1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, December 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2010   
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Information in this section was contributed by the ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services.


Males generally care less about road safety than females and almost one in five Canberrans admit to using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, according to the results of a road safety awareness survey which was released in August 2010 by Chief Minister and Minister for Transport, Jon Stanhope.

The ACT Government commissioned a random telephone survey to discover how aware Canberrans were about risks on the road. The survey polled 1,000 ACT residents of driving age during May and June 2010 on topics including the effects of speeding, drink driving and fatigue on a driver's capacity.

Findings from the report included:

  • a high proportion of residents believe travelling on roads in the ACT is safe, with only 4% of respondents describing the roads as "unsafe" or "very unsafe";
  • 85% of residents believe current speed limits in the ACT are "about right", whilst 11% believe they are "too low" and only 3% believe they are "too high";
  • 85% of residents believe increasing the number of police officers on the road would improve driver behaviour, and there is a very high level of confidence (85%) in the effectiveness of "police presence" in terms of speed enforcement;
  • there is moderate belief in the effectiveness of fixed speed cameras (48%), point-to-point cameras (54%) and speed camera vans (56%);
  • 87% of residents feel compulsory breath testing helps to lower the road toll;
  • 17% of residents admitted to answering their hand-held mobile phones when driving; and
  • roadside signage (electronic road signs and general road signs) was believed to be the most effective with regard to road safety advertising.

The research provided a valuable snapshot of the level of road safety awareness among Canberra drivers. The ACT Government plans to use the survey results to improve ACT road safety campaigns and to target areas where driver awareness is lacking.

The results will also feed into the development of the ACT Government's new road safety strategy for 2011-2020. A discussion paper on this issue was released in August for public comment. It is expected that the next strategy will have a stronger vision component based on the “Vision Zero” philosophy, a more proactive approach based on “safe system” principles, and stronger measures to address culture change.

The survey results and discussion paper are available at www.tams.act.gov.au.