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Newly arrived migrants – new Victorian drivers.

Knight, L, Harris, A, Alexander, K, Newman, S

General

ACRS conference 2011

There is significant concern for the road safety of newly arrived people from other countries who settle in Victoria on humanitarian grounds. Most concern relates to safe driving and understanding the Victorian road system, including the licensing process.

The TAC is contacted for information or statistics relating to new arrival drivers compared to the general driving public. This is because these drivers are seen by the public as being at greater risk of crashing and greater risk of causing crashes than Australian born or those who have settled from countries with a motorised society.

A number of organisations have responded to this concern by establishing support programs, including education and on road supervised driving practice; licensing; purchasing a vehicle; and the roles of Police, the courts and the Sheriff’s office.

In response to this emerging issue, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) commissioned research to develop an understanding of the road safety issues and experiences of new arrivals in the lead up to and following licensing as a Victorian driver, including participation in locally developed programs, often funded by the TAC Community Road Safety Grants.

This paper will report on Victoria’s experience in addressing actual and perceived road safety issues in emerging communities, including the findings of the research.