Safe System Demonstration Project in a Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community
Submission Date: 2011
Teresa Senserrick1, Peter Yip2, Raph Grzebieta3, Kathleen Clapham4, Marilyn Lyford1, Rebecca Ivers1 Affiliations: 1) The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney; 2) Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community LaGrange; 3) Injury Risk Management Research Centre, UNSW; 4) Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong Title: Safe System Demonstration Project in a Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Introduction: This research is the first known application of a comprehensive safe system audit in a remote Aboriginal community; commissioned by the Indigenous Road Safety Working Group with funding from Austroads. Methods: The audit was conducted in Bidyadanga WA in collaboration with the Bidyadanga Community Council during June-August 2010, including: review of policy, management and police records; physical observation of roads, speeds and vehicles; and interviews with community members and local stakeholders including regarding road user issues and vehicle access. Results: Bidyadanga was found to have high quality roads and safe speeds within residential areas, with limited need for upgrades and new work; however, several issues were identified on roads to access the nearest town, including a high crash blackspot location. Access to safe vehicles was limited. Unlicensed driving, lack of child restraints, drink driving and fatigue were key road user concerns. Needs for across-government improvements in policy and management were identified. Cost effective actions were identified. Conclusions: This project demonstrated that application of the safe system was feasible in a remote Aboriginal community. Lessons learned can be applied nationally to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander road safety.