ACT Child Safety Program Takes Out Top Road Safety Prize

A program building strong and enduring safety-focussed relationships with families has taken out Australasia’s premier road safety award, the 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award, recognising exemplary innovation andeffectiveness to save lives and injuries on roads. The Kidsafe ACT project, led by Team Leader Eric Chalmers, is being delivered by the Not-for-Profit organisation to underpin the zero deaths and injuries target in the Australian Capital Territory for children under 7. 

The award was presented last night by the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, President of the Australasian College of Road Safety, and Mr Chris Leblanc representing 3M Australasia.  The award ceremony was attended by over 600 of Australasia’s foremost road safety professionals and advocates attending the ARSC2017 Conference Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at Perth Crown Resort.

Minister Chester congratulated this year’s award winners, including 3 Highly Commended awardees, on their contribution to improving road safety around the nation.  “Road safety is an issue that impacts on all Australians, including families, and it’s great to see Kidsafe ACT taking out the top award at this year’s conference,” Mr Chester said.

“Governments cannot do it alone in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, which costs the Australian economy an estimated $30 billion per year, and seeing such high-quality work get recognised in these awards will pay dividends for all road users.

“The work of Kidsafe ACT, which is focussing on reducing deaths and injuries for the under-7 age group, is just one part of the complex road safety picture. It is up to all of us to work toward a safer road system and I look forward to working with organisations like Kidsafe ACT and the Australasian College of Road Safety to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.”

Clockwise from middle photo:
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Darren Chester MP with Grand Prize winner Eric Chalmers (Kidsafe ACT), Chris Leblanc (3M) and ACRS President Lauchlan McIntosh AM.
Highly Commended winners:
Ms Jacqueline Anderson (NSW Roads and Maritime Services, Western Region); 
Mr Tony Fuller (for Christine Thiel – Motor Accident Compensation Commission NT);
Mr Tony Evans (RAC President, RAC Automated Vehicle Trial) 

ACRS President, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, said “Our 2017 winner, represented by Eric Chalmers from Kidsafe ACT, demonstrates a program bringing about zero road deaths and few injuries in the critical under 7 age group.” 

“The program is a proven, continually developing and integrated road safety Program in the ACT Region focused on children and built around a unique permanent free child car restraint checking service. It is achieving Zero road deaths of children under seven years old in the ACT, but also utilizes relationships with families to go well beyond the core objective and more broadly support injury prevention and improved safety education for families of young children.”
Mr Chalmers said “This is the only example we are aware of where this zero injury outcome has been achieved, at least in the 30+ member countries in the Safe Kids Worldwide network. Recent independent research projects for example, have confirmed the high rate of misuse of child car restraints in many states and territories, with the consequential continuing associated road trauma, both serious injury and deaths.”

Judges considered the specific features of the many projects submitted, particularly in terms of innovation in thinking and technology, problem-solving as well as the real benefits in reducing trauma. Cost-effectiveness and transferability to other areas were other key criteria.

Finalists for this hotly-contested award came from many areas.  These included new ideas and actions from local and state government groups, collaborative programs led by local and regional police groups, individuals passionately pursuing specific projects to reduce risk, industry associations and transport companies implementing programs with targets to ensure safe operations, news programs, and specific education for specialist groups.  These are just a few examples of the successful projects awarded as Finalists (26 in total) and Highly Commended (3) winners this year.

Highly Commended winners for 2017 include:

  • Ms Jacqueline Anderson – NSW Roads and Maritime Services  – Towards Zero TAFE Road Safety Partnership – Western Region
  • Mr Tony Fuller & Ms Christine Thiel – Motor Accidents (Compensation) Commission, Northern Territory – Buckle Up Borroloola – Pilot Indigenous child restraints program
  • Mr Tony Evans & Ms Anne Still – RAC WA – RAC Automated vehicle trial

“In 2010, 3M took the pledge of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and it was clear that we could do more”, said Chris Leblanc, General Manager, Safety & Graphics Business Group, Australia & New Zealand.

“Our commitment to improving, protecting and saving lives extends far beyond our products and technologies. We are a company driven by the passion to improve every life through our unique approach to innovation.” 

“This award is modelled on that process – creating an environment where innovative ideas can come together, be shared, collaborated, celebrated, and most importantly, replicated in other regions or capacities to make a much bigger impact on road safety.” 

As the winning team leader, Eric Chalmers will travel to the USA to attend the 48th ATSSA Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in 2018, and will also visit 3M Global Headquarters in Minnesota.