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Response from the ORS 9-1-08

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  • Response from the ORS 9-1-08

    I recieved an intersting email this morning from our good friend Christabel Fernandes from the Office of Road Safety and it goes like this:

    Our ref: 21,963


    Mr

    Dear Mr -----

    Thank you for your further emails of 30 December 2007, 3 and 8 January 2008.

    In response to your question about advanced driver training in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Office of Road Safety in particular, no our staff are not required to attend driving courses as part of their duties. This is based on a vast body of researched evidence that shows that advanced off-road driver training programs do not reduce crash risk for car drivers and in some instances, may even have the opposite effect as the driver may become overconfident in their skills (this is particularly relevant to young and novice car drivers). Nevertheless, the ORS has participated in driver awareness courses run in the past by Drive Safe in which staff had hands-on experience of the effect of different travel speeds on braking distances, plus the importance of attention to tyre pressure and condition of brakes and other vehicle features. Some staff have also had their everyday, on-road driving assessed by the RAC in relation to our abilities to scan for hazards, road positioning and so on.

    In response to your comments about motorcycle awareness advertisements, you will find that the Road Safety Council has run campaigns in the past. The last one ran in 2000.

    Finally, the Road Safety Council does not accept your position on speed. There is good evidence that reductions in average travel speeds mean fewer crashes and less serious crashes. I refer you to the OECD report on speed management:
    Speed Management

    Notwithstanding this, the road safety strategy currently under discussion clearly acknowledges that driver inattention and errors of judgement are a leading factor in road death and injury.

    Yours sincerely
    Christabel Fernandes
    Customer Service Coordinator
    Office of Road Safety
    Tel No.9222 9922
    Fax No.9325 2817
    In particular I would like to bring attention the following points...
    • The ORS does not believe in advanced driver training (I want to see their research notes, oh and better let AHG know their defensive driving course is shit cause ORS said so)
    • Even though they don't belive in it they attended a 'Drive Safe' course which sounds like a babied advertising campaign not an actually skills course.
    • The RSC ran an awareness course in 2000 ? I don't remember it and that is 8 years ago, nice work.
    • Yet again they refer to this document which you have to purchase: Speed Management
    • Aparrently the current strategy will focus on driver inattentiveness as well ?
    So what do we have to look forward to if i read between the lines of this email ?
    • No advanced training for drivers.
    • Reduction in speed limits and higher automated enforcement
    • Mabey a token motorcycle campaign that might run in a small local paper ?
    • Increase penalties and prosection with the line somewhere in the media "When are people going to learn ? We just have to keep increasing fines and penalties until they learn!" It will come along again.
    So Im going to look into additional studies on speed and driver training before I reply back to this Christable Fernandes.

    Cheers

    Ben

  • #2
    We can contact the opposition and make more noise....

    Spiralling road toll sparks call for inquiry - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
    Real Men Ride Nakid
    http://www.streetfighters.com.au

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe you should reply to the ORS and say that there's no way that you're paying $120 for a copy of that report, and maybe they could forward you a copy that they've finished reading...

      Comment


      • #4
        In response to your comments about motorcycle awareness advertisements, you will find that the Road Safety Council has run campaigns in the past. The last one ran in 2000.
        WTF?? A campaign ran 8 years ago and that's supposed to count for... what, exactly?? Totally relevant to today

        There was actually an interesting article by Paul Murray in the West Australian yesterday (believe it or not!) regarding Grant Dorrington and the fact that he has done absolutely nothing to reduce the road toll, aside from raising the fines and insisting on more speed cameras. The article mentioned the fact that at the end of 2006, he wrote nearly the exact same article, with the exception of, 'If we don't do something drastically different, the road toll is not only going to stay the same, but possibly rise.' Of course, yesterdays article ran along the lines of, 'I told you so. You raised the fines last time, insisted on more speed cameras, and it did absolutely nothing. So despite the fact that it didn't work last time, what have you done differently this time? Oh, absolutely nothing!!'

        Good to see you're keeping on their backs, Munches.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok...

