Australia’s road safety policies are starting to pay off. The number of fatalities has already dropped by over 64% since 1970. The odds of dying today also decreased by seven times. This is even if the volume of vehicles on the road went up by almost five times.
Still, the country still has a long way to go to reach its goal of reducing road deaths and trauma by 30% by 2020. Each day, around 90 people develop severe injuries, and three are more likely to die. The introduction of the different innovative solutions can help bring the numbers down further. These can include the following:
1. Phone-detecting Cameras
New South Wales was the first territory to use a traffic camera to detect mobile phone use. Using smartphones and tablets while behind the wheel is one of the leading reasons for distracted driving. This, in turn, has already killed over 700 people, including children, over the last ten years.
Under the new guidelines, drivers caught doing the offence will have to face penalties. These can include a fine of $330 and four demerit points. Student drivers, therefore, might have to deal with a licence suspension for three months.
2. Fluorescent Vests
An Australian Automobile Association report revealed that at least 1,200 fatalities occurred from 2017 to 2018. Deaths involving cyclists had the highest increase at 80%.
The need to keep themselves as visible as possible is now urging cyclists to use high-visibility clothing. The polyester or cotton fluorescent vests from Green Triangle Distributors make them prominent, especially at night time. The materials can also help minimise the discomfort, which can also lead to distracted driving.
3. Car Safety Features
Newer vehicles these days also come with hi-tech safety features besides seat belts and airbags. These include a lane alert system, which can notify the driver through beeps when they’re already crossing the line. The blind spot technology, meanwhile, utilises motion sensors and cameras to measure the distances of the surrounding objects. It is helpful when navigating tight or unfamiliar places. With the help of a global positioning system (GPS), cars can also alert the driver when it’s already speeding.
4. Interlocking Devices on Vehicles
New South Wales is also slapping a substantial penalty on mid-range drunk drivers. These are individuals whose blood alcohol levels are between 0.08 and 0.149. When convicted, they will have to use an interlocking device attached to their vehicles. It comes with a breathalyser that they need to breathe into before they can start the ignition. Besides the equipment, the offender might also spend some prison time for as long as nine months. They can also lose their licence for a year.
Individuals who are low-range drunk drivers might not need the device, but they still need to pay the penalty. They can also have their licence suspended immediately without having to go to court as long as they don’t contest their offence.
Many factors can result in road fatalities or injuries. However, most of the leading causes are preventable only if the drivers become responsible. These solutions can help remind them of their duty once they are behind the wheel.