Australia has implemented a road safety program that uses the STOPS model for traffic safety control. Australia’s follow-up on all of their programs is evaluated to determine which approaches are most effective at improving driver behavior over time in reducing crash rates, injuries, and deaths. Australia accepts that it will never be able to eliminate all crashes due to human error; however its goal is to reduce these instances so that serious injury and death can be prevented. Australia follows the ‘STOP’ approach, based on four steps:
Traffic education reinforces the messages conveyed by campaigns while also providing information about topics not covered by campaigns. Australia believes traffic safety control laws are necessary but ineffective if drivers do not understand how they should be obeyed or why certain behaviors should be avoided. Australia uses traffic education to educate the public in two ways: by promoting awareness and behavior change campaigns and by providing information through websites, brochures, posters, etc. Australia traffic safety programs are designed to reach as many people as possible, so Australia ensures both its website content is easily accessible for all levels of internet skill and that relevant materials are available in a variety of formats. The number of visitors to Australia’s road safety website increases each year, indicating that Australia’s efforts are reaching more people every year.
The www.roadsafety.gov.au (the government-sanctioned online source for road safety materials) website provides access to information on specific topics related to driving issues such as speed management, fatigue management, driver vision and other topics. Australia recognizes that not everyone is able to access print materials, so Australia provides other ways of obtaining information on digital platforms such as the Australia App for smartphones or at Australia’s Roads and Maritime Services website.
Australia does not rely on legislation alone to influence safe driving behavior, but observes that certain dangerous driving behaviors are prevalent across all demographics of age and gender. Australia has identified that these risky behaviors can be reduced by simply increasing driver attention and vigilance when behind the wheel; therefore, Australia uses “attention grabbing” media formats such as startling images or videos to make drivers become aware of the risks associated with a particular behavior. Australia also uses various media formats to reach drivers on a personal level, Australia distributes posters and postcards that contain messages Australia wants to deliver directly. Australia also recognizes the importance of reaching high risk groups such as young males who are more likely to speed, drink and drive or take risks while driving; Australia wants this group’s attention because they will be the ones most affected by Australia’s legislation efforts. To reach these high-risk populations Australia works with various organizations including schools, local governments and even sporting teams Australia believes can influence at-risk motorists in positive ways.
Australia enforces traffic safety control laws using various penalties for offending driver behavior. Fines are higher than those in other countries but Australia emphasizes on
punishment or revoking licenses rather than on speed cameras. Australia encourages a culture of fear or distrust towards the police. Australia also employs undercover law enforcement officers. Australia monitors traffic violations using various methods including hidden cameras and vehicle activated devices which detect speeding vehicles. Australia encourages honest reporting of traffic violations by supplying information that lists fines for common offenses; Australia is one of few countries to introduce legislation requiring drivers convicted of impaired driving to install an ignition interlock device while their license is suspended. Australia also recognizes that it has a large number of older-aged drivers who are more likely to develop medical conditions such as forgetfulness or slow reflexes causing them to get into accidents; Australia requires these individuals to undergo regular vision and cognitive exams in order to receive a driver’s license.