Safe System Foundations

The Safe System is underpinned by a series of Safe System Foundations initiatives which support implementation.

From a research perspective, this includes a focus on local road safety problems and solutions to support understanding our research capacity and capability to understand problems better.  

Addressing the impact of remoteness and distance on motor vehicle injury outcomes (2016)
This research provided a review of the management of major trauma in rural and remote areas.

Internationally, a number of interventions have been adopted in order to try and reduce adverse outcomes from major trauma in rural and remote areas. However, their applicability to Western Australia is less clear.
The research found that Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) systems may potentially ameliorate the situation. Confidence in ACN systems is high, and they are likely to increasingly be used in new vehicles. 
The effectiveness of patient transportation remains a subject of debate. There are a number of complex challenges associated with volunteer ambulance crews in rural and remote areas. Further, there is inconsistent evidence about the role of aeromedical transport in trauma outcomes. 
Overall, the evidence is fairly consistent that the establishment of dedicated trauma centres has a positive impact on trauma outcomes.
Road safety benefits
This research informs future research into ACN systems and road safety in remote and regional Western Australia.
Actions to date:
  • The research is being used as an informer into the Regional and Remote Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020.
  • The research has also supported further research into the use of ACN technology in WA as part of the 2018/19 planned research program.
  • This research also supports the fifth pillar of the safe system approach “Post Crash Car” advocated by leading road safety experts, such as the World Health Organisation.
An investigation of serious injury motor vehicle crashes across metropolitan, regional and remote Western Australia (2013)
Previous research has identified that road crashes in the non-metropolitan area are significantly more likely to result in more severe injuries compared with those occurring in the metropolitan area.

The aims of this research were to:
  • Review the published literature in regard to the factors associated with serious injury crashes across metropolitan and rural (regional and remote) areas.
  • Quantify and elucidate the risk of serious injury across Western Australia using police reported crash data for the period 2005-2009.

The research found that compared with crashes in the metropolitan area, crashes in the regional and remote area were 25%-50% more likely to result in an injury (any level) and two to three times more likely to result in either the death or hospitalisation of an involved road user.
Road safety benefit
This research is beneficial to Government to the extent that it identified a range of potential counter-measures were identified in the areas of safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, and safer road use and users.
Actions to date
This research has informed the following actions:

  • This research has informed further research and is in line with the priorities of the Road Safety Council and the National Road Safety Strategy for 2018-2020.
The relationship between socio-economic factors and road safety in Western Australia (2013)
The aim of this research was to identify key measures of economic activity and establish the relationship between these factors and road trauma in Western Australia using advanced statistical time series techniques.
The research found that explanatory structural time series modelling of the relationship between selected socio-economic factors and the level of road trauma in Western Australia identified unemployment rate as having a significant association with each of the levels of road trauma.
Road safety benefits
This research is beneficial to Government to the extent that this research supports high level future planning by the Commission. Road safety target setting in strategies must be mindful that changes in economic circumstances can affect the likelihood of reaching set targets.
Actions to date
This report has informed the following actions:
  • The research could be one of the factors informing the development of the 2020+ State road safety policy.
Child Restraint Systems and the transition to standard seatbelts: a review of the literature 2018
The aim of this literature review was to establish whether the current transition point for the transfer to standard seat belts is in line with best practice.
The research found:
  • it is more meaningful to use height than age (although WA’s legislation uses age); and
  • there is little direct research on graduation heights, but what there is suggests that children should be restrained in child car seats until 148cm (around 12 years of age).

Road Safety Benefit
The research was beneficial to Government to the extent that it made six recommendations, including –
  • that the transition from a booster seat to standard seatbelt be based primarily on the height of the child, rather than age and weight;
  • that further education is provided to support parents establishing child readiness to progress from a child restraint system; and,
  • that our crash data record restraint status of all children.

Actions to Date
This research has informed the following actions:

·The research will be provided to the Child Car Restraint Working Group, the WA Local Government Association, VRUAG and the Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group for consideration and advice. The Commission will liaise with these groups to better understand the issues impacting these trends and seek their advice.

Child Car Restraint Systems