23 August 2017

Grassroots programs aimed at protecting Queenslanders on our roads were named winners of the 2017 Queensland Road Safety Awards announced in Bundaberg today (August 23).

The awards are run by QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q), in conjunction with RACQ and supported by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Police Service and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

CARRS-Q director Professor Narelle Haworth said the biennial awards recognised and honoured the outstanding efforts of individuals and groups who had initiated projects or programs to improve safety on Queensland roads.

“The winners and highly-commended recipients have provided practical and positive road safety initiatives aimed at reducing road trauma,” Professor Haworth said.

The 2017 Queensland Road Safety Award winners are:

Community Award

Susie Whitehead Memorial Rest Area - Road Accident Action Group (Mackay)

The Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) has worked tirelessly to complete the Susie Whitehead Memorial Rest Area. This project was aimed at reducing fatigue related road accidents on the Peak Downs Highway by providing new, and upgrading existing rest areas, with aesthetically pleasing shade shelters, and re-naming the rest area. This completes a three-year project of upgrading the Nebo Heavy Vehicle and Motorist Rest Areas.

Local Government Award

Gold Coast Seniors Safe Travel Guide - The City of Gold Coast

The aim of this project was to add to the initiatives provided by the City of Gold Coast that ensure their seniors travel around the region safely.  This program supports the city’s Free Seniors Travel initiative and is directly linked to the city’s Accessible and Inclusive Action Plan and the Gold Coast Road Safety Plan 2015–2020.

Schools Award

Survive Your Drive - Queensland Police Service (Cairns)

Aimed at one of the most vulnerable groups, 15-25 year olds, this program educates young people about what happens when things go wrong on the road and challenges bad driving behaviour when in a vehicle.  The initiative was a new concept and a direct relationship between the Queensland Police Service and Youth Justice to actively engage young offenders.  The program continues to evolve and has now spread into schools and is incorporated within a Motor Vehicle Offending Program.

State Government Award

The Golden Tickets Project - Queensland Police Service (Townsville)

This initiative aligns with the Safer Roads Safer Queensland: Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2015-2021, as it aims to change the culture and attitude people have to road safety by challenging pre-conceptions of the enforcement of road safety.  Driver distraction and fatigue are a growing concern in Queensland.  Rewarding drivers for taking breaks is encouraging drivers to make what at the time may be an unconscious decision.  This initiative has the potential to be expanded statewide and could be implemented and enforced by multiple agencies.  It is the belief of the Golden Ticket Project that every road user is worthy of encouragement and reward.

Highly commended awards were presented to:

  • Braking the Cycle - PCYC Queensland (Community Award): A Learner Driver Mentor Program, which helps those who have difficulty complying with the graduated driver licensing system. The commendation acknowledges the longevity of the program and its successful expansion across the state.
  • Junior Bike Education Program - Mackay Northern Beaches State High School (Schools Award): Delivers a bike safety awareness program to the Northern Beaches State High School’s Special Education students and mainstream students who are part of the Special Education Unit.
  • The Queensland Speed Conversation - Department of Transport and Main Roads, Land Transport Safety, Brisbane (Innovation Award): This program offers a long-term vision to change attitudes and behaviours toward speed.  It has a vision to change public perceptions about the role speed plays in road safety by sharing information and challenging the community to share the responsibility for safe speeds to make Queensland roads safe.  This approach breaks away from the usual practices of regulation, enforcement and broad-scale education campaigns, instead focussing on individual choice when they get behind the wheel. 
  • A Crash Testing Evaluation to Prevent Injuries and Fatalities by Mitigating Vehicle Windscreen Spearing Risk from Road Signs - Department of Transport and Main Roads & Centre for Road Safety, Transport for NSW: (Innovation Award): This research program has led to improved design of road signs to prevent injuries and death by spearing of road signs into vehicles.
  • Seniors Road Show - Queensland Police Service (Bundaberg Patrol Group), Transport & Main Roads (Road Safety Southern), and Bundaberg Regional Council (State Government Award): The Seniors Road Show was developed in response to the over representation of older drivers in injury and fatal road crashes in the Wide Bay Burnett District. The initiative sought to provide up-to-date road safety information and a road rules refresher for this at-risk road user, alternative transport options, as well as driver licencing requirements for those with medical conditions and over 75. 

Media contacts:
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449 or

After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901 or



Grassroots programs honoured at Queensland Road Safety Awards.


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