Christmas Road Toll
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  1. #1
    JBN
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    Default Christmas Road Toll

    The Victorian coroner has released a review into the last decade of fatal collisions in the state during the Christmas holiday period.

    The report from the coroners' prevention unit was commissioned by the Victoria Police and looked at 170 fatal collision investigations during Christmas periods from 1999 to 2010.
    It found that 70 per cent of fatal accidents occurred while the driver was going to general social or day-to-day activities.

    Police say the findings challenge the belief most people die on roads while travelling long distances to holiday destinations.

    The research found that most collisions occurred between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.
    Police hope the review will help to reduce the road toll.

    Comment

    It is always interesting to have the facts rather than the (self serving?) stories issued by the authorities. I would really like to see similar information on other deaths/injuries, for example the actual reduction in school children accidents at school zones.

    A cursory glance at the above information sounds like the Stop/Revive/Survive message either really works or is irrelevant. The time of day doesn't suggest the Speeding is the cause. Sounds like the real message for Christmas is Don't Drive Pissed.

    I wonder why we have double demerits (in NSW) on Speeding and Non wearing of Seatbelts, yet not on other infringements over the holiday period?

    John

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    john, you know you will never see any proper analysis of what causes and prevents car accidents, as the whole process is biased by the view that they are all caused by alcohol, speeding, hooning and so on. when has one ever see the cause of an accident put down to "bad judgement"?

    the road toll has been falling markedly over decades, while the number of road users has been significantly increasing, so the specific road toll has collapsed over time. yet, the rhetoric about road toll and the increasingly stalinesque efforts made to control it are stronger than ever. so it is plain that it is another modern religion in an atheistic society. oddly, there are two things to which pollies never attribute lower injury rates, when they acknowledge them: better roads, and safer cars, the two blindingly obvious reasons.

    the driver-reviver thing is a complete joke. it used to say, in effect, pull over every two hours and have an artificial stimulant (coffee). meantime, that other far more effective artificial simulant used by some truck drivers and party heads in the past, was/is held out as a danger to the road. obviously, in nsw at least, the irony of that finally occurred to the Hatters Tea Party known as the Stay Safe Committee; now it seems the coffee is not longer served at DriverRevivers. not that i actually see them much.... in the meantime, if you do stop every two hours of, say 30mins, on your sydney-melbourne trip, and DONT have your cup of stimulatory drug, then you will be no more awake but be on the road for and extra 2 hours +.

    as far as i can see, there is only the most tenuous link between road safety, and government propaganda on the subject.

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    Theres a "Stay Safe Committee"..? how about we replace that with a "Common Sense Committee"? might actually help people stay safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    what is it about these cars that turn grown men into babies wanting a 2nd or 3rd identical rattle? now, wheres my wallet....

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    Everything you wanted to know about road death statistics.

    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa..._database.aspx

    Produced by a govt department.

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    JBN
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    Interesting but very raw figures that don't explain a lot of things.

    • Seems there have been NO deaths to pedestrians in 40KPH zones and in NSW only 1 death. Given that school kids would be pedestrians rather than drivers, all school kids are present and accounted for. I wonder if we ever had a problem?
    • There are typically 2-3 times as many killed in 100kph zones than 110kph zones, thus substantiating my theory that driving 10kph above the speed limit is safer, at least for 100kph zones.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    [*]There are typically 2-3 times as many killed in 100kph zones than 110kph zones, thus substantiating my theory that driving 10kph above the speed limit is safer, at least for 100kph zones.[/LIST]John
    Open speed limit in WA is 110kph, in NT 130kph - where in NSW, QLD, VIC etc are there 110kph zones? I only recall very small sections of some multilane freeways in Vic and NSW.

    If there are very few 110kph zones (as a percentage of all roads in that state) it stands to reason there are very few deaths in that speed zone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_l..._and_Territory

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    its probably because the 110 kph roads tend to be flatter and straighter, so why not raise them to 130? works in france apparently
    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    what is it about these cars that turn grown men into babies wanting a 2nd or 3rd identical rattle? now, wheres my wallet....

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    there are two things to which pollies never attribute lower injury rates, when they acknowledge them: better roads, and safer cars, the two blindingly obvious reasons.
    Below this post is the exact wording from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website in relation to the reversing trend of the road toll.

