Road Safety Research

Road safety research is vital. In accordance with the State Government's New Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030, our research capability and capacity is pertinent to our ability to improve our understanding of our local road safety problems and identify fit for purpose solutions better.

    The Road Safety Commission adopts an evidence based approach to policy development. This includes utilising contemporary research conducted by the Western Australian Road Safety Research Centre to inform policy design and evaluate policy effectiveness in meeting intended road safety outcomes.
    Research helps us to understand our local road safety problems; what works, strategies and initiatives to improve and our degree of responsiveness to emerging road safety issues.

    The Road Safety Research and Evaluation Program

    The Road Safety Research and Evaluation Program includes research that is:

    • Proactive and planned, through engagement with the Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research (WACRSR) at University of WA.
    • Responsive to emerging issues and need, through engagement with additional research institutions and experts.
    • Ongoing, through memberships with other research agencies.

    The Road Safety Research and Evaluation Program is informed by the Road Safety Research and Evaluation Committee (REAC) . Membership of the REAC includes:

    • The Commission’s Director Strategy, Policy & Legislation (Chair).
    • Assistant Director Policy.
    • Director and Deputy Director of WACRSR.

    On occasions, membership of the REAC may include other representatives from the public or private sector to contribute to the road safety research program or future planning.

    Western Australian Road Safety Research Centre (WACRSR) 

    Logo for Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research


    In 2019, the State Government awarded the University of Western Australia (UWA) a five-year, $4.6 million road safety research contract to establish the WACRSR.

    The WACRSR will deliver an annual research program of planned and reactive research for the state developed by the REAC, guided by the Road Safety Council priorities and supported by the Road Safety Commission.

    The REAC provides strategic road safety advice from across the respective agencies, allowing the Commission to ensure that future research:

    • Aligns to whole of government priorities and thereby, is responsive to the current road safety issues and emerging trends relevant to WA.
    • Increases the road safety research base, capability and capacity within WA.
    • Avoids duplication of research within WA.
    • Represents return on investment for WA.
    • Identifies opportunities to link research beyond the traditional road safety domain, in line with public health and the safe systems approach.

    The Commission also recognises the opportunity that stems from participating in research that operates at the national level. For example, participating in research:

    • Provided through grants administered via the Australian Research Council.
    • Undertaken to promote the uptake of safer vehicles, such as:

    The Vehicle Safety Research Group

    Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)

    MotoCAP - Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program

    • Contribute to policy and regulation reforms through national research projects in partnership with:
      •  National Road Safety Partnership Program
      •  Austroads Safety Taskforce
      •  National Transport Commission
      •  National Child Car Restraints Program

    Well-established road safety research centres within and outside of Australia undertake other research programs. The Commission acknowledges and supports all stakeholders in their interest in road safety research.

    Caveat
    To the extent possible, the Commission is committed to providing the community with full access to road safety research funded via the Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA). However, on occasions, reports may be provided in a summarised version or a decision to not release may be made based on the individual circumstances at the time and in recognition of our duties pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 1992. Should you wish to discuss access to our research reports further, please email info@rsc.wa.gov.au

    Annual metro forums

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    Completed research is showcased to decision makers, stakeholders and advocates at forums in Perth.

    Metro February 2020 - Hyatt Regency

    More than 300 delegates participated in the Western Australian Road Safety Research Forum 2020 in Perth where driver distraction, rural roads, and other key road safety issues have been put under the microscope.

    Former Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Lyn Beazley, facilitated the forum on behalf of the Road Safety Commission to showcase the Road Safety Research Review Committee’s 2018-19 completed research program.

    The University of Western Australia commenced a five-year road safety research contract at the end of December, establishing the Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research to conduct reactive and proactive research that will be presented at future forums.

