Major financial backing will ensure that innovative technologies designed to improve road safety and heavy vehicle inspections will be put to the test.
Thirteen projects aimed at reducing road fatalities will share in $2 million over the next four years through Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Road Safety Innovation Fund.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to reducing road injuries and fatalities and this is just one of many targeted initiatives.
“Finding innovative ways to make safety front of mind for all road users is key to supporting the Safe System principles – an inclusive approach to road safety that underpins the National Road Safety Strategy that has been agreed by all Governments,” said McCormack.
“The Road Safety Innovation Fund will fund research projects ranging from protecting vulnerable users including pedestrians, cyclists and children, through to crash prediction models, improving night visibility of signs, boosting heavy vehicle safety by trialling automated inspection capabilities and driver decline sensitivity testing.
“The Fund is one of the many ways the Australian Government is investing in road safety to move towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads," he said.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said the Road Safety Innovation Fund proved very popular among applicants with more funding available for road safety projects later this year.
“In Round 1 there were 104 applications for grant funding, which is fantastic news because it demonstrates strong community interest in this important road safety initiative,” said Buchholz.
“This Fund complements our other road safety initiatives, include the $4 million Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund, which is helping to deliver targeted educational campaigns to reduce risky behaviour and increase road safety awareness, installing life-saving speed signage and collaborating with the community on decreasing road trauma," he said.
These projects further complement the Government’s recent $500 million commitment for a Targeted Road Safety package to help keep Australians safe as the nation’s drivers emerge from COVID-19 restrictions.
Road Safety Innovation Fund Round 1 projects:
University of New South Wales
Identifying measures sensitive to declining safety due to progressive driver decline from dementia to better inform drivers, families and clinicians and support the development of appropriate in-vehicle road safety devices and apps.
Northern Territory Government
Investigating alternative pathways to increase the delivery of drink and drug driver online learning resource.
Testing deployment and evaluation of smart school zones systems.
City of Busselton
Testing innovative technology to warn motorists of cyclists ahead.
University of Newcastle
Investigating how long can an operator stay engaged in an automated vehicle (AV) when they are not actually driving to support future regulation of journey length for AVs.
Development of a virtual rail concept to reduce corner cutting by semi-trailers in order to protect vulnerable road users.
Queensland University of Technology
Development of a generalised mathematical program to better predict road crash frequency and severity.
University of the Sunshine Coast
Development of a cycling incidents reporting tool.
Enhancing cost effective and low light and night-time visibility of road signs, line marking and pavement marking by testing the performance of photoluminescence.
University of South Australia
Testing user experience methods for older vulnerable road users to assess future pedestrian road safety infrastructure needs.
Mobility and Accessibility for Children and Adults
Stimulating product design and development to eliminate buckle release risks for children with a disability.
The George Institute for Global Health
Investigating the effectiveness of alternative training methods to achieve the proper fitment of child car restraints throughout rural and remote areas.
Industrial Monitoring and Control
Testing automated thermographic tools and their effectiveness in assisting on road heavy vehicle inspections.