          What we need to do is draft a letter to the opposition, to the current parliamentary members and anyone else we can listen. This letter (actually, essay by the time it's done) should go into every piece of ammunition we have, such as:

          - Research shows Speed Cameras make no difference to road toll (Ref: UK etc etc)
          - Research shows Red Light Cameras increase minor rear-end collisions at intersections (This has been covered all over the world)
          - Anything else we can find

          If we get enough people to sign this and send it to enough people, hopefully we can get something happening. By sending it both to the current (in power) party as well as the opposition, it means that if the current party does nothing, the opposition has a lot of ammunition.

          This should also be presented as a petition, or at least signed by as many people as we can get on board. If we all send the same letter to everyone, I think the point will be lost as white noise, but if we form a convoy and hand deliver the document to the relevant people one day, I think it'll be a much stronger message.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chyna View Post
            There was actually an interesting article by Paul Murray in the West Australian yesterday (believe it or not!) regarding Grant Dorrington and the fact that he has done absolutely nothing to reduce the road toll.... .
            Yeah, read that and have to agree. Was pleasantly surprised to read such common sense in The West.

            My only concern with a road safety enquiry is the goodie goodies that will no doubt conduct the enquiry will find that motoryclists are all hoons, (now where have I heard that before...), and should be banned off the roads.

            Comment


            • #7
              John McGrath said in a letter to me that he liked the UK's THINK! campaigns and that they should be run here.

              Comment


              • #8
                i've had no response to my emails yet, except the one to the premiers office had been redirected to the minister.

                what addresses did you use for the ORS & RSC ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MuNches View Post
                  I The RSC ran an awareness course in 2000 ? I don't remember it and that is 8 years ago,
                  Hey Ben, please ask her what exactly this campaign was as I don't remember it.

                  Eight years ago I remember bitching to everyone who would listen that there was no awareness campaign.

                  As you say, if there was one it must have been a postage-stamp-sized ad in a local paper.
                  "Live Long and Prosper"

                  Bayswater Martial Arts and Yoga Centre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chyna View Post
                    There was actually an interesting article by Paul Murray in the West Australian yesterday (believe it or not!)
                    Received an email from Paul Murray this morning, with a copy of the article (posted in another thread, but maybe more relevant in here.