       Access the research papers   Read the Latest News article

    Agenda

    Presenter

    Event opens

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Welcome to Country

    Ingrid Cumming, CEO Kart Koort Wiern

    Formal welcome

    Roger Farley, Acting Road Safety Commissioner

    Official opening

    Minister for Road Safety, Hon Michelle Roberts MLA

    Future of road safety in WA

    Rick Howe, ICWA and Road Safety Council member

    An insight into the behaviours and attitudes of road users. What does the community really think about Safe Road Use?

    Liza Picton, Senior Consultant and Donna Van Bueren, Executive Director, Kantar Public

    Regional and remote Western Australia

     

    Austroads National View of Regional and Remote Road Safety

    Dr. Lisa Wundersitz, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Automotive Safety Research, University of Adelaide

    Aboriginal Road Safety: A review of issues, initiatives and needs in Western Australia: Kimberley and Pilbara Road Safety Research

    Melissa Parry, Assistant Director Policy, Road Safety Commission

    Delivering Remote Licensing Services in Western Australia

    Monica Dickerson, Remote Services Coordinator, Department of Transport

    Regional and remote panel Q & A

    Dennis O’Reilly, General Manager Regional Services, Department of Transport Dr. Lisa Wundersitz, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Automotive Safety Research, University of Adelaide Melissa Parry, Assistant Director Policy, Road Safety Commission Kirsty Kirkman, Acting Manager Data and Intelligence, Road Safety Commission

    Emerging issue - driver distraction

     

    Safe Journeys

    Iain Cameron, Road Safety Council Chairman (pre-record)

    National overview of driver distraction

    Luis Gutierrez, Manager Productivity and Safety, National Transport Commission

    Introduction to driver distraction: State and national reforms Q&A

    Luis Gutierrez, Manager Productivity and Safety, National Transport Commission Roger Farley, Acting Road Safety Commissioner Rick Howe, Deputy Chief Executive, Insurance Commission of WA Superintendent James Migro, State Traffic, Western Australian Police Force

    Vulnerable road users

     

    Technologies for sensing bicycles and their application at metropolitan Intersections.

    Safer road crossings for pedestrians including older pedestrians and pedestrians with disabilities.

    Dr. Michelle Fraser, Research Associate, University of Western Australia

    Cycling Priorities

    Michelle Prior, Director Active Transport and Safety, Urban Mobility, Department of Transport

    Introduction to motorcycle safety

    Parik Lumb, Principal Policy Officer, Road Safety Commission

    Motorcycle Safety in Western Australia: Review of popular routes, crash risk factors and options to improve current state, based on Safe System approach.

    Hayley Lajszczak, Road Safety Research and Evaluation Manager, Main Roads Western Australia

    Vulnerable Road Users Panel Q&A

    Dr Michelle Fraser, Research Associate, University of Western Australia Michelle Prior, Director Active Transport and Safety, Urban Mobility, Department of Transport Parik Lumb, Principal Policy Officer, Road Safety Commission Hayley Lajszczak, Road Safety Research and Evaluation Manager, Main Roads WA

    Innovative vehicles and mobility vehicles

     

    Innovative Vehicles and Mobility Devices (State and national reforms): Panel Q & A

    Luis Gutierrez, Manager Productivity and Safety, National Transport Commission Rick Howe, Deputy Chief Executive, Insurance Commission of WA Justin McKirdy, Executive Director Urban Mobility, Department of Transport Dwight Kostusik, Traffic and Design Officer, City of Fremantle.

    Automated vehicles and technologies

     

    Automated Vehicles and Readiness of WA Roads (Phase 2): Suitability of WA roads for Lane Departure Warning Trial

    Dr. Jamie Mackenzie, Research Fellow, Centre for Automotive Safety Research, University of Adelaide

    Safe Vehicles and Older Adults: Enhancing travel and mobility options

    Dr. Jennie Oxley, Associate Professor, Monash University Accident Research Centre

    Automated Vehicles and Technologies: Panel Q & A

    Dr. Jamie Mackenzie, Research Fellow, Centre for Automotive Safety Research, University of Adelaide Dr. Jennie Oxley, Associate Professor, Monash University Accident Research Centre Sarah Macaulay, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Advocacy and Members Division, RAC Alizanne Cheetham, Acting Manager Strategic Transport Reforms, Freight, Ports, Aviation and Reform, Department of Transport

    What have we learned?

