MEDIA RELEASE | MaPS on our Roads Launched: A Map to Heavy Vehicle Safety

MaPS on our Roads Launched: A Map to Heavy Vehicle Safety Injury Matters has officially launched the Mental and Physical Safety on our Roads (MaPS on our Roads) program at the 24th Transafe WA Road Transport Industry Safety Forum.

MaPS on our Roads Launched: A Map to Heavy Vehicle Safety Injury Matters has officially launched the Mental and Physical Safety on our Roads (MaPS on our Roads) program at the 24th Transafe WA Road Transport Industry Safety Forum in Wembley, with support from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

This program aims to support heavy vehicle operators maintain mental and physical wellbeing in their work. In WA, 207 people were killed in 185 crashes involving heavy vehicles between 2008 and 2016. With a vast and remote road network in WA, truck drivers are often the first on scene of a road crash and may have to provide critical first aid assistance.

Injury Matters Chief Executive, Sandy Lukjanowski said, “This program will provide information and education to assist heavy vehicle operators in how they manage the impact a road crash may have on them after the scene is cleared.”

“Given the distances travelled on our expansive road network in WA, coupled with an aging workforce, addressing the physical safety and mental health among heavy vehicle operators is vital to help keep this industry safe on our roads.”

The first MaPS on our Roads campaign, Your MaP to Recovery: After a Road Crash focuses on the importance of staying mentally and physically well on the road, looking after themselves and others after a road crash, and the supports available to help.

“Heavy vehicle safety is a responsibility for all road users, and through local safety programs we can make our roads safer for everyone,” Ms Lukjanowski said.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that the project was funded as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

“The HVSI provides funding to implementable, value-for-money projects that focus on improving road safety,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Life on the road can be very tough on the mental and physical health of drivers and focusing on what we can do to support better health outcomes is a key priority for the NHVR.

“Healthy drivers are safer drivers. Projects like MaPS that address the specific health challenges faced by drivers are critical to improving the overall wellbeing of our industry.”

Between 2019-20, Injury Matters conducted group consultations, in-depth interviews, and a heavy vehicle operator survey with those working within the heavy vehicle industry to form this campaign. These consultations confirmed that heavy vehicle operators are often the first to come across the scene of a road crash.

Ms Lukjanowski said, “Heavy vehicle operators are exposed to road crashes more than most, and it is important that the industry itself supports mateship, encouraging those working to check in on their mates if they have been involved in a crash.”

“Support is available, and we understand everyone’s experience is personal to them. We encourage everyone to use healthy coping strategies, recognise when they may need some additional support and to reach out if in need of support,” Ms Lukjanowski said.

Project resources and information is available at www.injurymatters.org.au/mapsonourroads

Sandy Lukajowski with Celia Hammond MP

Injury Matters is committed to collaborating and listening to those within the heavy vehicle industry. If you or someone you know is working or has worked in the industry, contact us on 6166 7688 or email [email protected] 

The MaPS on our Roads project is funded as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

More photos coming soon.

ATTEND | Mental and Physical Safety on our Roads Webinar

Join Injury Matters this August as we share the findings from formative research conducted into heavy vehicle operator mental and physical well-being as part of Mental and Physical Safety (MaPS) on our Road project. Hear about the issues facing heavy vehicle operators and suggestions on how to support them to keep them safe on our roads.

Join Injury Matters as we share the findings from formative research conducted into heavy vehicle operator mental and physical well-being as part of Mental and Physical Safety (MaPS) on our Roads project. Hear about the issues facing heavy vehicle operators and suggestions on how to support them to keep them safe on our roads.

This webinar will be presented by Injury Matters Clare Robbins and Christine Smith. TransafeWA Ana Stachewicz will join us to address one of the common stressors faced daily by heavy vehicle operators and provide insight into the Give a Tru*k campaign.

Thursday 6 August 2020 10am to 11am AWST
REGISTER HERE

The webinar aims to:

  • Increase knowledge on mental and physical issues facing heavy vehicle operators.
  • Increase understanding on how MaPS on our Roads can assist heavy vehicle operators and industry.
  • Increase knowledge of how best to support heavy vehicle operators in your workplace.
  • Increased understanding of the Give a Tru*k safety campaign.

If you have any queries please contact the Injury Matters team at [email protected] or 6166 7688.

The MaPS on Our Roads project is funded as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

MaPS On Our Roads: Consultation Snapshot

A snapshot of key findings that came from our consultation with the heavy vehicle workforce.

The first critical stage of the project was to consult with heavy vehicle drivers and industry to gain further understanding of current impacts on mental and physical, health and safety for those working on our roads.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, we conducted group consultations, in-depth interviews, and a heavy vehicle operator survey with those working within the heavy vehicle industry. This period has been an unprecedented time of change, uncertainty and natural disaster which has directly impacted this industry group. Injury Matters is incredibly grateful to those who participated in the project to date, large or small, given competing demands and pressures faced by the heavy vehicle workforce currently.