                    Paul Murray, Opinion - Page 20, West Australian 8th Jan, 2008

                    Imagine what would happen to the board and executives of a publicly-listed company, tasked with the now-commonplace policy of continuous improvement, if its performance over several years dropped back to the production levels of a decade before.
                    Would the shareholders just shrug their shoulders and muddle on? Would they hear the hollow excuses and accept them as the share price slid? Or would they demand answers and changes?
                    If a listed company had the failure record of WA’s road safety authorities, those responsible would be sacked. It’s that simple.
                    WA has just recorded its worst road death figures since 1998 – some 235 deaths – which is 31 more than last year and 73 more than the year before that.
                    This is what has happened to the road toll during the Labor Government’s five-year strategy that ended last month: 2001 (164), 2002 (179), 2003 (180), 2004 (179), 2005 (162), 2006 (204), 2007 (235).
                    During this period, vehicles have become increasingly safer through technology such as ABS braking and air bags. There might be more cars on the road, but with petrol prices as they are, it’s doubtful that they are doing more kilometres.
                    Faced with this ignominious failure under Labor, what do we get?
                    More of the same. Threats of higher fines – when the last few increases clearly didn’t work -- and more expensive advertising campaigns of highly questionable effectiveness.
                    My first column last year also protested about our failing road safety strategies. It finished with these words:
                    “Unless someone in government is prepared to take a fresh look at what is really happening on our roads we’re likely to be wringing our hands over the road toll at this time next year.”
                    Well, no-one in government has been prepared to take a fresh look. And the public is paying the price.
                    It is not the case in other states. New South Wales has just recorded its lowest road toll since 1945. NSW deaths have fallen consistently for five years.
                    The worst figures for 2007 were ours and Victoria’s. Isn’t it passing strange that we have taken our road safety strategies from Victoria, principally those from Monash University? And who is reviewing our failure? One of the Monash boffins.
                    So the Carpenter Government goes into this year without a road safety strategy – but unfortunately still welded to the operating practices of the old one – and waiting for a new plan from the authors of the old, failed one.
                    What we know of the new strategy is that it will almost certainly include lower speed limits and fixed speed cameras.
                    Once again, the principal focus will be on speed, which, as I have been arguing on these pages for years is simply a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. Our problem is attitudinal.
                    The only stakeholder who has had anything worthwhile to say amid the backside-covering over last year’s road toll was Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan, who questioned the usefulness of fixed speed cameras.
                    “One of the dangers of fixed cameras is that they cease to become effective after a period of time because people know where they are,” the Commissioner said at Christmas.
                    “In some respects there’s still no substitute for visible policing and I think the people of Western Australia want to see police cars.”
                    Hooray. At least someone has been listening to the public. Unfortunately, Mr O’Callaghan’s rhetoric doesn’t fit his performance.
                    Under his watch last year, traffic patrol hours fell. And no matter what sophistry the police advance about “smarter policing” the truth is that visibility is about patrol hours on the road.
                    Another truth about the road toll and speed is that two-thirds of deaths happen at or below the prevailing limit.
                    Road researcher, engineer John Cadogan who writes for Wheels magazine, has exposed the way police attribute road deaths to “speed”.
                    Cadogan drilled down into road death statistics in NSW and found that 31 per cent of the drivers allegedly killed by speed were drink-driving. And 20 per cent of them were not wearing a seat belt or helmet. So what was the real cause of their deaths?
                    “The link between speed and danger is the most bogus thing I have ever heard,” Cadogan says.
                    “I certainly don’t advocate driving with excessive speed, which is very dangerous. But the notion that simply slowing down is going to have a dramatic effect on the road toll is ridiculous. If one is already driving safely at 60kmh, driving at 55kmh is not safer. Mitigating risk, and remaining at 60kmh, is, by comparison, much safer.
                    “Selling the messages about the ’fatal four’ – speed, fatigue, alcohol and seatbelts – dumbs down driving to the point where some people are lead to believe that simply not speeding, not driving tired or drunk, and wearing a seatbelt are all it takes to drive safely.
                    “Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complex than that, as evidenced by all the people killed or injured while driving conservatively, sober, fully awake and adequately restrained.”
                    Cadogan concludes that our major problem is a minority of anti-social drivers who place themselves and others at jeopardy by their high-risk behaviours. He says they need to be aggressively targeted and removed from the roads.
                    The Office of Road Safety knows that 60 per cent of WA’s fatalities are from single vehicles on country roads with about 40 per cent of victims not wearing a seatbelt.
                    Slowing down city traffic and imposing increasingly higher fines on drivers marginally over speed limits is stupid, ineffective and cynical.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chyna View Post
                      There was actually an interesting article by Paul Murray in the West Australian yesterday (believe it or not!) regarding Grant Dorrington and the fact that he has done absolutely nothing to reduce the road toll, aside from raising the fines and insisting on more speed cameras.
                      I have a pdf of the article that I wanted to post on psb but it is too large at 150kb (psb only allows 19kb attachments). Anyone know a way I can post it?

                      Forget it. Stoneville's already posted it - see above!
                      "Live Long and Prosper"

                      Bayswater Martial Arts and Yoga Centre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Stoneville. I was really impressed to read it, he makes it sound so bloody obvious, ie “The link between speed and danger is the most bogus thing I have ever heard,” Cadogan says.
                        “I certainly don’t advocate driving with excessive speed, which is very dangerous. But the notion that simply slowing down is going to have a dramatic effect on the road toll is ridiculous. If one is already driving safely at 60kmh, driving at 55kmh is not safer. Mitigating risk, and remaining at 60kmh, is, by comparison, much safer."
                        Yet you can guarantee it will mean nothing to those that make the decisions

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Its good to see the ORS have some intelligent people in their staff.

                          Increased driver training = negative.....WTF?

                          I think the letter with the petition hand delivered idea is a really good one and would be more than happy to sign it.

                          Good work Munches
                          The Equity Crowd
                          Marketing, Websites, Business Development

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                          • #14
                            training programs do not reduce crash risk for car drivers
                            By that reasoning why train people to get a licence? Surely if they have no training they will be more careful and there will be less accidents.

                            They should just put drivers licences in cornflakes packets.
                            "Live Long and Prosper"

                            Bayswater Martial Arts and Yoga Centre

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you watch the freeway at 5pm on a weekday, it looks like they already do

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