Industry transport and infrastructure

Road safety has improved significantly in recent decades. The number of road fatalities continues to fall. Yet road crashes remain a leading cause of death in Australia, especially for people under the age of 45. Pedestrian fatalities and road conditions in regional areas are ongoing concerns. Trends in vehicle and road use are also changing: long-haul freight movements are increasing, people are commuting longer distances and in different directions, and there are more motorcycles, scooters and bicycles on the road.

Governments at all levels have responsibilities around roads and road safety. These include setting standards for new vehicles; funding and maintaining national, state and local road networks; and managing vehicle registration and driver licencing. Government agencies work together to provide safer road systems, by coordinating infrastructure, policing road use, and providing emergency services.

The United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety commenced in 2011, and recent strategies across Australia include the National Black Spot Program and SeatBelts for Regional School Buses. State governments are continuing to upgrade roads, fund education programs for young drivers and supervising drivers, and run media campaigns targeting speeding, drink-driving and mobile phone use.


Project examples

Click on any of the following projects for more information.

Evaluation of alcohol education program for young people caught drinking

(NSW Police Force, 2013)

Evaluation of alcohol education program for young people caught drinking

(NSW Police Force, 2013)

The Your Choice program provides young people caught drinking and their parents the choice to attend an information session instead of paying a fine. The program aims to reduce dangerous drinking by raising young people’s awareness of strategies to avoid risks and challenging their perceptions of the prevalence and desirability of underage and heavy episodic drinking. It also aims to increase parents’ sense of responsibility for, and ability to act on, their child’s drinking. The program was introduced in 16 Police local areas commands (LACs) in 2009, and extended to 3 more. NSW Police developed a web-based alternative to address perceived inefficiencies and disincentives inherent in the face-to-face sessions for trial in six LACs in 2013. ARTD was engaged to evaluate the program using a mixed-method approach. We drew on monitoring data, Google analytics data, surveys and focus groups of participants, and consultation with police and health workers. Based on the evidence we provided, NSW Police are updating the program and rolling it out statewide. They are also using our report to inform interagency policy discussions about youth alcohol diversion.

Evaluation of program for youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime

(Bankstown Council, 2012)

Evaluation of program for youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime

(Bankstown Council, 2012)

The council’s U-Turns for Youth program provides local youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime with access to support services and automotive and life skills workshops to support their engagement in education, training, employment. ARTD developed an evaluation framework, plan and data collection tools for the council’s internal evaluation of the project. We then analysed the data collected by council staff and provided a final report about the program’s contribution to the council’s goals for this sector and for the broader community.

Older Rider Research

(Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2010)

Older Rider Research

(Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2010)

Older riders are of increasing concern in Queensland due to a recent increase in motorcycle rider fatalities in older age groups. This research drew on licensing, registration, offence and crash data for all riders in Queensland over two five year periods, the financial years 1993–1998 and 2003–2008. Analysis was conducted on crash rates per active rider and licence holder, including analysis of the impact of cohort, ageing and environmental effects on road crashes, between the two decades. The research also included surveys received from 1,592 randomly selected Queensland motorcycle riders; and a second survey of 1,821 convenience sample respondents from interested parties, which was analysed separately. Data analysis included principal components factor analysis where eight factors were shown to account for over 50% of the variance in responses to attitude and behaviour survey items. These factors were incorporated in a cluster analysis of motorcycle riders in Queensland that allowed us to identify four different types of rider.

Evaluation of the Northern Territory Drink Drive Education Course

(NT Department of Health & Community Services, 2008)

Evaluation of the Northern Territory Drink Drive Education Course

(NT Department of Health & Community Services, 2008)

Over the last decade, this course has been mandatory for all Northern Territory citizens who lose their license as a result of drink driving. The course is delivered by the private sector, and although monitoring data had been collected the course had not been evaluated since its inception. ARTD evaluated the impact of the course on participants’ knowledge, attitudes and driving behaviour by surveying participants before and after doing the course and by analysing monitoring (to map access to the course) and recidivist data (to see if the course impacted on driving behaviour).We also interviewed key personnel involved in delivering the course. The information was used to modify the governance and delivery of the course.