ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Canberra Paradox and its Implications ? a Safe City whose Drivers have a High Crash Rate.

Cairney, Peter, Gunatillake, Thanuja

Enforcement & Penalties


The objective of this research was to determine the size of the crash problem for ACT controllers and to compare that with the size of the crash problem in the ACT. Crashes in NSW between 1992 and June 1999 which involved controllers holding ACT licences or vehicles registered in the ACT were identified. Approximately as many fatalities occurred to ACT licensed controllers or vehicles outside the ACT as happened within the ACT. The number of serious injury accidents involving ACT controllers or vehicles in NSW was approximately double the number of serious injury crashes occurring in the ACT. Of accidents occurring in the ACT, 6 per cent involve only interstate controllers or vehicles, and a further 24 per cent involve collisions between interstate controllers or vehicles and ACT based controllers or vehicles. The majority of fatal crashes occur along the major highways servicing Sydney and the major tourist destinations within the State. However, the highest concentration of crashes of all severities is in Sydney, particularly those involving pedestrian and intersection type collisions. These findings raise the question of how to protect populations of road users in contrast to the provision of safe infrastructure. In particular, this highlights the issues faced by many local government road safety programs where either many crashes involve controllers who are passing through the area and who cannot greatly be influenced, or many crashes involving local people happen in other local government areas so it is difficult to adequately access the results of programs. Much more attention should be given to monitoring the road safety record of populations of road users in addition to the continuing monitoring of crashes at different geographical locations.