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Roads scholars to launch new high-tech safety study

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Sir Ride Alot, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Roads scholars to launch new high-tech safety study

    DateApril 13, 2013 David McCowen

    Drivers will be watched for millions of kilometres as part of a study that could shift national traffic policy.

    Cameras inside and outside cars will film 400 volunteers in Victoria and New South Wales, as road experts led by University of NSW professor Mike Regan conduct the most thorough traffic safety study in Australian history.

    The study aims to analyse the cause of crashes and change driver education and road safety campaigns.

    John Wall, manager of road safety technology with NSW Roads and Maritime Services, said the study was unlike any other done in Australia.

    The cameras would record how drivers behaved and reacted in ''real world'' situations.

    ''It's a little bit like reality TV for road safety researchers,'' he said. The cameras would capture what happened in real crashes and gather valuable data, he said.

    A similar study by the US Department of Transportation and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, involving 241 drivers, surprised authorities by showing that 80 per cent of collisions were caused by the situation or driver inattention.

    The researchers believed driver distraction was the main cause of accidents.

    Professor Regan said the Australian study would look closely at drivers not paying adequate attention. ''That's the biggest contributing factor we know of for crashes,'' he said.

    Professor Regan's team will look for a wide spectrum of volunteers, including drivers with disabilities and people who use prescription medication.

    The study will have an even split between urban and rural users in NSW and Victoria.

    Two pilot vehicles are already on the road, calibrating sensors that will be used when the study starts next year.

    A ''Mobileye'' safety system will use a combination of radar and camera sensors to record potential collisions of a type not recorded in Australia.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/roads-scholars-to-launch-new-hightech-safety-study-20130412-2hr33.html#ixzz2QIUpA9eA
  2. what an absolute complete waste of time and taxpayer money. These guys are only interested in creating work for themselves.

    Our elected really need to look at the funding these universities receive and start to divert it elsewhere.
  3. Looks (heavily qualified) reasonably positive to me. First off, it's not MUARC and, secondly, it looks to be actually gathering proper data rather than analysing tick boxes completed by 21 year old constables who want to get home for tea.

    Initial comments seem to acknowledge that factors other than speed are likely to be important.

    Let's see what transpires instead of condemning it out of hand.
  4. SRA as usual has this issue
  5. Sounds like helpful research to me. The fact that they're acknowledging driver distraction to be a major concern is very positive.
  6. Yep, you can not dismiss out of hand data gathered, Particularly if the methodology is fully documented, What we should be wary of are the studies where the results are massaged to support some particular prejudice, as per Muarc, TAC etc.
  7. I can already tell you the outcome.

    Distractions do cause accidents but we will need another ten years and another massive amount of money for an in depth study.

    Meanwhile people have to pay a shit load of taxes to fund this crap.
  8. FWIW: I think that MUARC get too readily dismissed on this forum. You can make arguments that they're asking the wrong questions, and certainly their findings get spun by journalists and policy makers to support their agenda, but the MUARC reports that I've read have been fairly sensible and objective. They're completely up front about who's been funding their research, how they've gathered their data and what methods they've used to analyse it. All of their original reports are freely available to the public on their website, and the ones I've read have been a lot more nuanced than the newspaper coverage would have you believe.

    They've also demonstrated some amount of willingness to bite the hand that feeds them, e.g. a TAC-sponsored study arguing that TAC advertising was ineffective.
  9. Talk about good timing.

    University sector to be hit in Gonski reforms

    Date April 13, 2013 - 4:52PM Judith Ireland

    The federal government has announced $2.8 billion worth of cuts to the universities and self education in order to free up funds for its Gonski school reforms.

    In Canberra on Saturday, Minister for Tertiary Education Craig Emerson said that three "substantial savings" had been identified to support school funding.

    He explained that the government was ensuring that young people had a "flying start in life."

    Dr Emerson said the university sector would be be hit with an efficiency dividend of 2 per cent and 1.25 per cent in the coming two years, saving about $900 million. A further $230 million would be saved by cutting the ten per cent discount students and parents currently enjoy if they pay their university fees up front.

    Dr Emerson said that $1.2 billion would be saved by requiring students on start up scholarships to pay the money back, when they had hit an earning threshold.

    This followed an announcement from Treasurer Wayne Swan on Saturday that the government would save a further $520 million by cracking down on tax deductions for self-education expenses.

    The government has not yet specified how much it will contribute to the Gonski reforms, which will be funded by contributions from the federal and state governments.

    But significant funds will need to be found for the education package, which is expected to need an extra $6.5 billion a year when it is up and running.

    Funds are expected to be tight in the May budget. Late late year, Treasurer Wayne Swan abandoned Labor's plan for a surplus in 2012-13, in the face of falling tax revenue.

    Dr Emerson would not be drawn on whether there were more cuts to the education sector to come in the budget.

    But he said there was strong growth in the sector.

    ‘‘What I’m indicating is still, very strong growth in university funding.’’

    He said that nothing in the measures announced would stop students from lower incomes from attending university.

    Cuts condemned by university sector

    Professor Fred Hilmer, vice chancellor of the University of New South Wales and chair of the G08, slammed the cuts, describing them as ''short sighted'' and ''cynical''.

    "This is a bitterly disappointing, short sighted move on the part of a Government which claims education as one of its highest priorities. It is an absurdity to seek to provide students with a better education at school by providing a worse experience at university,'' he said.

    Universities Australia chairman Glyn Davis said the efficiency dividend would place ''severe strain'' on the sector, which had been encouraged to expand enrolments to enable greater access to higher education. He added that the cuts came on top of the $1 billion that had already been taken out of the system six months ago as part of the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul

    Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie called the cuts "appalling".

    "Yes, the Government needs to find the money to fund the Gonski education reforms as well as the National Disability Insurance Scheme. But to try and do so by stripping money out of tertiary education is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Frankly it makes a mockery of all the Labor Party talk about education funding reform," he said in a statement.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the only way to get the investment needed in education was to ''build a stronger economy.''

    ''And you never build a stronger economy by taxing it and regulating it in the way this government has,'' he told reporters in Sydney.

    The Australian Greens said the funding cuts were the direct result of the "government's failure to fix the mining tax."

    "Cutting one area of education to fund another is wrong," Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/university-sector-to-be-hit-in-gonski-reforms-20130413-2hry2.html#ixzz2QKh486FN