To acknowledge the complex skill, expertise and accreditation required to safely operate heavy vehicles, we will refer to drivers as ‘heavy vehicle operators’. We acknowledge the training and experience required to operate these complex, powerful vehicles and in keeping themselves and other road users safe.

Please see our MaPS Consultation Findings infographic below for a snapshot of key findings that came from our consultation with the heavy vehicle workforce.  

Our consultations confirmed that heavy vehicle operators are often the first to come across the scene of a road crash. Being first on scene, providing assistance, witnessing, being involved in or causing a crash, can have a traumatic and long-lasting impact on those directly and indirectly involved, including family, friends and work colleagues.

All heavy vehicle operators involved in the consultation process offered suggestions regarding how to improve road safety.  Additional suggestions for health and wellbeing initiatives included: providing education to all road users on how to safely share the road with heavy vehicles, improving the infrastructure available to heavy vehicle operators and providing additional social events.

These findings offer insight into how we engage with the heavy vehicle industry and direction of the MaPS on Our Roads awareness raising products and resources.

Statement from Injury Matters relating to the Final Report of the Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety

Our position concerning specific findings and recommendations to the Final Report by the Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety titled Community safety: for the greater good, but at what cost? released in May 2020.

In response to the Final Report by the Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety titled Community safety: for the greater good, but at what cost? released in May 2020, Injury Matters affirms the submission put forth on 5 October 2018 by Injury Matters and its partners.1

Download our Response here.

Below outlines Injury Matters position concerning specific findings and recommendations of the report.

Bicycle Helmets

Injury Matters upholds its position that bicycle helmet laws are of critical importance in the reduction of road trauma and do not impinge upon individuals’ liberties. Therefore, helmets should be enforced for all cyclists, both on and off the road with no exemptions. Evidence demonstrates that not wearing a helmet can be the difference between a minor or fatal head injury.2 A 2017 Australian review assessing bicycle helmet effectiveness found that helmet use reduced the odds of head injuries by 51% and fatal head injuries by 65%.3

Injury Matters supports Findings 2 through 5 of the report.

  • Measures such as improved road infrastructure, lower speed limits and greater driver awareness and education are effective tools to increase cycling participation in Western Australia.
  • Head and neck injuries accounted for 25.9 per cent of the cycling injuries between 1999-00 and 2015-16 (and 48 per cent between 2013-14 and 2015-16). Bicycle helmets are an effective safety measure to decrease the risk of such injuries when cycling.
  • While bicycle helmets are effective for reducing the risk of serious or fatal head injuries, they cannot be relied upon as the only method of protecting cyclists. Governments must also ensure that effective bicycle infrastructure, such as separate shared paths or dedicated bicycle lanes, are part of any cycling policy.
  • While the current legislative regime, that mandates the wearing of bicycle helmets while cycling, restricts personal choice for individuals, this regime is clearly an effective safety measure for the prevention of head and brain injuries.

Injury Matters does not support either of the proposed Recommendations 1 or 2. The recommendation to trial no helmet use at Rottnest Island is unrealistic in nature and is not considerate of potential delays medical treatment. This setting does not offer outcomes that are transferable to a real-world setting where road traffic is present.

E-cigarettes

E-cigarette use poses risk to nicotine poisoning and long-term health consequences. Evidence demonstrates that the effects of nicotine exposure range from being relatively mild, including irritation of the eyes and skin, nausea and vomiting, to severe life-threatening illness, and in some cases, death.4 In July 2018, the Medical Journal of Australia published results that revealed from 2009-2016 there were 200 cases of nicotine related poisonings in Western Australia, of which 40% involved children under 15 years of age.5

Injury Matters maintains its position that efforts should be made to increase public awareness of nicotine toxicity and maintain legislation to restrict access.

Injury Matters does not support Recommendation 3 to lift the prohibition on the sale of e-cigarette devices. Should the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 be amended, then significant regulation would be required to ensure the safety of Western Australians, in particular children and young people.

Safety in water

Injury Matters supports the existing legislation of mandatory pool fencing to prevent toddler drowning. No findings or recommendations were provided in the report relating to pool fencing legislation. Injury Matters maintains the position that mandatory pool fencing should remain legislated in Western Australia in combination with other effective interventions such as public awareness and education when around water. Mandatory pool fencing does not hinder, restrict or impact on pool user wellbeing or enjoyment.

Evidence demonstrates that lifejackets are effective drowning prevention strategies for rivers, adults, older people, young people, weak swimmers and those who fish from rocks or boats.6

Injury Matters reserves comment on Recommendation 10 until the Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Review is complete.

Injury Matters supports Finding 24 of the report:

  • Mandatory lifejackets may be an appropriate safety measure for areas identified as ‘black spots’, subject to the outcomes of the trial at Salmon Holes.

