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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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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

georgesgenitals said :

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

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.

Skidbladnir 5:56 pm 11 Aug 10

caf said :

If they really want to get closer to Zero, then significant improvements in mental health care are absolutely necessary..

Or just hand over control to automated systems.
(Hello, Johnnycab!)

caf 5:45 pm 11 Aug 10

If they really want to get closer to Zero, then significant improvements in mental health care are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, no matter how many other road safety initiatives we have, there’ll still be a monotonous parade of “single vehicle, sole occupant” crashes.

pete74au 5:17 pm 11 Aug 10

If 38% of fatalities were caused by unlicensed and or unregistered vehicles, 40% of fatalities involved drugs and or booze. Another large percentage by road user inattention. Uh what will any form of automated speed control do to have a psoitive impact – answer SFA, however they are self funding and will make people look at the signs – doh.

Sorry, the police say Inappropriate or excessive speed, i.e. the road user got it wrong not that they were exceeding some arbitrary number plucked from a wax dolls bottom and placed on a pole.

SPEED DOES NOT KILL – CRASHES KILL. Higher speeds makes the louder bangs and spread the debris and body parts further.

We have to focus on US and until WE take ownership of our own actions and stop blaming everything else then we will die and it will have jack to do with some arbitrary speed sign.

Skidbladnir 4:41 pm 11 Aug 10

I like how one of the components of their washing-machine flow chart is a conclusion: “lower speeds are more forgiving of human error”.
This also shows up primarily in the Australian Vision Zero statements.

This contrasts with several studies, which conclude it is the deviation from the mean speed of traffic which is the risk factor, not the speed itself.
(EG: If you’re travelling at the same speed as everyone else, you’re more likely to be fine. If you travel twice the speed of everyone else you’re an idiot, and if you come to a stop in the middle of a highway, you suffer similar problems)

Australian researchers, Fildes, Rumbold, and Leening (1991)…found a trend of increasing crash involvement for speeds above the mean speed in both rural and urban conditions – similar to the correlations reported in the early studies. However, no relationship between slower [absolute] speeds and increased crash involvement was found.
It is important to note that the researchers emphasized speed variance, rather than absolute speed, as the primary culprit in the incidence of crashes; speed variation is defined as a vehicle’s deviation from the mean speed of free-flowing traffic.
Hauer’s (1971) theoretical analysis of overtakings demonstrated that the number vehicle interactions in terms of passing or being passed is a U-shaped curve with a minimum at the median speed. The number of vehicles that a driver catches up with and overtakes increases with speed and the number of times a driver is passed by others decreases with speed. Thus, the increased risk of crash involvement is a result of potential conflicts from faster traffic catching up with and passing slower vehicles.

Summary
There is evidence that crash risk is lowest near the average speed of traffic and increases for vehicles traveling much faster or slower than average… risk of being involved in an injury crash is lowest for vehicles that travel near the median speed…

Source: Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Speed and Speed Limits (United States Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Virgina)

harley 4:06 pm 11 Aug 10

54-11 said :

Why? Because it is a form of (largely unintended) social engineering, whereby they convince road users that speeding is the biggest possible evil, and that all other behaviours are acceptable. Therefore, we have dickheads talking on their phones, playing with GPSs, failing to indicate, changing lanes without looking, dazzling other road users with wanker lights, and the list goes on.

I think this is a case of Pick your battles.

The people who do those things probably speed whenever they know they won’t get caught. Speeding is a constant – you don’t just go over for a brief instant, you habitually sit at your comfort level over the limit. Mine’s 8 – 10%… You’re more likely to catch speed-guy speeds for 600 seconds a day than non-indicating-guy who non-indicates for 20 seconds in the same trip.

All those things you mention are dangerous and annoying, but I don’t agree with your assertion that because people can’t speed as easily they do other things. Speeding is the biggest possible evil over all those things, when taken in context.

georgesgenitals 3:57 pm 11 Aug 10

54-11 said :

I’ve said it before on RA, and I’ll keep saying it until the day I die (hopefully not on our roads) – the obsession by the Stanhope and other governments with speed-control is the single biggest cause of the increase in traffic fatalities and accidents.

Why? Because it is a form of (largely unintended) social engineering, whereby they convince road users that speeding is the biggest possible evil, and that all other behaviours are acceptable. Therefore, we have dickheads talking on their phones, playing with GPSs, failing to indicate, changing lanes without looking, dazzling other road users with wanker lights, and the list goes on.

When the vast majority of enforcement is focused on just one thing, then it is effectively giving permission to do anything and everything else.

This is beginning child psychology, something that Stanhope and the rozzers simply fail to understand.

Hence increased road tolls, more desperate attempts to control speed, and ergo, more deaths/accidents, and so on and on this crazy cycle goes.

+1. Well said.

neanderthalsis 3:47 pm 11 Aug 10

Sorry, I think there was a typo in Chairman Stanhopes release, it should read “Zero Vision”, not “Vision Zero”.

Somehow our dictatorial overlords believe that rehashing an outdated and failed policy will stop people dying on the roads. It is obvoius that more police, more fines and silly road signs don’t work. So how about a greater focus on driver training including defensive driving to teach folks how to handle an emegency situation.

Skidbladnir 3:40 pm 11 Aug 10

(I ask because while the media release just says “Its all there, go check tams.act.gov.au yourself”, the actual TAMS website only directs people to Road Safety Strategy discussion paper, and the ACT Government search feature is a pile of shit)

Thumper 3:34 pm 11 Aug 10

Sorry, and just in case, more speed cameras.

Skidbladnir 3:34 pm 11 Aug 10

With statements like “there is moderate belief in the effectiveness of fixed speed cameras (48%), point-to-point cameras (54%) and speed camera vans (56%);”, can we see the questions that were asked?

Thumper 3:34 pm 11 Aug 10

Simple. Ban cars.

Oh, and remove roads.

54-11 3:20 pm 11 Aug 10

I’ve said it before on RA, and I’ll keep saying it until the day I die (hopefully not on our roads) – the obsession by the Stanhope and other governments with speed-control is the single biggest cause of the increase in traffic fatalities and accidents.

Why? Because it is a form of (largely unintended) social engineering, whereby they convince road users that speeding is the biggest possible evil, and that all other behaviours are acceptable. Therefore, we have dickheads talking on their phones, playing with GPSs, failing to indicate, changing lanes without looking, dazzling other road users with wanker lights, and the list goes on.

When the vast majority of enforcement is focused on just one thing, then it is effectively giving permission to do anything and everything else.

This is beginning child psychology, something that Stanhope and the rozzers simply fail to understand.

Hence increased road tolls, more desperate attempts to control speed, and ergo, more deaths/accidents, and so on and on this crazy cycle goes.

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