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Official close

    Rick Howe, ICWA and Road Safety Council member

     


     

    Metro May 2018

    In 2018, the Road Safety Commission held its inaugural Road Safety Research Forum at the State Library of WA

    The forum was convened by the Road Safety Research Review Committee and supported by the Road Safety Council as part of National Road Safety Week 2018 to showcase important road safety research conducted by the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre.

    Road safety researchers and practitioners gathered to share insights and identify practical actions that will benefit road safety in WA in the long term, including papers on:

    • Run off road crashes.

    • Metropolitan intersection crashes.

    • Illicit drugs and driving.

    • The effect of alcohol availability on road crashes.

    • Fatigue.

      Research Forum presentation part 1   Research Forum presentation part 2   Research Forum presentation part 3

    Event Agenda

    Presenter

    Proceedings begin

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Formal welcome and introduction

    Minister for Road Safety, Hon Michelle Roberts MLA

    Acting Commissioner’s Address

    Iain Cameron, Acting Road Safety Commissioner

    The role of research within road safety

    Melissa Watts, Road Safety Commission

    The Present: Completed research projects and translation into practice

    Evolution of the Run Off Road Program

    Dr Kyle Chow, C-MARC, David Moyses, Main Roads WA

    Intersection Performance

    Dr Kate Brameld, C-MARC David Moyses, Main Roads WA

    Illicit drug related crash and offences

    Peter Palamara, C-MARC Commander Scott Higgins, WA Police Force State Traffic Branch Sharon Wilson, SDERA

    Alcohol-related crashes

    Dr Michelle Hobday, C-MARC, Commander Scott Higgins, WA Police Force State Traffic Branch

    Fatigue driving

    Dr Kim Ward, C-MARC Morgan Elderfield, Road Safety Commission

    The Future: Emerging road safety issues – Facilitated by Professor Lyn Beazley

    Speed management

    Melissa Watts, Road Safety Commission Paul Roberts, Australian Road Research Board David Moyses, Main Roads WA Mal Shervill, WALGA

    Autonomous vehicles

    Andrew Lee, Department of Transport Anne Still, RAC WA Iain Cameron, Acting Road Safety Commissioner

    The future for road safety in WA

    Dr Brett Hughes, Department of Transport Professor Lyn Beazley Iain Cameron, Acting Road Safety Commissioner Commander Scott Higgins, WA Police Force State Traffic Branch David Moyses, Main Roads WA Roger Farley, Road Safety Commission

    Summary of learnings

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Annual regional forums

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    Forums in country WA focus on road safety research relevant to regional roads and road users.

    Bunbury November 2018

    The Road Safety Council of WA hosted more than 50 delegates in Bunbury, to hear how Western Australian road safety research will save lives on WA roads.

    The Regional Road Safety Research Forum was also live streamed to road safety groups across the state, from the Great Southern region to the Kimberley. Facilitated by former Chief Scientist of WA, Professor Lyn Beazley, participants heard from Curtin Monash Accident Research Centre research experts, alongside speakers from the Road Safety Commission, WA Police Force, Main Roads WA and other road safety and industry stakeholders. Topics were drawn from the “Safe System” principals of Safe road use, Safe speeds, and Safe Roads and Roadsides. The fourth element of the safe system is Safe Vehicles.