Concluding comment

The reduction and removal of regulations that safeguard against poor health fail to consider the complexities of society that influence health behaviours. Multiple factors, including individual awareness, knowledge, costs, environmental influences, policy regulations and cultural factors, influence injury prevention and safety promotion decision-making.7

Empowering people to make healthy choices through awareness-raising and education interventions are important approaches, however some health issues must be complemented with policy levers such as infrastructure and legislation to make the healthy choice the easy choice.8

A range of injury prevention interventions are cost-saving in that they cost less to implement then the resource costs they save.9 Injury prevention interventions can therefore represent significant value for money, including bicycle helmets, prohibition of sales of e-cigarette devices and use of lifejackets for safety in water.

Injury Matters continues to support health-driven, evidence-based legislation and policies and supports appropriate legislation and regulations that enable safer people and places, which focus on improving their health by preventing injury.

Injury Matters recommendations in response to the Final Report of the Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety are:

  1. Maintain mandatory bicycle helmet legislation in WA.
  2. Maintain current prohibition of e-cigarette devices in WA.
  3. Maintain mandatory pool barrier legislation in WA.

References

  1.  Injury Matters. Injury Matters Submission to the Inquiry on Personal Choice and Community Safety. (2018).
  2.  Gill, T. Bike helmets: an emergency doctor’s perspective. The Conversation (2013).
  3. Ding Yee Lee, J. The epidemiology of severe and fatal injury among Western Australian cyclists: a linked data analysis. (The University of Western Australia, 2017).
  4. Eggleston, W., Nacca, N., Stork, C. M. & Marraffa, J. M. Pediatric death after unintentional exposure to liquid nicotine for an electronic cigarette. Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.) 54, 890—891 (2016).
  5. Huynh, A. et al. Retrospective review of Australian PICs data from 2009 to 2016. Patterns of poisoning exposure at different ages. 2015 annual report of the Australian Poisons Information Centres.
  6. Peden, A. E., Demant, D., Hagger, M. S. & Hamilton, K. Personal, social, and environmental factors associated with lifejacket wear in adults and children: A systematic literature review. PLoS One 13, e0196421–e0196421 (2018).
  7. Injury Matters. Intervention components and types. Know Injury https://knowinjury.org.au/learn/interventions/
  8. World Health Organization. Ottawa Charter for Public Health. (1986).
  9. Pacific Institute for Research Evaluation. Injury prevention: What works? A summary of cost-outcome analysis for injury prevention programs (2014 update). https://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/publications/whatworks2014 (2014).

Injury Matters in Broome

Injury Matters will be in Broome from Monday 25 November to Friday 29 November, to conduct a number of activities that aim to reduce the impact of injury within the Kimberley region.

Injury Matters will be in Broome from Monday 25 November to Friday 29 November, to conduct a number of activities that aim to reduce the impact of injury within the Kimberley region.

Our Road Trauma Support WA (RTSWA) service will be facilitating an “Understanding and Working with Road Trauma” workshop on Wednesday 27 November for Main Roads WA staff. This workshop will increase participants understanding of, and ways of working with those experiencing, grief, loss and trauma, the impact of road trauma, how to look after self and stay well and how and when to seek professional help following a road traffic crash in WA.

If you are interested in our RTSWA service conducting a similar workshop with your staff members, please call (08) 6166 7688.

To support our new heavy vehicle road safety project, Mentally and Physically Safe on our Roads (MaPS) we will also be consulting with the local community regarding the challenges that local heavy vehicle operators face in maintaining their health and wellbeing. If you are based in the Kimberley region, work in the heavy vehicle industry and are interested in being involved in this consultation process, please contact us to arrange a time to gather your feedback. 

Want to know more about MaPS on our Roads? Contact [email protected]

Our team is also offering a free community falls prevention presentation at the Broome Community Resource Centre (CRC) on Thursday, 28 November at 3:30pm. See the CRC Facebook for more details.

We have times available for any organisation or group who would like us to present to their staff. Injury presentation topics include:

  • The incidence of injury in the Kimberley;
  • Understanding of grief and loss after road trauma; and
  • Supporting yourself or others after road trauma.

The Future of Road Safety

Speed remains in the top four factors in WA crashes. If dropping just 10km in some areas saved 159 lives, wouldn’t a few extra minutes in the car be worth it?

The Road Safety Council released the Imagine Zero Consultation Paper this month for community feedback.

Among many safety suggestions, the suggestion creating the most controversy is one where speed limits on some urban roads would drop by 10km/h. Freeways and major highways would remain as they are, however smaller and residential roads, currently 50km/h, would instead be 40km/h areas.

The paper notes that speed was a contributing factor in 18 per cent of the fatalities or serious injuries over the last decade. While the number of deaths on WA roads is steadily reducing, every single death is an avoidable tragedy.

