Current projects

A large component of the ongoing work to implement and further develop elements of the National Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan is being carried out through the Austroads Road Safety Program. Key nationally-focused research and development projects being undertaken by Austroads and others are listed below.

Safe Roads

Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM)

Austroads has a number of projects underway to develop the ANRAM software, including ‘Implementation of the Austroads National Risk Assessment Model’ (ST1869). Further information is available from Austroads.

Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP)

AusRAP is a program run by the Australian Automobile Association and its constituent state and territory automobile clubs. The program uses two complementary methods to assess the safety of roads: Risk Mapping and Star Ratings. Further information is available from the Australian Automobile Association.

Safe System infrastructure on mixed used arterials

An Austroads project, ‘Safe System Infrastructure on Mixed Use Arterials’ (SS2035), will investigate how the Safe System approach can be applied to urban arterials. Further information is available from Austroads.

Safe System intersection performance

An Austroads project, ‘Understanding and Improving Safe System Intersection Performance’ (SS1960), will provide guidance to road agencies on options for design and retrofit of intersections so they better align with Safe System principles. Further information is available from Austroads.

Translating research and knowledge about Safe System infrastructure into practice

An Austroads project, ‘Translating Safe System Infrastructure Research and Knowledge into Practice’ (SS2016), will produce a guidance document and a series of workshops for road practitioners outlining knowledge and research about designing, managing and operating roads and roadsides within a Safe System environment. Further information is available from Austroads.

Safe Vehicles

Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program runs a crash test program and publishes safety ratings for consumers, focused on the level of occupant and pedestrian protection and collision avoidance capabilities provided by different vehicle models. ANCAP is supported by its member organisations which include all of the state and territory automobile associations, the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, and road authorities in all states and territories as well as New Zealand.

The new smartphone application ANCAP Safety was launched to allow consumers to search and compare safety ratings for new and used vehicles across Australia and New Zealand.

Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) for motorcycles

A report commissioned by the Australian and Victorian governments, Evaluation of the effectiveness of Anti-Lock Braking Systems on motorcycle safety in Australia, was released in October 2015 and is available from the Monash University Accident Research Centre. In December 2015 the Department provided a discussion paper inviting preliminary comment on the research and its context. The submission period ended in February 2016. Feedback is being used in the development of a Regulation Impact Statement to consider mandating ABS for motorcycles.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for heavy vehicles

A Regulation Impact Statement considering the case for heavy vehicle ESC and a draft Australian Design Rule are under development.

Used Car Safety Ratings (USCR)

The Used Car Safety Ratings is an ongoing research project funded by a number of partners including the Commonwealth, state and New Zealand government agencies and automobile associations. The research required to update the ratings is undertaken annually by the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

Safe People

Mobile Phone use while driving

A national scoping study into mobile phone use while driving across Australia has been completed and the report can be downloaded from the link below. The researchers noted that the use of mobile phones and other mobile technologies has been increasing, and that the effects on driver distraction are of concern. At present, the available evidence regarding mobile phone use in crashes is limited. While hand-held mobile phone use is illegal in Australia, the use of legal hands-free systems in cars may also be contributing to crash risk. There is potential for automated enforcement to be explored, as well as technology which may reduce or block the use of mobile phones in vehicles, and these potential solutions need further development.

  • Scoping study of mobile phone use while driving PDF: 1805 KB 

Roadside drug testing

A national scoping study into roadside drug testing across Australia has been completed and the report can be downloaded from the link below. The researchers noted that overall, Australia has the most intensive roadside drug testing program in the world, with roadside oral fluid testing introduced in Australia a decade or more before any other jurisdiction internationally. Consultation indicated that Australian states and territories are interested in moving forward to: develop a deterrence model; improve testing technology, particularly to reduce the time taken at the roadside for sample collection and analysis; and to develop an evidentiary roadside test with no further lab testing required.

Advancing the safe system

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) operational framework

An ongoing Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems project (NT1785) operated under Austroads' Network Program, is intended to ensure the required regulatory and operational framework is in place to enable the successful deployment and operation of C-ITS solutions—including safety applications—in Australia and New Zealand, and thus realise the potential transport and societal benefits of C-ITS. Further information is available from Austroads.

Measuring non-fatal (serious injury) crash outcomes

An Austroads project, ‘A National Approach to Measuring Non-Fatal Crash Outcomes’ (SS2034), will test the strengths and limitations of adopting a data linkage approach at the national level. Further information is available from Austroads.

Monitoring progress in reducing road trauma

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) monitors performance under the National Road Safety Strategy, maintaining the National Crash Database and drawing on other data as required to report on progress towards the targets and the safety performance indicators.

National Road Safety Partnership Program

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) is a growing collaborative network intended to support Australian businesses in developing a positive road safety culture. The NRSPP was developed by the National Transport Commission and is managed by the ARRB Group.

Safety benefits of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems and automated vehicles

An Austroads project, ‘Safety Benefits of Cooperative ITS and Automated Vehicles’ (SS1867), will investigate emerging C-ITS and automated vehicle systems and applications to assess potential safety benefits to Australia and New Zealand. Further information is available from Austroads.