Driving change: seven projects funded to improve road safety

Shane Rattenbury MLA

Seven community road safety projects will be funded this year by the ACT Road Safety Fund—among them, a community-designed pilot project that aims to both improve road safety and reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our criminal justice system.

Minister for Justice and Road Safety Shane Rattenbury today announced the recipients at a launch of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Driver Licensing Pilot Project, one of the grant winning projects, at the Sutton Road Training Centre.

The project will train an Aboriginal driving instructor, and provide a new car to the training centre to provide culturally accessible and relevant driving instruction.

It will increase employment opportunities, and encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drivers in Canberra to get and hold their driver licences, improving mobility and employment and social opportunities.

Between June 2015 and March 2017, an estimated 12-14% of offending in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community related to traffic and vehicle regulatory offences, partly due to a lack of support moving through the driver licensing process.

“This is a practical early intervention program—designed and led by Aboriginal community groups—that will not only improve safety on our roads, but reduce some of the factors that contribute to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our justice system,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“We know that if we’re to address this overrepresentation, we need to do things differently. Rather than do things ‘to’, we can only achieve positive long-term outcomes by working in partnership ‘with’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This pilot program is an innovative, community-led effort that we believe will have a real impact at this early intervention stage.”

This year the Justice and Community Safety Directorate received 27 applications covering a variety of projects in the areas of research, training, education, and infrastructure changes.

The successful ACT Road Safety Fund Community Grant recipients for 2017 are:

  • Centre for Automotive Safety Research (The University of Adelaide)
  • University of Melbourne
  • Traffic Management Association of Australia
  • Road Safety Education Limited
  • Stay Upright Rider Training
  • Kidsafe ACT
  • Aboriginal Legal Service.

“I would like to congratulate all of our grant recipients and I look forward to seeing the impact these projects have on improving road safety in the ACT,” Mr Rattenbury added.

 

The successful grant applicants are:

Organisation

Project Name

Funded Amount

 

Centre for Automotive Safety Research (The University of Adelaide)

An evaluation of bicycle passing distances in the ACT

$57,960

This project will use devices attached to 20 bicycles to record the lateral distance of any objects passing on the right.  The aim is to measure compliance with the ACT’s minimum overtaking laws, and how this changes in various traffic environments or locations.

University of Melbourne, Dr Jasper Wijnands

Identification of road design characteristics associated with unsafe driving

$50,000

This project will use GPS information to identify high risk areas of extreme braking and acceleration in the ACT road network, which can inform decisions about future road treatments for areas of concern. 

Road Safety Education Limited

RYDA road safety education program

$25,000

This project will deliver four one day “RYDA road safety education” workshops to approximately 600 year 11 ACT students. This program focuses on cognition development and increasing social competency and resilience.

Traffic Management Association of Australia

Safety at roadworks advertising campaign

$43,000

This project will deliver a communications campaign aimed at improving safety at roadworks.

Stay Upright Rider Training

 

Training area to on road transition for novice motorcyclists

$50,000

This project will provide a half-day, on-road training for new riders, after they achieve their L-plates, aiming to increase their skills and ultimately reduce the number of motorcyclists in road trauma. 

Kidsafe ACT

Road safety support brochures

$30,000

This project will develop a suite of brochures including information on child restraints, low speed run-overs and cycling safety, for distribution online and via social media.

Aboriginal Legal Service

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Driver Licensing Pilot Project

$192,654 over two years

This project will deliver a culturally relevant program including driver instruction, education and support, designed to increase licensing rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT.