides no analysis of the long term trend in fatal accidents compared to the number of vehicles on the road or kilometres travelled; it doesn't provide any evidence to back up the claimed causes of accidents or show how the recommendations would reduce accidents from occurring.

keepitup 9:57 pm 11 Aug 10

Just book anyone wearing a high-vis vest and driving a ute. You can guarantee they are either speeding, talking on their mobile, or not using their indicators. Or all three at once.

Sgt.Bungers 9:46 pm 11 Aug 10

From the instant we're old enough to understand the concept of a road and "right of way", we're taught that unless we're in a motor vehicle, we have to stop and give way to the important people in the big fast machines. ~15 years later we're able to get into one of these machines and control one ourselves. Finally we're the big important people able to drive a 1.5 tonne machine through a public place at a deadly speed, safe in the knowledge that nobody, ever, will walk out in front of us, because that's what we've been taught since we could walk.

The only reasons we are obliged to stop our motor vehicles is when we are facing a red light, a stop or give way sign.

Pedestrian half way across the road as you come around a corner? Maintain speed. Give them a scare, lay on the horn as they clamber off the road with mere inches to spare. What fun! They shouldn't have been on the road in the first place... (the practice and apparent attitude I've seen from many people in cars when they come across people on foot half way across Vernon Circle... a 60km/h zone). Witnesses to this will tut at the pedestrains for daring to be on the road. This is acceptable practice.

Then we wonder why people die on the raod?

georgesgenitals 9:34 pm 11 Aug 10

That diagram is terrible - it's like someone has tried to justify sending the grad on an MS Paint course.

Fouad Maatouk 7:57 pm 11 Aug 10

Apparently not all ACT police officers agree with Mr Stanhope's views on the dangers of speeding.

At least not the owner of the dark blue sedan with number plate DC-286 who can be seen on the Monaro highway most mornings and evenings overtaking everybody at well over the speed limit, and weaving in and out of the traffic that dares to get in his way. He must think his AFP uniform is invisible or something.

Mr Waffle 6:52 pm 11 Aug 10

Glancing at the title "vision zero" and the thumbnail of that diagram, I thought this was more along the lines of a Reploid conspiracy...

niftydog 6:09 pm 11 Aug 10

Make obtaining your license f'n hard, and loosing it f'n easy. Getting it back after you've lost it should be damn near impossible and if you loose it again, tough biscuits.

Even so, I can't think of anything a politician could do that will change current driver attitudes en mass.

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