Road safety and driver licensing in Aboriginal people in remote NSW
Rebecca Ivers1, Marilyn Lyford1, Judy Johnson2, Soufiane Boufous1, Teresa Senserrick1, Kathleen Clapham3 1. The George Institute, University of Sydney 2. Bourke Aboriginal Health Service 3. University of Wollongong Road safety and driver licensing in Aboriginal people in remote NSW. For Aboriginal people living in rural and remote areas access to transport may be limited and impede access to education, employment or health care, or lead to less safe travelling practices. To explore barriers and facilitators to driver licensing, and prioritisation of road safety we conducted three focus groups of clients attending the Bourke AMS in May 2009, and conducted a survey with a small sample of clinic attendees (n=27). Focus groups highlighted difficulty in licensing, and feelings of shame around the issues, as well as high levels of concern relating to obtaining identification documents and literacy, particularly for young people. Surveys also highlighted low rates of restraint use, including child restraints and high levels of concern about road safety issues in the community. Participants reported high rates of unsafe behaviours including speeding and walking in the community while intoxicated. There was good awareness and knowledge of road safety measures, but participants highlighted a need for increased education and awareness in the community. Some suggested improvements in the road environment including better signage and roundabouts within the town. The study highlighted the increasing need for culturally appropriate support services around licensing for Aboriginal people especially young people, and improved education and infrastructure targeting road safety practices in the local community.