Since 2018, the Road Safety Research Collaboration (RSRC) between University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) has set out to understand and improve road safety in Queensland.
“As regulator of compulsory third party (CTP) insurance in Queensland, we’re proud to support research to reduce the incidence and effects of road trauma,” said Insurance Commissioner Neil Singleton.
“This underpins our approach to maintaining affordable CTP insurance premiums for motorists and to keeping our community safe on Queensland roads,” explained Mr Singleton.
The Road Safety Research Collaboration is becoming increasingly recognised in Queensland for its dynamic, multidisciplinary approach to road safety research.
The RSRC’s applied research is uniquely positioned to influence policy as it focuses on ways to target illegal behaviour and high-risk groups.
Operation Sandstorm by the RSRC was recently featured in ABC News in a timely reminder to follow road rules while driving on Queensland beaches.
Research associate Levi Anderson explained that there is an over-representation of drink driving, speeding and other offences committed on south-east Queensland beaches.
“We’ve found there’s a number of drivers that wouldn’t normally offend on the roads, but once their tyres hit the sand, it’s like a switch,” he said.
Researchers collaborating on the project have worked closely with Queensland Police Service and aim to implement preventative measures by mid-year on driving beaches between Bribie Island and the Cooloola Coast.
They are hopeful that countermeasures, like signs that detect a driver’s speed and remind them of the speed limit, might help bust the myth that beach-drivers are less likely to be caught breaking the law.
While focused primarily on human behaviour, the RSRC explores the causes and outcomes of high-risk driving behaviours and how to best alleviate and control their impact on our community.
With a recognised focus on impaired driving, other areas of current research include, distracted driving, fatigue, high-risk driving across different settings like parks and beaches, aggressive driving, high-risk groups, and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on driving behaviour.