Consider the impact of road trauma on your family and your friends. What changes are you prepared to support to help make our roads safe? Why not this one?

Injury Matters supports every effort suggested in this paper to reduce road trauma and injury in WA.

Speed remains in the top four behavioural factors WA in road crashes. If dropping just 10km in some areas saved 159 lives, the number of people who died on our roads in 2018, wouldn’t a few extra minutes in the car be worth it?

We think so.

The Road Safety Commission wants your perspective on road safety before it drafts a new strategy for the State Government to consider. This community consultation is your opportunity to make a difference.

You can have your say by:

  • taking part in community forums;
  • completing the Consultation Feedback Form;
  • completing the consultation feedback map and more.

Please read the Consultation Paper, watch the Safe System explanation, and have your say at www.imaginezero.rsc.wa.gov.au

If you or someone you know has been affected by a road crash, contact Road Trauma Support WA information and support on 1300 004 814 or www.rtswa.org.au

National Road Safety Week 2018 comes to a close

Perth was chosen to be this year’s host city for the 2018 National Road Safety Week, which began five years ago and is an initiative of Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) founder and president Peter Frazer.

Peter lost his daughter Sarah in an horrific road crash in 2012 just as she was on her way to begin her university studies at a neighbouring university and to start a new chapter in her life at the age of 23.

Sarah had experienced car trouble on the way to her first day of university and had been forced to pull over to the emergency lane and to call and wait for a tow truck to provide assistance. Sadly both Sarah and the tow truck driver were killed instantly when a truck, which failed to see and avoid them, ploughed into them both killing them instantly.

Peter later discovered that the emergency lane on that stretch of road did not meet national safety guidelines and has become a tireless campaigner for road safety, marking the start of a journey neither he nor his wife had ever wanted to take.

The campaign launch was held at Perth’s newly opened Yagan Square on Sunday April 29 and was officially marked by WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron, leading road safety figures from across WA, community members and the Road Trauma Support WA team.

The week highlighted the safety needs of different road users and groups throughout the week, focusing on first responders, roadside assistance workers, vulnerable road users, those on regional roads as well as cyclists and motorcyclists.

It also incorporated a research forum which brought together those involved in enforcement, legislation, protection, research and support, looking at the latest trends and evidence around road safety and mapping out ways to work together moving forward.

Although the profile and impact of National Road Safety Week continues to grow each year and to resonate with communities across Australia, the reality is that despite education, advocacy, legislation and enforcement, the number of those killed and injured on our roads continues to grow. And with that the number of families and community members who are left devastated in its wake.

Governments across the world continue to call for tougher penalties for those who break the law on our roads, and although the vast majority abide by those laws, there are still those who don’t – putting themselves and others at risk.

Road Safety experts also referred to those who aren’t drinking and driving, who aren’t speeding and who are routinely wearing their seatbelts, but who make momentary mistakes that will impact them and those around them for the rest of their lives.

The Road Trauma Support WA team would like to thank Peter Frazer and the SARAH group for all of their hard work, the WA Road Safety Commission team who coordinated the event nationally from Perth, WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and all those across Australia who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the events of the past week happen.

As we reflect on the events of the past week, which have successfully put road safety in the national spotlight, lets pause to remember all of those who are struggling in the wake of road trauma.

If you, a friend, family member or colleague has been impacted by road trauma would like further information or support it is available at www.rtswa.org.au

Injury Matters Submission to National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry 2011-2020

On 8 September the Australian Government announced an inquiry in to the national Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.

Despite efforts to improve road safety and driver behaviour, road fatalities and critical injuries remain a serious problem in Western Australia. The physical impact as well as mental heath outcomes of individuals and communities affected by road crashes can be long lasting. Injury Matters provides much needed high quality mental health support services for people who have been affected by a road trauma through the Road Trauma Support WA service.

Injury Matters’ submission to the inquiry can be read here.

RTSWA joins the annual Blessing of the Roads

RTSWA acting manager, Ryan Fernie, joined the new WA Police and Road Safety Minister, the Hon Michelle Roberts MLA and Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia for the annual Blessing of the Roads in Mirrabooka this year. The event was jointly coordinated by the cities of Stirling, Swan and Joondalup and put the focus on road safety as we headed into traditionally one of the worst periods on our roads – the Easter long weekend. To read more please click here.

Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia lets regional and remote WA know that help is out there for those in need

Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia joined the Road Trauma Support team in Bunbury on Thursday May 9 for a specially tailored grief trauma and loss workshop for emergency services personnel in the region.

The day long session was designed to assist those on the front line both professionally and personally to support themselves and others when dealing with grief and trauma.

Mr Papalia introduced the session and spoke of his own experence as a police officer working in the field and the challenges that emergency services personnel face every day. To read more click here.