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Road safety research reports

The Department of Transport and Main Roads conducts and manages road safety research projects and activities to support road safety policy development and the evaluation of road safety initiatives. Research, data and innovation are supporting action areas for the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland: Queensland's Road Safety Action Plan 2015-17.

Below are the reports for projects investigating the following topics:

Evaluation of the Queensland Road Safety Strategy

The Department of Transport and Main Roads commissioned the Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) to develop an evaluation framework for the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2015-2021. This framework, based on the GOSPA framework developed by Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in 2004 provides a way to measure and examine the Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Programs/Plans and Actions of the Road Safety Strategy using a four-tier structure. The reports below detail the development of the GOSPA framework and the latest iteration of the framework developed by CARRS-Q:

Road safety perceptions and attitudes

The department commissions Market and Communications Research to undertake an annual survey of Queensland annual road safety perceptions and attitudes (RSPAT Survey). A sample of 600 motorists, representative of the licensed driver population in Queensland, completes the survey. Topics vary between years, but include the Fatal Five (speeding, drink and drug driving, fatigue, seatbelt use and distraction), school transport safety, young drivers, motorcycles, heavy vehicles, vehicle safety and cycling.

In 2014, a separate survey of 250 powered 2-wheeler riders (motorcycles, scooters and mopeds) was also conducted.

Safer speeds

Evaluation of Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP)

The Department of Transport and Main Roads commissioned the Monash University Accident Research Centre to evaluate the effects of the Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP) using 2016 data. The CDOP was associated with a reduction in serious casualty crashes by 11% and minor injury crashes by 6% in 2016. This reduction represents an annual saving of at least 2,500 crashes of all severities. Savings to the community were estimated at between $700 million (human capital) and $1.5 billion (willingness to pay).

CDOP Evaluation 2016 – final report

Previous evaluations of the CDOP using 2009-2012 and 2013-2015 data were also conducted by Monash University Accident Research Centre.

Vehicle speed trends on Queensland Roads 2015-2018

The Department of Transport and Main Roads in collaboration with other government agencies is committed to safe speeds on Queensland’s roads. The department regularly conducts speed surveys to monitor vehicle speed trends and the level of compliance with speed limits in different types of road environments in urban and regional areas. The collection and analysis of speed data is necessary to establish benchmarks and monitor changes in speed related behaviour of motorists.

Findings from these surveys are used to develop speed related policies and initiatives to target areas for improvement on the road network.

The latest speed survey was the first to be conducted using speed probe data instead of pneumatic tubes. The probe data is collected from GPS data points which are available on every road in Queensland. The data is provided at road link level and provides information including a vehicle’s average speed, minimum and maximum speeds, length of a road link and the likely speed limit.

The speed survey results are briefly outlined in the following tables below to highlight the changes in behaviour in Queensland.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads engaged an organisation to conduct the speed survey which is described in the report Traffic speed trends on Queensland roads, 2015 to 2018

The key findings from the 2015 – 2018 speed survey are:

Figure 1 Shows the average speed, urban and regional areas, Queensland, 2015 to 2018

Average speed 2015-2018

Figure 2: Shows the compliance with speed limits, Queensland, 2015 to 2018

Speed compliance 2015-2018

Results from the 2015 to 2018 speed survey show:

  • speed limit compliance has improved across Queensland. In 2018, motorists obeying the speed limit was 73.1%, compared to 72.7% in 2015
  • excessive speeding has reduced across all roads in Queensland, in 2018, it was 2.7%, compared to 4.5% in 2015. Excessive speeding is more common on 80km/h roads and above, although it has reduced to less than 1% for both urban and regional areas in 100km/h zones
  • average vehicle speeds have increased since 2016, although average speeds are all under the posted speed limit
  • in 2018, the average speed on 100km/h roads was 89km/h for regional areas and 84.8km/h in urban areas. The average speed on 60km/h regional roads was 45.1km/h and in urban areas it was 41.3km/h.

Read a summary of speed compliance and average speeds across Queensland for 2015-2018

School transport safety

The department conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of flashing school zone signs in increasing compliance with temporary reduced speed limits near schools. Two sources of data were examined: self-reported attitudes and behaviours of road users; and observations of vehicle travel speeds in and around school zones. The self-report study results showed 91% of respondents believed they were more compliant with speed limits with active flashing signs. The observational survey results showed a slight reduction in mean speeds and a 45% reduction in the percentage of vehicles over the limit by more than 10km/h.

Young drivers

The department commissioned a preliminary evaluation of the 2007 changes to the Queensland Graduated Licensing System, funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. The project was conducted by researchers at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC). The 2007 changes were associated with a 31% reduction in fatal crashes involving young novice drivers, confirming the value of comprehensive graduated licensing systems in reducing novice driver road trauma. At the time of the preliminary evaluation, there was insufficient data to reliably examine the individual effects of all components of the new system. MUARC suggest that the evaluation should be re-run when 2 to 3 years more data is available.

In 2016, a further evaluation of the GDL reforms was conducted with a more substantial data set. The evaluation was conducted by Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research of the University of New South Wales. Consistent with evidence from other jurisdictions, the evaluation results show some crash and casualty reductions for novice drivers over time. However, a high safety risk remains for drivers immediately after the transition from supervised driving in the learner period to unsupervised driving in the provisional licence period. 

The department commissioned the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland to conduct a literature review of evidence on driver training and education, including simulator-based training. Three reports were delivered:

  1. Trends in driver education and training
  2. Simulators for skills acquisition and assessment
  3. Evidence-based driver education policy options

Motorcycle rider safety

The department commissioned a 3-year project investigating motorcycle rider safety, funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. The project was conducted by researchers at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland, and investigated pre-learner training, reviewed the Q-Ride Consistent Assessment Process, and investigated interventions for reducing risk taking and improving higher-order cognitive skills (including hazard perception) among new riders.

Unlicensed driving and unregistered vehicle use

The department commissioned a 3-year project investigating unlicensed driving and unregistered vehicle use, funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. The project was conducted by researchers at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland. The project was conducted by researchers at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q). The project considered the following:

  • the estimated the prevalence of unregistered vehicle use in Queensland
  • the links between unlicensed driving and unregistered vehicle use
  • developed, compared and trialled methods for estimating the rate of unlicensed driving in Queensland
  • identified the personal and social factors underpinning unlicensed driving
  • investigated the crash involvement pattern of unlicensed drivers.
  • Overall summary report

Trial of the minimum passing distance road rule

A 2-year trial of road rules specifying minimum distances for motorists passing bicycle riders on Queensland roads commenced on 7 April 2014. The department commissioned the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland to perform an evaluation of the trial. The evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the rule in terms of its practical implementation, impact on road users’ attitudes and perceptions and road safety benefits. 

Last updated
26 May 2020