Saving Lives Together

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.  

Regional and Remote Action Plan (2018 - 2019)Aboriginal road safety: A review of issues, initiatives and needs in Western Australia: Phase 1 (Feb 2018) and Phase 2 (July 2019)

This aim of this research, conducted in two phases, was to investigate how Aboriginal people living in regional and remote areas view road safety, to explore road safety issues specific to Aboriginal people and to identify risk factors and possible solutions to these issues.

The research found:

  • Although it is known that road injury and fatality rates are high for Aboriginal people living in regional and remote areas of Western Australia, there is very little data and published literature available to support a reliable evidence base.
  • Risk factors associated with these high road trauma rates include poor roads and roadsides, unsafe and overcrowded vehicles, speed, and risk-taking behaviours.
  • People living in regional and remote areas are particularly concerned about poor roads, cattle on road and drink driving and feel as though nothing is being done to address these issues.
  • There are several programs and initiatives in place that require evaluation to ensure effectiveness
  • All new road safety programs and campaigns must be developed in collaboration with the local community to ensure they are culturally appropriate.
  • There are close links between social determinants and road safety outcomes and a public health approach involving collaboration across Government agencies is needed to address road safety in regional and remote areas.

Road safety benefit:
The research was beneficial to the extent that Government received a report that gave an overview of Aboriginal road safety and made several recommendations to support the improvement of road safety outcomes for Aboriginal people living in regional and remote Western Australia.
 

Phase 1 - Feb 2018 Phase 2 - July 2019

Motorcycle safety in Western Australia: Review of popular routes, crash risk factors and options to improve current state based on Safe System Approach (2019)

The aim of this research was to identify high risk routes by analysing the crash risk profile of Western Australian motorcyclists and to suggest countermeasures that will reduce the risk in those areas.

The research found:

  • There are multiple factors that can increase the risk of a crash, including location, behaviour and road environment.
  • In Western Australia there were 6,723 crashes involving motorcycles between 2013-2017, of which 161 were fatally injured and 1,735 required admission to hospital for treatment.
  • Most fatalities occurred in regional or remote areas of Western Australia.
  • High risk areas in metropolitan areas included intersections and sections of freeways and major roads.
  • Regional areas with the most crashes per post code included Bunbury, Geraldton, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Broome.

Road safety benefit:
The research was beneficial to the extent that Government received a report giving an overview of all motorcycle crashes occurring across Western Australia from 2014-2017. The report identified high risk areas and recommended road, vehicle, behaviour and speed countermeasures that could reduce the risk of crash specific to these areas.

Motorcycle safety in Western Australia review based on Safe System Approach (2019)

Post-crash care: Technology to summon help (2018)
The aim of this research was to explore aspects effecting time between a crash and arrival at hospital, and to identify current technologies available to reduce response times and their suitability for use in WA.

The research found:
  • A key technology already available is Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) systems, which can alert emergency devices to a crash and provide critical information such as vehicle type and crash location, reducing response times by improving crash discovery and notification times.
  • There is currently no evidence to prove the effectiveness of this technology, but it has been estimated to have the potential to reduce fatalities by up to 10.8% and could be especially useful in regional and remote areas.
  • Barriers to using this technology are cost, uptake and acceptance, mobile network coverage, communication technology and emergency service availability.

Road safety benefit:
The research was beneficial to the extent that Government received a report giving an overview of available technology and other post-crash care initiatives for consideration. The report recommends that stakeholders be consulted to identify areas in post-crash care for improvement and the feasibility of mandatory first aid training for those applying or reapplying for a drivers/rider’s licence. The report also recommends further research to compare crash sites with mobile phone coverage and a potential trial of ACNs in Government vehicles operating in regional/remote areas.

Post-crash care technology to summon help (2018)

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.

 

Addressing the impact of remoteness and distance on motor vehicle injury outcomes

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.

An investigation of serious injury motor vehicle crashes across metropolitan, regional and remote Western Australia

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 benefit:
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.

The relationship between socio-economic factors and road safety in Western Australia