Impaired driving is a focus area for the Council.
This study examined the effects of distance from alcohol outlets to alcohol- and non-alcohol-related road crashes across the Perth metropolitan area. Data on crashes in Perth between 2005 and 2015 was mapped in comparison with the locations of alcohol outlets. The study included 341,467 crashes that occurred between 2005 and 2015.
The highest number of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) ≥ 0.05% crashes were in the southern postcodes from Fremantle and Rockingham on the coast, eastwards to Kelmscott and Armadale. The highest crash incidence rates occurred in 2007 and in the Central Business District (CBD).
Models indicated crashes with higher number of on-premise outlets and lower number of bottle shops in adjacent buffer zones were more likely to be alcohol-related crashes.
Road safety benefit
This review offers some background on the relationship between alcohol-related crashes and alcohol outlets, and made recommendations on:
The effect of alcohol availability on road crashes at varying distances from the CBD in Perth, Australian from 2005 to 2015 (2016)
- The location of roadside breath testing.
- Coordination with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor regarding the granting of liquor licences.
The effect of alcohol availability on road crashes at varying distances from the CBD in Perth - Appendix
The aim of this research was to summarise the results of the interviews with eight pedestrians involved in serious injury crashes, with the intention of describing their experiences.
The research focuses on their experiences of the crashes and found:
- Three participants had consumed alcohol to a level which put them at risk of short-term harm, while two had taken prescription drugs which may have affected their motor ability and alertness.
- Two pedestrians may have been affected by distraction. More than half of the pedestrians considered themselves to be either fully or partially at fault in the crash.
The report also provides an extensive and useful literature review on crashes involving pedestrians.
The research recommended:
- Prevention campaigns about awareness of hazards including alcohol and distraction - for drivers and pedestrians.
- Clothing to enhance the visibility of pedestrians.
- Engineering measures such as segregation of pedestrians from traffic, reducing speeds and increasing lighting.
Road safety benefit
The research was beneficial to the extent that the study highlights the preventable nature of some factors associated with pedestrian crashes. Road safety messages emphasise the role of substances and distraction for drivers; a similar message needs to be delivered to pedestrians.
In depth analysis of pedestrian serious injury crash
Fatigue related crashes are an ongoing road safety problem.
The aim of this research was to better understand fatigue as a contributing factor in reported road crashes in Western Australia 2009-2013, particularly those resulting in death or hospitalisation, through the comparative analysis of police reported fatigue-related crashes and fatigue crashes identified from the application of the 2002 Australian Transport Safety Bureau operational definition for fatigue. When the number of fatigue-related crashes was combined from both measures, up to 2% of all reported road crashes for the period may be fatigue-related. The combined proportion is even higher for all reported Killed and Serious Injury crashes (9%) and reported fatal crashes (17.5%).
Road safety benefit
The research was beneficial to the extent that this research provides visibility into the WA fatigue crash problem, how WA currently reports on fatigue and made a number of recommendations to improve the current state. Recommendations included:
- In consultation with MRWA, development of a WA formal proxy measure for reporting which is consistent with work being undertaken at the national level via the National Transport Commission.
- Liaison with WA Police Force regarding current assessment practices and the barriers impacting fatigue assessments and related crash reporting.
This aim of the research was to examine the prevalence and characteristics of illicit drug related driving in WA through the analysis of the records of drivers and riders fatally injured between 2000-2012 and drivers and riders charged with a Section 64AC offence (illicit substance in oral fluid), 2008-2012. The aim of the research was to give a snap shot on the enforcement of illicit drug driving.
The research found that:
- Approximately 23% of fatally injured drivers/riders tested positive to one or more illicit substances with the annual rate of detection unchanged for the full study period, with some preliminary evidence of a decline from 2008. The odds of testing positive were significantly higher for: males; those aged under 40 years; those driving without a valid licence; those testing positive to alcohol in the range 0.05gm%-0.149gm%, and those using benzodiazepines with and without opioids.
- Around 4% of drivers and riders undertaking a roadside oral fluid test 2008-2012 were charged with a Section 64AC offence. The annual offence rate significantly increased over the period. Offending was highest for males, younger age drivers/riders, and in the metropolitan area and select metropolitan police districts
Road safety benefit
This research provided an up-to-date overview of the enforcement of illicit drugs and driving, including recommendations for:
- Data sharing.
- Changes to the roadside oral fluid testing program .
- Penalties .
The aim of this research was to investigate changes in driver blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels within the Perth metropolitan area over time through a replication of, and comparison with, two previous road side surveys conducted during 1999 and in 2000.
Data was collected at roadside police Random Breath Testing (RBT) sites during April to May 2012. A total of 8,435 tests were conducted over a six week period on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Around 7% of drivers tested returned a positive BAC, and 1.4% of these had BACs over the legal limit. This represents a significant reduction in the number of drivers detected with an illegal BAC compared to both of the two previous survey findings of 2.1% of drivers in 2000 and 1.9% in 1999.
Amongst the drivers with illegal BACs there was a smaller proportion of drivers detected (0.7%) in the current survey within the ≥0.05-0.079 g/100ml range compared to the two previous surveys (1.0% & 1.1%).
Road safety benefit
The research was beneficial to the extent that it provided Government with recommendations that include:
- Regular roadside breath testing enforcement schedules should be extended into the early hours of the morning to reflect the evolving changes in socialisation and alcohol consumption patterns.
- Removing back calculations for blood alcohol concentrations.
This aim of this research was to document the relationship between risky driving behaviours and other health risk behaviours among youth and young adults, locally and elsewhere.
Literature reviews were undertaken of the development of risk taking; young driver behaviour; substance use including alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs; unsafe sex, and self-harm and suicide to identify and compare common risk factors for local youth and those elsewhere.
The research found that across all locations – Western Australia and elsewhere - there was consistent and good evidence of an increased risk of crash involvement for the following young drivers:
- Males, relative to females.
- Those in their earliest months of licensure (e.g. less than 12 months), relative to more experienced young drivers.
- Those with a history of drink driving offences, particularly those of legal drinking age and older; e.g., 18-25 years in Australia, older than 21 years in the USA because of the higher legal drinking age.
- Those who speed and particularly those who engage in high level speeding.
Relative to the above, there is less developed, less consistent evidence of an increased risk of crash involvement for the following young drivers in Western Australia and elsewhere:
- High sensation seeking individuals, relative to those categorised as moderate or low on the measure.
- Those who use mobile phones or text whilst driving.
- Those who drive without a valid licence or have at some stage driven without one.
Road Safety Benefit
This research was beneficial to the extent that it highlights the increased risk of road trauma for learner and novice drivers.
Countermeasures that can be adopted from other risk taking areas and applied to young driver risk taking were also reviewed, and the following recommendations made:
- Strengthen the existing Western Australian Graduated Driver Training and Licensing program through the implementation of additional initiatives such as increasing the required number of Phase Two hours of supervised driving for learner drivers and restricting Provisional drivers from using mobile telephones – hands-free and handheld – whilst driving.
- Support resilience based education and training programs for pre-learner and novice drivers such as Keys for Life.
- Support initiatives that engage the parents and peers of learner and novice drivers to support safe young driver behaviours.
- Development of gender specific mass media campaigns to address problem driving by young males.
- Promotion of a harmonised national ‘best practice’ graduated driver training and licensing program.