    But never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    I don't think there is any hiding (nor is anyone hiding) from the fact that modern vehicle design (both passive and active) has had a bigger impact on the road toll than other (perhaps all other) measures.

    That said, I think we are fast approaching a time when vehicle safety improvements become minutely incremental. That leaves - the driver.

    Drivers are still falling asleep. They are still drinking or doing drugs while driving. They are still talking or texting. They are still driving unroadworthy cars. They are still speeding.

    These things all lead to collisions which rely on the cars design to protect them.

    Excessive speed alone both massively increases the chance of being in an accident (whether tecnically the fault of the speeder or not) and massively reduces the chance of the vehicles involved being able to protect the occupants in that collision.

    The fact that modern cars are so easily capable of exceeding the speed limits and cornering at speeds beyond what was originally envisaged for the road (combined with the electronic intervention that keeps the cars on the road and extracts the maximum cornering and braking forces from the car) has almost created a self perpetuating problem.

    When the driver eventually (and unexpectedly) gets past all the electronic aids and the car catches up to physics, it is all over. The electronics have already done their best to 'catch' the car and failed. What hope does the driver have? The result is usually that the car is in a tree at a speed neither the car nor the road is designed for.

    As the saying goes, it's not the speed that kills, it's the sudden stop at the end.


    Quote Originally Posted by JBN
    There are typically 2-3 times as many killed in 100kph zones than 110kph zones, thus substantiating my theory that driving 10kph above the speed limit is safer, at least for 100kph zones.
    Most country roads have the default 100kph speed limit and this is where many die.

    If you do 110kph, the trees just come faster.

    A gum tree bordered, kangaroo littered, head on car passing within 1 meter country road is a pretty dangerous place when you think of it.

    Is there any wonder the average 110kph zone has a lower toll? Not sure about interstate, but in Victoria, only true 'Freeways' get a 110 zone, even our Highways are still 100.

    Quote Originally Posted by ABS

    CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TURNAROUND
    Quote Originally Posted by ABS
    Major contributions to this turnaround have come from improvements to roads and vehicles, enactment of road safety legislation, intensive public education and enhanced police enforcement technology. The following are some key developments.


    VEHICLE SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS

    The application of Australian Design Rules for Motor Vehicle Safety has been the mechanism for implementing a host of mandatory safety requirements. These include:
    • the mandatory fitting of seat belts in new passenger vehicles (from 1 January 1970);
    • the progressive extension of seat belts to other motor vehicles and the use of retractable belts;
    • anchorages for child restraints;
    • improved vehicle brakes, tyres, lights, indicators and glazing, head restraints and impact resistance;
    • increased roll-over strength and occupant protection in buses; and
    • the fitting of speed limiters on heavy vehicles.



    LEGISLATION

    By 1973, legislation had been passed in all Australian States and Territories for compulsory wearing of fitted seat belts in motor vehicles and the wearing of protective helmets by motor cycle riders and their pillion passengers.

    Legislation for random breath testing was progressively introduced nationwide, firstly by Victoria (1976), followed by the Northern Territory (1980), South Australia (1981), New South Wales and the ACT (1982), Tasmania (1983) and Queensland and Western Australia (1988). Since its introduction, random breath testing has been intensified and refined to be one of the most extensive programs for mass breath testing of drivers worldwide. Commencing with South Australia in 1973, a number of States and Territories have also legislated for compulsory blood testing on crash participants who attend hospital.

    A range of complementary measures has also been put in place, including:
    • nationally consistent 0.05 driver blood alcohol limits;
    • zero blood alcohol limits for special driver groups;
    • a well structured system of penalties; and
    • mass public education and media campaigns.


    Attitudinal change has seen drink driving become largely unacceptable within the general Australian population.

    In 1990, Victoria made wearing of bicycle helmets compulsory, with the other States and Territories following through 1991 and 1992. At that time no other country had compulsory wearing of bicycle helmets.


    IMPROVED ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY

    Enforcement technology, such as speed cameras, has made a major impact since being introduced in the late 1980s, first in Victoria and later in most other jurisdictions. Other innovations include laser based speed measuring devices and red light cameras.


