View Full Version : ROAD SAFETY: Where are the facts?

31-01-2005, 01:12 AM
An interesting article on road safety research.

Editor's comment
By Glenn Butler
January 24, 2005

Ignorance killed more Australians on our roads in 2004 than excessive speed, alcohol and fatigue put together. Disagree? Prove me wrong. Show me the statistics that clearly state how many fatalities were caused by excessive speed, alcohol, or fatigue. Show me the statistics that can trace even a tenth part of the 1596 Australians who lost their lives in 2004 to a particular cause.

I've just spent three hours trolling the Australian Transport Safety Bureau website http://www.atsb.gov.au/road/a-z_index.cfm. It contains hundreds of research papers and reports on the subject of road safety: I've discovered dozens of reports surveying the public's opinion on cause of death. I've found reports on ways to raises visibility of trains at level crossings. I've even read the report that proposes the risk of crashing doubles with every 5km/h increment over the speed limit.

You've heard about this last one because it forms the backbone of our government's speed camera policy -- a policy which reaps hundreds of millions of our dollars every year. Money which does not go back into road safety. Anyone play the lottery? Buying two tickets doubles your chances of winning the lotto. Fact.

Not one single report that I could find investigated the cause of fatalities in a given year. How many deaths were attributed to the driver talking on a mobile phone? How many were caused by the driver losing control? Or fatigue, or distraction, or loud music, or bald tyres, or lack of skill, or swerving for people/animals, or dropping food/drink/cigarette in lap...

But how small is that chance to begin with? And is it really pure chance? If so, why bother buying a safer car, or taking that defensive driving course, or even driving with your eyes open? When your number's up...

Do you know of a study into the cause of road fatalities in Australia? Send it to CarPoint.editor@tradergroup.com.au and let's start talking about the real reasons people die on our roads every year.

Here's something to think about until next time. Which month consistently has the highest national road toll? December? Based on media coverage of the holiday road toll, you'd think so, right? Wrong. Over the last five years May tops the fatality figures, followed by March and October. December is fifth.

31-01-2005, 07:53 AM
It says it all. Maybe there should be independant investigations into road safety so the govenment doesnt keep on taking us to the cleaners. I for one am sick of rising speeding fines and lowered speed limits all in the name of safety, all so the govenment can line its pocket. Our cars these days are safer than ever but the speedlimit keeps dropping, as we get bombarded with ad campains saying everything is speed related. And so in 5years time it wouldnt supprise me if highway speeds were 80km\h

31-01-2005, 01:53 PM
something has to be done, besides road safety we also want better roads. living in the country our roads are absolte shit, no ones fixes them... why? who knows... but we opay taxes as well...
i cant even get down local bitumin roads at speeds higher than 90kmh and even then i have sparks flying from under my car...

31-01-2005, 05:22 PM
All these taxes, tolls, heavy traffic fines, taxes in fuels, car registration and the roads are still s@#t. Wheres the money going? Health care? Hospitals? Schools? Public Transport? Polititions pockets?

01-02-2005, 02:07 AM
I think its a good that these article writers are speaking out for the public, in particular us motorheads. Hopefully they will get noticed. I think we should use the addies provided by Motor and dispatch a large(ish) scale email with a few names on it. It probably wont get noticed, but i reckon if we try hard enough, we might get a bit of attention. whos up for it?