A joint research centre launched by Curtin and Monash University aims to reduce the death toll on Western Australian roads.
The recently launched Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre (C-MUARC) will research various issues including risk taking by young WA drivers and safety design features of local cars.
The centre, supported by the Office for Road Safety, is the first of its kind in the state. The launch is timely as WA has the second highest number of fatalities per 100,000 people in Australia.
In his opening speech Interim Director Professor Ian Johnson said the Centre would ensure there was better focus on WA’s unique road safety issues.
‘Western Australia is different. It’s got bigger regional and remote issues than say Victoria. It’s not a black and white case of whether road safety measures work or don’t work. They work to a degree in different places for different reasons. Understanding the relationship between the application of the measures and what you get out the other end is a really important part of the research.’
‘That’s why WA needs a local capacity. That’s why we are so excited to bring Monash University and Curtin together.’
C-MUARC will be part of Curtin’s School of Public Health, which Professor Johnson says is a symbolic gesture.
‘It’s unique in that it’s married the health approach to road safety with the transport approach.’
The centre will also make recommendations to the State Government on how to improve road safety in WA based upon research findings. C-MUARC also aims to make research findings and recommendations available to the public.
Dr Andrew Robertson, the Department of Health representative on the Road Safety Council, welcomed the launch of the independent WA-based road safety research centre.
‘A crucial role for C-MUARC will be to provide specific knowledge, research and evidence to assist in developing and delivering effective road safety initiatives across metropolitan, regional and remote WA, in line with our road safety strategy, Towards Zero.’
‘The Road Safety Council is pleased that the open tender process has resulted in a collaboration between these two groups that are already world renowned and respected for their contribution to road safety research.’