    IMPROVED ROADS

    Australia's roads are today considered to be significantly safer than in the past. The Commonwealth Government's Black Spots programs have encouraged individuals and groups to nominate dangerous sections of road for specific improvement.

    Commonwealth funding has seen major upgrading of the National Highway. Other roads have been the target of considerable work by State and local governments in shoulder sealing, use of audible edge-lining and other delineation treatments, removal of roadside hazards and improved speed zoning.


    THE FUTURE

    All levels of government in Australia are heavily committed to reducing further the number and severity of road crashes and improving the efficiency of the road network. The turnaround that has been achieved in Australia's road safety performance since 1970 has highlighted the effectiveness of a resolute, coordinated approach by government.

    Notwithstanding the progress attained so far, much remains to be achieved. Recent work2 has suggested that a reduction to 860 annual road fatalities is potentially achievable by the year 2020. The Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments recently agreed to set a target of no more than 1,600 annual road crash deaths by the year 2005. While no level of crash death or injury is acceptable, this target is intended to focus efforts over the next few years.

    Road safety stakeholders have already set down a detailed road safety strategy and implementation plan3 for the immediate years ahead. This sets out a detailed plan of coordinated policies and legislation supported by enforcement, community involvement and public education activities.

  9. #9
    JBN
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    Until you get drivers interested in driving and concentrating on what they are doing, you are wasting your time.

    Short of removing control of a vehicle from the driver, there comes a limit to what more can be done with vehicle design. Sadly, these days more new vehicles are marketed based on their entertainment value. I saw another "Robinson Crusoe" today, head down, probably texting as the lights changed and the vehicle in front moved off. He just managed to remember he was also a driver and caught the lights just before they changed again.

    In NSW most of the 110kph roads are freeways. I think in Victoria, "freeway" is an incorrect term with all the fixed speed cameras without warning signs.

    I agree with your point about physics overcoming electronics at a certain point. The 2CV usually scares shit out of me before it starts to lose adhesion. The gum trees also go past at a leisurely pace on a country road.

    John

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    John,

    Never has a 2CV lost adhesion without external influence. For Pete's sake, man, they do not have the power to do so!

    Also, it is not the passing of gum trees that is noticeable in the 2CV - it is the up and down movement of them that attracts attention.

    Keep smiling,

    Fento

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    John

    In the past we did a lot of research on driver behaviour, and at that time the statistics indicated that the most dangerous stage of any journey was within 5 kilometers of the drivers home on the return journey, the most likely cause then was seen to be drivers relaxing their driving attention as they came to familiar territory and errors of judgment leading to crashes.

    As one who spent years trying to upgrade our crash statistical analysis, and grappling with software (Focus) that didn't provide the high level analysis needed by policing authorities, and liasing with Vic Roads who could do so- but only at least six months after the crash, its good to see things like crashstats now available for use by councils, state planners.

    While the information gives some after the fact guide, it cannot eliminate the effects of tired or inebriated drivers or even pin down the growing modern day culture of drug use. that can only be revealed by the dedicated work of traffic police patrolling and intercepting offenders on the road.

    While I accept there is an effect in the general overall slowing down of road speeds due to the widespread use of traffic cameras in this state. They have a limited effect on road safety well below that of active visible traffic policing on our roads.

    Driver fatigue is a very real factor that can be overcome with planned stops, refreshment breaks, but stimulants might initially keep a driver wide awake, but only for a limited period. Inevitably sleep deprivation will catch up, and the driver become unsafe due to inability to concentrate, stay awake, or anticipate or react to changing traffic. Stimulants like amphetamines are particularly dangerous as fatigue and other effects combine to induce a rapid decline in driver awareness and driver reaction, like being on auto pilot bound for destruction..

    Courtesy between drivers is an effective counter to road rage incidents that can spark fatal consequences. To me that, combined with a lack of patrolling police to curb that behaviour, is a major factor that interferes with safe and consistent driving on our roads.

    My

    Ken

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    Ken

    Not sure it's allowed to introduce facts into a debate on the road toll. Surely it is mandatory just to distort the figures to support whatever crackpot theory has just popped into one's head?

    i.e. As the figures show no deaths at 250+ kmh (I am assuming this, I haven't read the figures, because that's not how you do this stuff) surely the speed minimum should be 250kmh with no limit?

