Health promotion initiatives related to Australia’s health priorities – Road Safety

Health promotion initiatives related to Australia’s health priorities – Road Safety2015-09-02T10:36:19+10:00

Critically analyse the importance of the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter through a study of TWO health promotion initiatives related to Australia’s health priorities

Road Safety (2010)

This is a framework that aims to half the road fatalities by 2020. It describes speeding as the greatest contributor to road fatalities in NSW. It also aims to reduce the cost of speed-related crashes, which were over $827 million per year. Road Safety utilises the five (5) action areas of the Ottawa Charter in seeking to achieve safer roads for all Australians.

Build healthy public policy

Legislation was created in order to allow fixed speed cameras in NSW. 50Km/h urban speed limit was part of the nationwide strategy, as even small reductions in speed save lives and decrease morbidity caused by road accidents. Road safety courses are being developed to develop safer driving habits and further testing has been added to the requirements for driver training (hazard perception test and driver qualification test). Penalties have also increased for drink driving, speeding, and road rage.

Create supportive environments

Road Safety has sought to make speeding socially unacceptable using the ‘Speeding – no one thinks big of you’ campaign. It has also increased awareness of the police operations targeting young drivers through the ‘P plate speeding campaign’. The installation of fixed speed cameras, particularly around school zones and traffic lights(safety cameras), including the warning signs for the cameras. Intelligent Speed Adaptation systems have been and are being tested to provide information to the driver regarding speed limits or that limit the speed of the vehicle to that of the zone. Roads have also been upgraded with higher safety standards, and cycle ways have been constructed to separate cyclists from traffic. Road crossing facilities, audio/tactile signals, and ramps for wheelchairs, prams and shopping trolleys have also been upgraded in safety for pedestrians.

Strengthen community actions 

Road Safety has strengthened community action by sponsoring the RTA SpeedBlitz Blues to raise awareness of the consequences of speeding in an attempt to change attitudes to speeding. It works with community-based organisations to provide ‘driver reviver’ stops to combat fatigue related accidents.

Develop personal skills 

Road Safety has used the ‘speeding campaign’ to provide information about he difference 5Km/h makes to an accident. It also seeks to remove myths about being familiar with the roads meaning safer driving through the ‘country speeding campaign’. The ‘notes campaign’ targets 17-25 year-old drivers increasing awareness of speeding and mortality in the hope to encourage them to think before acting in order to modify speeding habits. The introduction of the Graduated Licensing Scheme improves the knowledge and driving ability of young drivers and school education programs on road safety aims to protect children and instill long-term safe behaviours.

Reorient health services 

The ‘Slow Down Roadshow’ travels around the state educating the community about the consequences of speeding. Many of the other strategies and campaigns mentioned that increase road safety awareness promote a preventative approach to road safety issues, and are examples of reorienting health services towards health promotion.

This health promotion has been successful in reducing road fatalities since 2010 and reduced hospitalisations from road related accidents.

*Edited from Stage 6 PDHPE Support Document.