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Road safety

Analysis and Comment (30)

Economic modelling suggests raising fuel taxes could get cars off the road - and therefore save lives. Khongkit Wiriyachan/Shutterstock

Increasing fuel taxes could save thousands of lives worldwide

Road safety is a seriously important public policy issue. Around 1.3 million people die in road crashes around the world each year. Among teenagers and young adults, road crashes are the number-one cause…
Different people behave in different ways behind the wheel of a car. Flickr/Nuno Sousa

Road rage much? Personality predicts our driving behaviour

Personality traits can be used to predict a lot about a person. They can tell about their probable career success, if they’re likely to get divorced, their risk at dying early from disease – and now, how…
Is our car culture soon to come to an end? Jes/Flickr

Self-driving cars will not help the drinking driver

There is an unexpected revolution underway in road safety. True, the highly visible community-wide programs continue, but behind the scenes there are major changes underway in how safety will be managed…
Would adverts on the road take your attention away from driving? (Digitally altered image.) Flickr/Patrick Nouhailler

Adverts on the road could be a distraction for drivers

People have to take in a lot of information when driving, including the locations of other road users, lane markings, signals, speed limits, directions and the dashboard display. It only takes a second…
A 20-year-old man died in this accident in WA earlier this month when his Ford Falcon utility a tree. AAP/WA Police

A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

Too often in Australia we hear tragic stories of another young life cut short in a car accident and yet any attempts to dramatically reduce the death toll are not working. Young male drivers are our hardest…
Stuck in a traffic jam. Shaheer Shahid/Flickr

New road rules: when can motorcyclists beat the traffic?

Motorcyclists are about to get a green light to “filter” through traffic on New South Wales roads. But what does that mean, for them and others sharing the road? And what are the rules for motorcycles…
The use of rail for freight can save lives. NSW Govt/AAP

Too many loads on our roads when rail is the answer

“Without trucks, Australia stops” is now a fact of modern life. But when all costs are considered, road freight is an expensive way of moving large amounts of freight. And, as shown by ongoing fatal crashes…
Licensing authorities place the onus on drivers to report any medical conditions that might affect their driving. Image from

Doctors shouldn’t be forced to dob in unfit drivers

Few states mandate that doctors or other health professionals must report unfit drivers to licensing authorities – and for good reason. Driving is an everyday practice for many Australians, but that doesn’t…
A cyclist “die-in” protest outside the offices of Transport for London to protest. Dominic Lipinski/PA

Never mind investment – we can improve cycle safety now

Much has been said in recent weeks about the death toll of cyclists in London. Yet the only immediate response media coverage seems to have produced is police on street corners handing out tickets to cyclists…
A ban on any mobile phone use while driving should be standard for young drivers – but should it extend to all motorists? Image from

Is it time to ban hands-free mobile phones while driving?

If you find it hard to put your mobile phone away, you’re not alone – young adults check their mobile phones around 60 times a day. Worryingly, drivers continue to use mobile phones despite the evidence…
A ‘ghost bike’ at notorious Bow flyover in East London. Dominic Lipinski/PA

There are solutions to these needless cyclist deaths

It has been a grim month for cycling in London. Just days ago newspapers wrote of five deaths in nine days, and barely is the ink dry before yet another death this morning makes six in under two weeks…
Cycling needs investment and ideas to avoid costly accidents. Ian West/PA

Fork in the road as Danish and Dutch-style cycle routes spread

Bristol will be the first British city to “go Dutch” after the city council gave the green light to building a European-style cycle network that would not be shared with road traffic. The city’s plans…
We’ve got to stop seeing paint on the road as adequate for cyclists. Flickr/crosby_cj

Ride to work? You’ll need a bike barrier for that

Between 1% and 3% of Australian commuters are out on the roads today proving cycling is often the fastest transport choice in Australian cities. Why don’t more people join them? It is not for a lack of…
New P2P cameras, which calculate average speed, avoid fines for momentary lapses of concentration. Brooks was here

Point-to-point cameras: better than average at nabbing speeders

Speed cameras - love them or (more likely) hate them, they’re here to stay. And as with most technologies, there is room for improvement - highlighted most recently when Wheels magazine sponsored a journalist…
Concentrating on texting when UR driving isn’t GR8. Flickr

The perils of multitasking

The dangers of texting while driving recently received renewed attention thanks to a public service documentary produced by German film director Werner Herzog. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
Is this our transport future? If the regulatory and safety issues are ironed out, many more of us could be boarding personal mobility devices for short commutes. Nelson Pavlosky

Electric unicycles, minifarthings and the future of urban transport

Whether we like it or not, there is a pecking order on the road. At the top, either high performance sports cars or the massive B-double freight trucks reign supreme. On the lower rungs, pedestrians and…
About 75% of the kilometres driven in rural Australia are on undivided roads. palo/Flickr

Reducing the rural road toll is a matter of time

More than half of the road fatalities in Australia occur on rural roads, and the greatest investment we can make to mitigate this is reducing speed limits on many of these roads. Indeed, fatal crashes…
Cycling in regional areas is not quite the paradise you see in tourism brochures. Image from

Improving cyclist safety in regional areas: a case study

Images that promote cycling in regional Victoria are often beautiful and enticing: smiling, happy people ride along scenic bike paths that meander through wide, open farmlands, dense bushland and along…
Health and transport authorities should focus on helping older drivers to drive safely for longer. Older driver image from

Getting older drivers off the road won’t solve safety problems

When an older driver has a crash with tragic consequences, there are calls for stricter licensing controls to detect “unfit” drivers and take their licences away, typically focusing on those aged 75 or…
The aim of drink-driving reform is not to reduce drinking, but to disconnect drinking from driving. Flickr/M a r k

Why it’s time to lower Australia’s blood alcohol driving limit

Around one quarter of deaths on Australia’s roads involve drink-driving. Over a decade, this amounts to over 3,500 deaths, as well as many thousands of serious injuries. While the most common death in…
Care and consideration make the road safer for everyone. Enforcing the law helps too. Fernando de Sousa

Want safer cycling? Don’t dismiss dooring

Every year, more Australians - particularly in cities - are riding to work. More cyclists means fewer cars on the road, less congestion, less pollution and fewer health problems. But every year more people…
The Pacific Highway has a long history of fatal truck accidents. AAP

Shifting freight to rail could make the Pacific Highway safer

Articulated trucks such as semi-trailers and “B-Doubles” are involved in about 30% of fatal road accidents on the Pacific Highway. As the number of trucks carrying freight between Sydney and Brisbane increases…

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