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    Ken, I agree that the most dangerous time is when one approaches their home. They act as though they are already there, the surroundings are familiar, they relax and let their guard down and leave themselves open to an accident.

    Exactly the same syndrome applies during war, when an infantry patrol returns to its base. The soldiers switch off prematurely. As they pass through the wire, they are supposed to remove the magazine, cock and clear the rifle's chamber, point the rifle in the air and pull the trigger to release the firing pin, retrieve the ejected (good) round, insert it into the magazine and replace the magazine onto the rifle, without cocking it so that there is no round in the chamber. A tired soldier, cocks the weapon (without removing the magazine), pulls the trigger, hopefully has the barrel pointing somewhere safe as he pulls the trigger and discharges the weapon. Then spends the next 30 days fighting the war for nothing (30 days loss of pay). At worst, he kills or injures someone.

    I really would like to see ALL the statistics presented to the public in short sharp infotorials so that people realise all the things they should be aware of to stay safe. Distilling it into one or two general reasons doesn't help and after a while gets completely ignored.

    Bring back visible police patrolling that sees so much more of potential dangerous driving and is seen by so many more who instinctively check their own driving. Also, the culprit is stopped at the time of the infringement, not 6 weeks later, when it may be far too late.

    John

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    John,

    Never will any government present ALL statistics - to do so would have people invariably sorting out facts, and have the same pollies out of business within or before their elected terms.

    Not to mention the massive addition of unemployed ex-government spin doctors at Centrelink.

    However, your point of a VISIBLE police presence, instead of revenue raising speed cameras, is entirely valid.

    Regards,

    Fento

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    Default The diminishing area of focus

    My two cents worth is as follows.
    (It is always good to see people in discussion on road safety - but then this is a community which loves its cars and the driving experience)

    Firslty the earlier post about the need to concentrate on the driver is now paramount. From, I suspect, someone who directly works in this area, this writer absolutely correct. Therefore behaviour such as using hand held phones, texting, doing the make up etc. must be regarded as socially unacceptable as is drink driving.

    Secondly, police presence is probably the best deterrent but there is a limited number of police in any of our jurisdictions. (just divide the number of highway kilometres into the number of sworn police and you can see that they don't go too far).

    Finally, from a statistics point of view we have seen a staggering reduction in road toll across a timeline when there is an increasing number of road users. At some point I suspect that a road toll of under 300 in Victoria (my state) will become a bit like "full employment" when there is still a baseline of 1% to 2% of people still out of work - in other words at a certain point we will accept that there will always be a certain number of fatalities as a baseline. While this is a sad prospect the reality of a zero toll means 12 months where ALL driving behaviour entails no drunks, no falling asleep, no using phones and frighteningly no genuine accidents.

    By the way, I wish everyone a safe holiday period.

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    Default road toll

    A couple of points from me,
    I've been driving for nearly 40 years & have done most of the "wrong" things that we are talking about, & have had a couple of major accidents ( not injury wise luckily) in that time
    Speed cameras do, to a point make me check & correct my speed, but the "candy" cars they introduced in the 70's? were very effective in slowing people down. VISUAL POLICE PRESENCE IS VERY IMPORTANT
    Driver reviver stops do help but their effectiveness is shortlived if the driver only has a coffee & continues on, if he /she can be convinced to have a 30 min powernap then the effect is better.
    Police have the power to confiscate your car if your a bad boy, so, should they not have the power to take your mobile phone off you when detected using it when driving. My mobile is important to me for both business & private use so the thought of having it taken away would be a serious deterent to it's use when driving.
    cheers Dave

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    The can of worms that would be opened by a Police officer being able to confiscate what may be a person's only telephone device doesn't even bear thinking about.
    Craig K
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    Craig raises a valid point. Any person's phone, car, whatever, is private property, and confiscation, legalised or not, is theft.

    However, denial of the privilege of using public roads would be a publicly acceptable deterrent to those who indulge in unsafe behaviour.

    More police with a visible presence and a judiciary that has the backbone to impose real penalties instead of wrist slapping would be a major step forward.

