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Research to combat road toll.

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2 July 1998


Almost $58,000 will be given to road safety research projects under the Federal Office of Road Safety’s 1997-98 Road Safety Research Grant Scheme.


Announcing the grants today, the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Mark Vaile, said the projects included an investigation of drivers with alcohol-related medical conditions; the analysis of crash risk patterns by linking crash statistics to travel survey data. and evaluation of “Safe Routes to School” programs across Australia.


‘The Government is sponsoring these projects because it is important for Australia to continue its research into the tragedy of road crashes’, Mr Vaile said.


‘These grants provide a cost effective way to explore fresh approaches to road safety through research projects suggested by researchers and the community.’


The three projects selected for sponsorship under the scheme are:


•  Ms L. Rina Cercarelli, Ms Diana L. Rosman and Associate Professor G. Anthony Ryan, of the University of Western Australia will receive a grant of $19,823 to investigate the relationship between alcohol-related medical conditions and road crashes. The researchers will perform a longitudinal analysis of crash, hospital and arrest records of people first admitted to hospital for an alcohol-related condition over the period 1987 to 1996 in Western Australia. It is hoped that this research will help to indicate methods of identifying cases for early intervention to avoid road crashes.


•  Dr Booi Kam of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology secured a grant of $18,100 to analyse demographic, spatial and temporal variations in crash rates in the Melbourne metropolitan area. This study will provide a measure of the degree of exposure of particular groups to road accidents. The findings are expected to lead to new policy insights into road safety.


•  Dr Geoffrey Rose of Monash University will use a grant of $19,975 for a comparative evaluation of ‘Safe Routes to School’ (SRTS) implementation. SRTS is a community-based program that aims to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries to primary school-age children. Dr Rose’s study is a significant first step in the process of evaluating the success of SRTS throughout Australia.


‘The research projects receiving grants support the National Road Safety Strategy which sets a national target to reduce deaths to 10 per 100,000 population from road crashes by 2001’, Mr Vaile said.


‘There will be benefits in this research for road safety practitioners interested in combating drink driving, understanding risk of crash exposure to different groups. and ensuring the safety of users such as child pedestrians and cyclists.’


Medial inquiries: Peter Cassuben 02 6277 7680