Road safety innovators and change makers were recognised at the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) Award Ceremony held on Thursday 29 September at the 2022 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC 2022) in Ōtautahi Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Hon Michael Wood New Zealand Minister of Transport addressed the audience expressing his admiration for the work that was being done by the attendees to eliminate road trauma.
During his address, Minister Wood stated that “Transport is the great enabler. It’s not often the case that people participate in the transport system for the sake of it. At the same time as being an enabler it’s one of the riskiest activities that people can take. We are not going to accept that anymore”.
“We have to understand that in the transport system ordinary human beings will make mistakes, but those mistakes shouldn’t mean that people die. That is why the work that our road safety experts are doing is so important,” Minister Wood concluded.
Three major ACRS Awards were presented during the evening by Minister Wood along with Professor Ann Williamson, President of the Australasian College of Road Safety.
The Australasian College of Road Safety Young Leader Oration Award recognises inspiring work and potential for future leadership in the field of road safety. The 2022 ACRS Young Leader Oration Award, sponsored by Transurban, was presented to Dr Jamie Mackenzie in recognition of his leadership and contributions to road safety research in bicycle safety, safety testing of semi-autonomous vehicles, and school zone safety.
Dr Mackenzie’s research at the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) research has focused on how inexpensive technology can improve both road safety and road safety research. He has led the development of several products, including: bicycle passing distance measurement devices; a series of autonomous robots used to test and evaluate the advanced driver assist systems used in autonomous vehicles; and several inexpensive traffic and bicycle identification devices.
The ACRS Women in Road Safety Award recognises the valuable role that women play in reducing road trauma. The inaugural award, sponsored by Austroads, was presented to Dr Liz de Rome who has spent most of her career influencing researchers, policy makers and practitioners around Australia to deliver safer outcomes for all road users.
Dr de Rome has focussed many of her efforts on advancing safety for motorcycle riders including the development of the very first Motorcycle Safety Strategy in New South Wales through to her research into the quality of protective clothing to reduce injuries for motorcycle riders, culminating in the international award-winning Australasian MotoCAP initiative. Dr de Rome continues her research for MotoCAP as Honorary Associate Professor at Deakin University.
The prestigious Australasian College of Road Safety Fellowship Award is presented in recognition of exemplary contribution being made by an individual College member to road safety. The 2022 ACRS Fellowship Award was presented to Dr Judy Fleiter in recognition of her significant contribution to road safety at the national and international level.
As a researcher, Dr Fleiter has investigated the key behavioural factors contributing to road crashes in Australia and other countries such as China, which has informed the ongoing development of more effective road safety interventions and programs. She has also made a major contribution to global road safety by leading the work undertaken by the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) on behalf the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). Her work has included capacity building of leading road safety organisations and agencies in Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Australasian College of Road Safety and members of the road safety community across Australasia congratulate Dr Mackenzie, Dr de Rome, and Dr Fleiter on their outstanding contributions and their 2022 ACRS Award wins.