Congratulations to leading road safety advocate, Samantha Cockfield, Manager, Road Safety Technical and Policy, Transport Accident Commission, who was presented with the prestigious 2017 ACRS Fellowship at last night’s glittering ACRS Award Ceremony at Perth Crown Resort. The ceremony took place in front of 600 of Australasia’s foremost road safety professionals and advocates, and is deserved recognition of Ms Cockfield’s profound commitment to the reduction of road trauma.
The award was presented by Hon Darren Chester, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and ACRS President Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, during the 2017 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC2017).
Minister Chester said the important contributions made by people like Ms Cockfield are vital to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on the national road network. “Improving road safety is a responsibility of all Australians, but it is advocates like Samantha who bring the community along with them in the road safety journey through their passion, leadership, and technical nous,” Mr Chester said.
“For the best part of 25 years Samantha has worked on some of the most important road safety initiatives undertaken in this country, but equally, she has mentored many of the nation’s leading road safety experts. Infrastructure investment, policy reform, improving vehicle safety, and other key initiatives are vital in reducing road deaths and serious injuries – and the Australian Government is working hard on all of these aspects.
“But governments cannot do it alone, and it is those recognised here tonight, as well as your associates and your colleagues, who develop and implement these ideas, all of who should be commended for their work in improving road safety for all Australians.”
In detailing the award, ACRS President Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM said “Samantha Cockfield continues to be an outstanding advocate for road safety both in our region and internationally. Sam has contributed enormously to excellence in road safety strategy development across all road safety pillars, and in particular in being a strong leader and mentor in promoting best practice at a national and international level.”
Samantha has been involved in the road safety field since 1992, beginning her career as an economist working on the development and evaluation of accident blackspot programs. Over the past 24 years, Samantha has led the development and delivery of numerous key initiatives that have contributed to reduced road trauma in Victoria. Some of Samantha’s key achievements over the years include:
- Leading the public education campaign, communications and road safety initiatives to educate parents and the community of the importance of 120 hours practice on the road for learner drivers. The education program acted as a key enabler, allowing for the eventual regulation of 120 hours of mandatory practice for learner drivers and improving the safety outcome for novice drivers.
- Leading the public education campaign and communications to increase consumer awareness and demand of Electronic Stability Control, with an eventual mandate of the technology in Victoria and increasing the safety of the Victorian fleet.
- Evolving the previous Accident Blackspot Program to the current Safe System Road Infrastructure Program (SSRIP). SSRIP is a ten-year $1 billion dollar investment to transform the Victorian road network in accordance with Towards Zero principles to increase the safety of road infrastructure in Victoria. SSRIP is one of the largest programs of its kind in the world.
- Securing support and assisting with the development of the Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS), an $8 million research program designed to examine more than 400 serious injury crashes in detail to provide an understanding of how crashes and injuries occur.
With Victoria moving to implement the Towards Zero approach and build a safe road system for Victoria, Samantha has shown excellence in leadership to assist Victoria to achieve the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries through:
- The delivery of an annual Towards Zero Road Safety Leadership Symposium to garner the support of leaders in government, local government and the public sector to brainstorm and implement actions that can help reduce road trauma in Victoria.
- Commissioning and leading the development of a Safe System Road Map to help guide the investment and implementation required to build a safe road system in Victoria.
- Leading the development of a Safety Culture in Victoria through the development of a new communications strategy designed to foster safety as the key priority and to bring the Victorian community on the Towards Zero journey.
Samantha has worked tireless over the past 24 years and her leadership, dedication and hard work in the road safety field has no doubt contributed significantly to improved road trauma outcomes in Victoria.
With the 2017 award, Ms Cockfield joins an elite group of eminent road safety professionals who have all been bestowed the honour of an ACRS Fellowship. The College first instituted the award of Fellow in 1991 to enable colleagues to nominate a person recognised by their peers as outstanding in terms of their contributions to road safety.