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Challenges for rural and remote road safety.

Sheehan, M (Peer reviewed)



The growing national and international awareness of the increased representation of serious injuries and fatalities in rural and remote areas is the focus of this paper. Australia was one of the earliest countries to try to address this issue with a targeted national action plan in 1996. This was an important document but the most recent national plan fails to dedicate attention to developing countermeasures for the particular problems of improving road safety in these regions.

The findings of a major program of research in Northern Queensland are discussed to stimulate interest and research into potential countermeasures. Specifically, the need to monitor clusters of crashes as a focus for intervention and local ownership is advocated. Taking action towards a national reduction of speed limits on rural roads and investment in proactive research based trials of drink driving countermeasures such as courtesy buses are strongly advocated.