Northern Territory Indigenous Road Safety Program takes out Premier Australasian Road Safety Award

A program to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to obtain their drivers licence has taken out Australasia’s premier road safety award recognising exemplary innovation and effectiveness to save lives and injuries on roads. The DriveSafe NT Remote project, led by Team Leader Wayne Buckley, is being delivered by the Northern Territory Government to expedite road trauma reductions among indigenous communities. 

The 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award was presented 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 Cade Turner representing 3M Australasia. The award ceremony was attended by over 550 of Australasia’s foremost road safety professionals and advocates last night at Australia’s Parliament House.

Minister Chester congratulated this year’s award winners on their contribution to improving driver safety around the nation. “This year’s winners and finalists are doing an incredible job of reducing the national road toll and deserve our sincere congratulations on the valuable work they are doing every day,” Mr Chester said.
“There are many elements which must be brought together if we are to achieve a reduction in our national road toll – everything from new vehicle technology and improved driver education and skills, through to better road design and more investment in our infrastructure.
“Each of this year’s finalists and winners demonstrate the personal commitment we so badly need to help bring down the rate of death and injury happening on our roads every year. Their contribution is valuable – and above all – valued.”

Clockwise from top:
Grand Prize winner Mr Wayne Buckley with Highly Commended winners; 
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Darren Chester MP;
Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM (ACRS), Mr Wayne Buckley (Grand Prize Winner),
Mr Cade Turner (3M),  Hon Darren Chester MP

ACRS President, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, said “Our 2016 winner, represented by Wayne Buckley from the Northern Territory Government, demonstrates an effective and innovative approach to a complex issue – in this specific case road trauma reduction among our indigenous communities. 

“The program was set up by the Northern Territory (NT) Government in 2012 across 23 remote communities to address the barriers that prevent Aboriginal people living in remote communities from accessing the licensing system.
“In the NT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 84 per cent of the prison population. Driving and vehicle regulatory offences account for a quarter of the entire population being in jail.

“DriveSafe NT Remote is a fresh policy perspective on driver education. The program provides an innovative and sustainable solution to the complex, multi-causal and interdependent barriers to getting a driver licence in the bush.
“Since the inception of the program in 2012, the small team of five dedicated officers from the Department of Transport has delivered 3433 learner licences, 1086 provisional licences, 1164 birth certificates and 2103 driving lessons. Over the past year alone the service delivery footprint increased from 42 remote communities to 74 remote and dispersed communities receiving driver education and licensing services.

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 (4) winners this year.

Highly Commended winners for 2016 include:

  • Mr Alan Hay  – Boylan Group – A compendium of front line road and workzone safety solutions  
  • Queensland PCYC – Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association  – Braking the Cycle 
  • Ms Lisa Bagnati – Moonee Valley City Council – Better Moves Around Schools 
  • Mr Andrew Houston – Johnson & Johnson – SAFE Fleet Program – Drivers around the world return home safely at the end of each day 

“In 2010, 3M took the pledge of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and it was clear that we could do more”, said Cade Turner, Sales & Marketing Manager, 3M Australia.

“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, Wayne Buckley will travel to the USA to attend the 47th ATSSA Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in 2017, and will also visit 3M Global Headquarters in Minnesota.

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