Road safety champions across Queensland have been recognised at a ceremony in Brisbane today – the first day of Queensland Road Safety Week – to announce the 2019 Queensland Road Safety Awards winners.
The awards are hosted by QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q) and supported by the RACQ, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Police Service and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.
This year’s recipients have run projects that have helped road users ranging from school kids on bikes to international backpackers driving in Australia.
CARRS-Q director Professor Andry Rakotonirainy said the awards were about recognising initiatives aimed at protecting all users of Queensland roads.
“These champions of road safety have created and delivered projects that are practical, positive and aim to reduce road trauma,” he said.
“We congratulate all the winners and highly-commended recipients and thank them for their great work.”
The awards were presented by Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey at a ceremony at Parliament House this morning.
The 2019 Queensland Road Safety Award winners are:
Motorcycle Road Safety Auditing – Road Accident Action Group Mackay
Motorcyclists are overrepresented in serious injury crashes in the Bowen Basin region, compared to the state profile, particularly on high-speed roads. In response, RAAG partnered with the Queensland Government and motorcycling community to conduct road safety audits on sections of the network with a motorcycle crash history and/or identified as a ‘leisure route’. The audit findings have informed a significant program of safety works on key motorcycling links in the region.
Local Government Award
‘Move Safe Brisbane’ Pedestrian Safety Review – Brisbane City Council
Brisbane City Council (BCC) worked with Queensland Police Service, Transport and Main Roads, the Heart Foundation Queensland and Bicycle Queensland to invite feedback from the Brisbane community on locations where they believed road safety could be improved. This feedback was used to identify and prioritise pedestrian safety projects, also using QPS crash data, BCC pedestrian and traffic counts and traffic speed data. Projects implemented following the review include speed reductions and increased pedestrian protection at traffic signals at key locations.
State Government Award
ADAPT – Wayne Crofts, Southern Region Road Safety, Department of Transport & Main Roads
ADAPT is the Australian Driving conditions Awareness ProjecT, which was created to reduce the number of overseas licence holders involved in crashes in Australia. Collaborators include local councils, employment agencies, farms, orchards, and businesses, TAFEs and universities, and local emergency services. The project delivered road safety information to overseas licence holders through social media, education classes, a podcast and a YouTube video created for this target group. These are now displayed at council libraries and offices and other regions.
Hold the Red – Peter Kolesnik, Department of Transport & Main Roads (TMR)
Hold the Red is a joint initiative of TMR and QPS that is trialling life-saving technology at four south-east Queensland intersections (in Aspley, Calamvale, Ashmore, Broadbeach Waters) to reduce the risk of crashes caused by drivers running red lights. Radars at the intersections track each vehicle approaching up to 150m from the stop bar, and can predict when a vehicle will not be able to stop in time. When danger is identified the opposing traffic lights will stay red for an extra two seconds to prevent other drivers entering a potentially hazardous situation. The infringing driver is then issued an infringement notice. The first system was installed in August 2018 and the fourth in November 2018. Since then, the systems across all four sites have been triggered 6219 times, avoiding many potential crashes.
Recognition and Achievement Award for Ongoing Work in Road Safety
Queensland Traffic Offenders Program – QTOP
For over 13 years this group has delivered road safety education programs to protect the community from road trauma. Qualified presenters deliver a brief intervention/rehabilitation program to traffic offenders charged with drink/drug driving, speeding, distraction and dangerous driving. An online program has also successfully been introduced, which led to the national Australian Traffic Offenders Program (ATOP). Collaboration with the judicial system, government agencies, clinics, Youth Justice Department, emergency personnel, counsellors and driver safety educators has ensured the program’s longevity and success.
Highly Commended awards were also presented to five projects:
- RYDA Caloundra Road Safety Education – RYDA Caloundra (Community Award Commendation): Four Rotary clubs (including RYDA Caloundra) have worked together since 2009 to deliver the highly successful RYDA program – a one-day community-based road safety education program for Year 11 school students.
- Crash Investigation Alliance – City of Gold Coast & QPS Coomera Station (Local Government Award Commendation): The Crash Investigation Alliance was established in August 2017 by the City of Gold Coast in partnership with Queensland Police Service to investigate fatal and serious injury crashes and monitor road trauma on local roads, by combining the skillsets of the council’s road safety and traffic engineers with intelligence gathered by police.
- Bruce Highway Safety Package – Safer Roads & Investment Funding Unit, TMR (State Government Award Commendation): This TMR program of safety projects across six districts had great results and pioneered the concept of a ‘corridor safety plan’. It included technical innovations (eg wide centreline treatment) and new applications of existing treatments (eg continuous lengths of safety barrier). The annual number of fatalities on the Bruce Highway has reduced from 41 to 26 since the start of the safety package delivery.
- Bike Muster – Senior Constable Josh Woodfield, Queensland Police Service (State Government Award Commendation): Bike Muster is an annual road safety education program at Julia Creek State School which runs every Monday morning and afternoon during the third term of school. The program was established by Julia Creek Police, McKinlay Shire Council and the school. It encourages positive and autonomous behaviours, with 100 percent of children and adults in Julia Creek now wearing a helmet. McKinlay Shire Council also provides helmets for tourists using council bikes. Community ownership is also evident through the ongoing support from parents, continual attendance, and active praise from parents.
- Motorcycle Traffic Response Unit – Gateway Motorway Services (Innovation Award Commendation): The Motorcycle Traffic Response Unit (MTRU) is the first of its kind in Australia and involves two Yamaha 1300cc ex-police motorcycles that are deployed upon the open road network to respond to traffic incidents that occur within peak periods on the Gateway Motorway. Using carriageway shoulders and lane filtering manoeuvres, the motorcycles are small enough to safely attend the scene. Between December 2018 and May 2019, first responder travel time was cut to six minutes through 3km of queued traffic (a 30 percent reduction in incident response times during peak hour incidents).
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Photos: Michael Warrington