More on Safer People
Figure 6 Serious casualties by user type, South Australia, 2008-2010
Influencing the behaviour of road users is critical if we are to prevent death and serious injury on our roads. Road users need to comply with the road rules, remain alert and safety conscious, and accept that continual improvement in their behaviour and that of others is vitally important if road safety is to be improved.
As a community, it’s important that we have a road safety culture where the loss of life and injury on the road is not accepted as inevitable and where the cost and inconvenience of making significant improvement in safety is accepted.
Everyone has a role to play in the safe use of the road network. Road users need to uphold the standards and laws that have been designed, to provide protection for all who use the road system. Providing regular and comprehensive information that leaves no doubt as to the level of compliance required, is usually all that’s needed for most road users.
Dangerous drivers engage in behaviour which we know contributes to serious road crashes. Behaviours such as exceeding speed limits, drink and drug driving, non-use of restraints, in-vehicle distraction, driving whilst fatigued, and driving whilst unlicensed or disqualified are all dangerous behaviours. There are also those drivers who are repeat offenders for this type of dangerous driving behaviour. Not all crashes result from these types of behaviours; however dangerous drivers are over-represented in serious road trauma and unnecessarily put other South Australian road users at risk. The reality is that if people obeyed speed limits, didn’t drink or take drugs and drive, wore a seatbelt and were not distracted when driving - the road toll would significantly reduce. To make a real impact on death and serious injury on our roads, our efforts must be focused towards stopping dangerous driving behaviour and removing dangerous drivers from our roads. Every driver is accountable and responsible not just a restricted few.
Impairment due to alcohol and drugs continues to be a major contributor to death and serious injury, with on average 34% of drivers and riders killed recording blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels above the legal limit. The majority of driver and rider fatalities that test positive to an illegal BAC are more than three times the legal limit. The increased use of technological solutions, including the use of alcohol ignition interlocks, will need to be further explored as a mechanism for recidivist offenders who are not responsive to mainstream deterrence methods. Drug driving also plays a significant part in fatal crashes. Detection of drink and drug driving offenders will be increased.
In more than a third of all fatalities between 2008-2010 seatbelts were not being worn at the time of the crash. This rate of non-compliance amongst fatalities is generally higher in rural areas than in metropolitan Adelaide. Research shows that wearing a seatbelt doubles your chances of surviving a serious crash yet amazingly there are still a number of road users who continue to travel unrestrained, putting themselves and others, at much higher risk of death and injury.
SAPOL will adopt a combination of enforcement approaches as well as improving awareness and education and they will seek to improve their knowledge of what is happening, where it’s happening and who is involved. SAPOL will rely heavily on an intelligence-driven and problem solving approach, which not only determines where serious crashes are happening, but also identifies the dangerous drivers who continue to commit offences which make the roads unsafe.
Graduated Licensing Scheme
Licensing age, consumption of alcohol, excess speed, carriage of passengers, and driving at night, are all factors which significantly increase the risks for young drivers. Addressing these factors through the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) will have a substantially positive effect on road safety and helping young people to drive in the safest way possible. This can set the scene for a lifetime of safe driving behaviours. Good training, practice, road safety awareness and safe experience for young drivers will also continue to be important. It is generally established in the literature that a young person’s brain is still developing and maturing and that this has implications for risk taking. Road safety education programs targeting causal factors of risk taking behaviour show promise, but research indicates that programs that promote early licensure increase exposure to crash risk.
Further enhancements to the GLS for young and novice drivers and motorcyclists alike will be considered as part of this strategy, especially those that have proven benefits and provide for restrictions that are progressively lifted as experience and maturity is gained. We will also continue to increase and improve educational support for young people who enter the licensing system and we will use new media options that give the best chance of engaging young people.
Fatigue has been identified as a major factor leading to crashes, with estimates of the number of crashes involving fatigue varying between 15% and 30%. The only solution to fatigue is rest. Further work needs to be undertaken to highlight the risks associated with fatigue to the driving community. We also need to keep monitoring technological advances that may assist drivers. This will continue to be complemented by infrastructure treatments that are known to be effective, such as audio tactile line marking.
Figure 7 Serious casualities by age group, South Australia, 2008-2010
Road users aged between 16-24 account for approximately 27% of those killed and seriously injured but only 12% of the population.
Road safety education is a lifelong learning process linked appropriately to various life stages and contexts. Formally, it includes programs and curriculum that are explicitly delivered in schools. Less formal learning is gained through family, peers, community and media influences, along with awareness developed as a result of personal experiences.
School-based road safety education will continue to be supported according to our current knowledge of best practice. It will be important to provide schools and students with clear information about what road safety education programs are available to them and how those programs measure against best practice principles. This way decisions can be made at the local school level based on sound information and the school context.
Road safety marketing
Road users need accurate, current, and well delivered road safety information to be able to play their part in a safe system of behaving responsibly, in accordance with the standards and road rules. If public education campaigns are to succeed, we need to provide influential information to our target audience.
The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) will continue to plan, coordinate, implement and evaluate comprehensive road safety marketing programs to support the reduction of road trauma. These will focus on road safety priorities and building community understanding of road safety and support for road safety measures. Mass media campaigns will continue to be coordinated with enforcement and the implementation of new safety measures, so that maximum benefits are obtained. The range of other promotional activity conducted by a variety of stakeholders will be better co-ordinated.
Key strategies for Safer People
|Number of drivers/riders killed with BAC above legal limit.||
|Number of young people (16-24) killed or seriously injured.||
|Number of drivers/riders tested positive for alcohol.||
|Number of drivers/riders tested positive for drugs.||
|Number of people killed or seriously injured not wearing a seatbelt.||
|Number of new CTP insurance claims*||
*Excludes minor claims
More on Safer People
- Older road users
- Young road users
- Heavy vehicle drivers
- High risk and recidivist drivers
- Safer Road Users on Road Safety web site
- Safer Behaviours on Road Safety web site
- MyLicence web site for new drivers