      Access the research papers   Read the Latest News Article   Speaker Bios

    Event Agenda

    Presenter

    Proceedings begin

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Welcome to Country

    Phyllis Bennell

    Introduction from Minister for Road Safety

    Hon Michelle Roberts MLA (Pre-record)

    Strategic Context: Towards Zero 2008-2020 & Beyond 2020

    Rick Howe, ICWA and Road Safety Council member

    Road Safety Research Program Informing Road Safety Programs and Practice

    Melissa Watts, Road Safety Commission

    Completed Research projects and translation into practice

    Safe Road Use Illicit Drugs and Driving – An investigation of fatalities and traffic offences in WA: 2000-2012 update

    Peter Palamara, C-MARC Scott Higgins, WA Police Force, State Traffic Commander Q&A facilitated by Professor Lyn Beazley

    Safe Speeds Automated Traffic Enforcement

    Stuart Newstead and Max Cameron – Monash University Accident Research Centre Scott Higgins, WA Police Force, State Traffic Commander Q&A facilitated by Professor Lyn Beazley

    Safe Roads and Roadsides Evolution of the Run Off Road Program

    Dr Jaqueline Haupt, Main Roads WA David Moyses, Main Roads WA Q&A facilitated by Lyn Beazley

    Safe Road Use Fatigue Management

    Peter Palamara, C-MARC Terri-Anne Pettit, WALGA John Brereton, PISRA Chair and Manager Health and Safety Atlas Iron Q&A facilitated by Professor Lyn Beazley

    Safe System Regional Speed Management

    Melissa Watts, Road Safety Commission Scott Higgins, WA Police Force, State Traffic Commander David Moyses, Main Roads WA, Ayden Mackenzie, Regional Youth Driver Education (RYDE)

    Safe System Speed Management Indian Ocean Drive - what did we learn for Regional WA?

    Melissa Watts, Road Safety Commission Bernie Miller, Main Roads WA MidWest Regional Manager Q&A facilitated by Professor Lyn Beazley

    Summary of learnings

    Professor Lyn Beazley

    Official close

    Rick Howe, ICWA and Road Safety Council member

    Vehicle Road Safety Research Group

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    The Vehicle Safety Research Group is a consortium of 16 government road authorities and motoring clubs from Australia and New Zealand, with representation by the Commission.

    The consortium oversees a major program of research undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre focused on vehicle safety monitoring and evaluation.

    A primary focus of the Vehicle Safety Research Group program has been developing consumer advice on vehicle safety that rated the relative safety performance of light vehicles (Used Car Safety Ratings). The ratings system developed covers both the role of the vehicle in determining injury outcomes in the event of a crash (secondary safety) and, more recently, the contribution of vehicle design and specification to crash risk (primary safety). Secondary safety assessment covers not only how the vehicle protects its own occupants from injury in a crash (crash worthiness), but also the injury risk posed to other road users with which the vehicle collides (aggressivity).
     
    Analysis has also been extended to look at average ratings by year of vehicle manufacture. This analysis clearly showed the effects of the introduction of Australia Design Rules (ADRs) – mandatory safety equipment and performance standards – in improving occupant protection performance and provided a mechanism for assessing the impacts of vehicle safety policy changes more broadly.
     
    The VSRG also has a dedicated focus on research across the following themes:

    • Ratings and fleet analysis.
    • Evaluation of new technology.
    • Vulnerable road users.
    • Fleet modelling.
    • Policy development & advocacy.

    A list of research publications can be accessed on their website.

    Motorcycle Clothing Assessment program (MotoCAP)

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    The Commission is a partner in the national Motorcycle Protective Clothing Rating Scheme (MotoCAP), coordinated by Transport for New South Wales.

    The aim of the research is to undertake independent testing and provide motorcyclists with information about the levels of injury protection provided by riding gear available in Australia and New Zealand.

    The research is ongoing. You can find out more on the MotoCAP website.

    Driver Behaviour

    As part of the Safe System, the Safe Road Use principle involves influencing road user behaviour by:

    • Advising, educating and encouraging road users to comply with road rules.

    • Promoting the philosophy of shared responsibility.

    • Encouraging road users to drive unimpaired and alert, and according to the prevailing conditions.

    • Managing the gradual introduction of novices into the system and understanding their specific needs.

    • Taking action against those who break the rules.

    Page reviewed 11 September 2021