Govt commissions new road research projects

By: Jason Whittaker


Work will soon begin on determining the impact of distractions on vehicle accidents and exploring drink-driving intervention methods to curb

Work will soon begin on determining the impact of distractions on vehicle accidents and exploring drink-driving intervention methods to curb the road toll.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese has commissioned two new research studies designed to increase road safety.

The announcement comes following new figures that show Australia still ranks 13th among the world’s top 30 developed countries for road fatality rates.

The Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety has been given $24, 050 to profile first time drink driving offenders to determine their characteristics and ways of stopping them from re-offending.

Dr Maurice Nevile from the Australian National University will use the $29,166 grant to research how a person’s ability to drive safely is affected by mobile phones, entertainment systems and satellite navigation systems.

The funding comes from the Government's Road Safety Research Grants Program which is designed to increase awareness of driver behaviour and the causes of road accidents.

"We are focused on making our roads safer for all Australians," Albanese says.

"Road trauma imposes a huge burden on the community and research is crucial if we are to reduce the number of Australians killed or injured on our roads. Last year alone over 1,600 Australians died on our roads."

Albanese says while Australia’s fatality rate of 7.7 deaths per 100,000 is lower than the OECD median of 8.8, it pales in comparison to the Netherlands, which is 4.5 percent, and Sweden, which is 4.9 percent.

Both countries are world’s best performing nations.

Albanese says the results from the studies are expected to be released in about 12 months.

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