ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Preparing for 2006: Changes to Open Load Space Legislation

Russell-Weisz, Louise

Aboriginal / Community


This project used Aboriginal and Regional media outlets across the Kimberley to target Aboriginal people, particularly Aboriginal men aged 17-39 years, with the aim of increasing their knowledge about the final phase of the open load space legislation in Western Australia. Mass media was chosen as the most cost effective way to attempt to change the target groups attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in relation to riding in the open load space of trucks and utilities. Garrow (1997) found in his study that from 1990 1994 passengers travelling in the open load space of utility trucks comprised 18 percent of fatalities. He also found that Aboriginal people comprised 86.7% of the Kimberley open load space fatalities and 64% of the total motor vehicle crash fatalities in the Kimberley from 1990 97, for whom race was known. From the 1st January 2004, rollover protection devices will no longer be approved and from the 1st January 2006, riding in the open load space will be prohibited. It was thought that education about these changes is essential to ensure that the Aboriginal community are fully informed about the need to take on the responsibility of changing the types of vehicles they purchase leading up to January 2006. This project involves the production of a 30 sec television commercial and a 30- second radio advertisement that targets Aboriginal people living in the Kimberley and other regional areas of Western Australia. The television and radio advertisements were produced and filmed by a local Aboriginal media organisation, and featured a local Aboriginal identity as a role model and other local Aboriginal talent. All commercials are being broadcast during radio shows popular with young Aboriginal men in particular. All advertisements will run for six months on a week on week off basis from July 2004. Preliminary surveys of the target group revealed high advertisement recall amongst those participating in the surveys with 85% indicating that they could recall seeing or hearing an advertisement aimed particularly at Aboriginal people in the last couple of months. Message recall was also very high with 80% of participants being able to correctly recall what the advertisement was about (open load space laws and getting ready for the upcoming final phase in the legislation). There was a moderately high percentage (63%) of survey participants who reported having known about the final phase of the open load space legislation (which will come into effect from 1st January 2006). Fifty three percent of participants reported that they or their community presently use a vehicle with a rollover protection device to transport passengers. All indicated that they intended to change the type of vehicle they use to transport passengers before 1st January 2006.