Queensland group suggests road safety change


A new group wants to change the way the nation looks at reducing road deaths

Queensland group suggests road safety change
A new group wants to revamp Australia's approach to road safety

A Queensland scale-up group is calling for the national road toll to change from historic methods and now consider including the number of lives negatively impacted by conflicts on the road.

Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) wants the crash data that is relied upon to manage risks on the road to include more powerful and proactive methods enabled by modern technology.

Currently the national road toll states the number of lives lost on roads each year, but AMAG says this number underestimates the lives negatively impacted from serious and moderate injuries that sometimes result in lifelong impairment.

This information from crashes is usually used to inform engineering and investment decisions to reduce transport system crashes.

"Waiting for crashes to occur as a means of identifying risky locations is critically flawed, as we must unfortunately rely on crashes today in order to prevent crashes tomorrow," AMAG CEO Simon Washington says.

"It is an ethical dilemma that has plague crash-based methods for decades."

Washington says technological advancements made in the past 20 years has resulted in critical conflicts, rather than conflicts, the ideal metric for managing transport network safety.

The group says carefully measured critical conflicts are a superior method for assessing transport system risks because they serve as pre-cursors to crashes, happen more frequently than crashes and can be measured more accurately than crashes.


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According to AMAG, observing critical conflicts gives engineers the chance to improve sites before crashes can accumulate, removing the need to wait for crashes to happen to observe collision data.

"The time has now come for crash-based methods for managing transport network risk to be phased out with superior proactive technological solutions," Washington says.

"Proactive methods should become the predominant risk management tools, with crash-based methods serving as a secondary source for managing transport network risk."

An example of AMAG's suggested technology at work

AMAG points to the World Health Organisation’s statistics that many countries have stemmed their annual road toll through using new ways to measure collision data.

Another possible solution AMAG wants to see implemented in Australia is video analytics solutions.

The group warns it won’t solely solve road collision issues, but in conjunction with other tactics it can help stem the road statistics currently being measured.

"There is no silver bullet in road safety and video analytics alone will not solve all of the problems on our roads," Washington says.

"It is however one of the most important technologies we need to adopt now to shun a reliance on road users getting killed and injured before investments and corrective actions can be taken."

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