08:36am Saturday 18 November 2017

“Towards Zero” action needed to tackle road trauma: conference

Speaking during the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC2015) being held on the Gold Coast this week, Professor Haworth said more than 600 road safety experts from across the globe were meeting to share the latest in research, programs and developments with the aim of reducing injuries and deaths on our roads.

“Road related trauma is not just a Queensland problem or an Australian problem, this is a worldwide problem and we need to be working together to find solutions,” Professor Haworth said.

“In Queensland alone we saw a 166 per cent increase in deaths on our road during the Easter long weekend compared to the previous year.

“Sadly since then there have been another 128 deaths across the state.

“With Australian road deaths also higher than this time last year, we can only ask what has to be done to stop deaths and injuries on our roads?”

Professor Haworth said this week was about sharing the latest in road safety research as another step towards the long-term vision of roads free of serious injuries and death.

“We all agree that speeding, drink driving, mobile phone use, fatigue and not wearing a seatbelt are major contributors to death and injuries on our roads, and we need to make each of these actions socially unacceptable for all drivers,” she said.

“But we know that people can and do make mistakes and that those who manage our roads, vehicle manufacturers and businesses also need to take effective actions to ensure that these mistakes do not have tragic long-term consequences.”

Co-host of the conference Australasian College of Road Safety president Lauchlan McIntosh said those attending would be representatives from the five pillars of action agreed by the United Nations for the Decade of Action (2010-2020) on a safe system approach to improving road safety; management, vehicles, infrastructure, driver behavior and post-crash care.

“Bringing such a diversity of groups together in such a collaborative way at ARSC2015, and showcasing the latest in research, safety technologies, new programs and developments in the field is the best action we can take to reduce road trauma,” Mr McIntosh said.

“Although historically Australia has been a world-leader in road safety, we have now fallen behind and we can and must improve.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. We have to work hard to have a ‘towards zero’ approach to our actions for reducing deaths and serious injuries.”

Austroads CEO Nick Koukoulas said the conference would reveal the latest research in road safety across areas including speeding, novice and older drivers, motorcyclists and road safety advertising.

“As we reach the halfway point of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, a worldwide initiative bringing together over 70 countries in a united effort to reduce traffic crashes and the global road toll, it is important to not only reflect on the global achievements already made, but to re-focus our energies on ensuring that it truly is a Decade of Action and not just a decade of the same.”

A full conference program can be viewed at http://acrs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/ARSC2015-Draft-Program.pdf

The 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference is the result of a successful merger of Australasia’s two premier road safety conferences: the Australasian College of Road Safety Conference, and the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference.

In 2015 the conference is supported by the Australasian College of Road Safety, Austroads, QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) and the Queensland Government.

* To arrange media parking and media passes, contact Clare Murray on 0409 813 276

Media contacts:
Clare Murray, 0409 813 276, clare.murray@qut.edu.au
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media officer, 07 3138 9449 media@qut.edu.au
Rose Trapnell, QUT media team leader, 07 3139 2361 or mobile to come


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