    Regards,

    Fento

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    Default Road toll

    The latest driving fashion down on the peninsula is to drive on or just over the white painted centre line makes no different Single or Doubble lines, give way signs means nothing, and the same with STOP signs, a week ago we almost lost the C5 and possibly the loss of life, when some Idiot decided that stop sign's have no value, the last day of the School, before the holiday breakup another Idiot in a very new $100k + job decided 40k speed limit did not apply to him, i would say in excess of 80kph , there are no speed cameras or Police patrol's, only if and when we get a mobile speed camera, the head light telegraph is alive and well, I live on a corner of a street that has a 50k zone and the cross road is 80kph the number of Trucks and Cars that cut the coner ending up on the wrong side of the road at most times is at least 80kph into a street that is a 50k zone, Melbourne Road which is a major drag strip to PORTSEA can be at times NOT A PLACE TO BE, we also have some F****** Idiot P plater driving his new toy a Bright Red Falcon Ute not the standard type that delights in doing burn outs and at peak rev's must do 150/200k per hour with out fail, a couple of years ago we had another Idiot on a motor cycle who for several months doing exactly the same thing ended his life by driving his bike into a pole. there ate Not Enough Police out and about, so much for speed camera's. Tony

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    During a work week I walk around Sydney a lot getting to and from work, getting lunch and the usual hum drum stuff. I would have to see 15 people per day minimum talking on their hand held mobile while driving. How often do you hear of people getting nabbed for this activity?

    The day we (Mrs UFO and I and other pedestrians) were almost taken out by a bus driver running a red while texting constantly comes back to me.

    Getting the message out to people that laws other than speeding, drink driving etc are also enforced would sort a few out. IMHO.
    Craig K
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    During a work week I walk around Sydney a lot getting to and from work, getting lunch and the usual hum drum stuff. I would have to see 15 people per day minimum talking on their hand held mobile while driving. How often do you hear of people getting nabbed for this activity?
    IMHO.
    So, police conficating the phone of anyone caught using it while driving is a good idea! Crikey, they threatened me with taking my car for parking with a hand brake turn

    We all see too many driving while having a phone conversation.

    Just the other day a friend of my daughter's admitted to do her talking to her daughter while driving her car and she seems to be a sensible middle aged business woman Hands fee or not - it's too distracting.

    JB
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    Quote Originally Posted by gypsy1 View Post
    so the thought of having it taken away would be a serious deterent to it's use when driving.
    cheers Dave
    Military/Police state conditions???

    We're already way too far down that road.
    Cheers,
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    France has been attacking its dreadful accident record with tougher and tougher legislation and enforcement which has worked well up to a point. The public has accepted all the constraints so that for example, that now hardly anyone exceeds the speed or alcohol limits while 10 years ago hardly anyone didn't.
    The public has refused to accept three bits of legislation in spite of enforcement costs to them and tax payer. The use phones while driving and risk the fines and points, no matter what. It seems that rate the utility of communications higher than the safety risk or the penalties.
    The adoption of the Swedish law to have headlights on in daytime fizzled.People couldn't be bothered and the police couldn't cope with 95 per cent of cars with the lights off. The bikies complained that they lost safety because they always used their headlights and now they wee hidden in the traffic. The law still exists but is not obeyed or enforced.
    Last year it became compulsory for cyclists to wear orange safety vests to address their very high accident record in the cities. One year later, in spite of the police lecturing in schools etc there is no sign that the public is taking any noti


    A common behaviour is - phone rings - phone put to ear - brain says can't drive and talk- reflex acts and driver brakes and pulls over with one hand on wheel- too occupied with grabbing kerb space to use mirror- squeal of brakes from car behind - rude gesture ignored as near miss overtakes.
    I think that legislators will not succeed in stopping the phone use with a big stick. It is going to need some technology to change the game, like phone communication is blocked if the built in GPS shows movement.

    My car has built in voice recognition control of the hands free phone which keeps both hands on the wheel but can do nothing to handle my limitations in multitasking and data input overload.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

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    Default Cycling deaths are interesting

    Lesson to be learned here is not to ride on roads where (car & truck) speed limit is 60km/h or higher.

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    G'day,
    there used to be a website, www.idiotdrivers.com of something similar. Alas, now gone. Perhaps we could photograph these idiots and post them on youtube or liveleaks. Or, send the images to the police.

    regards,
    Les W.


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