The long-term crash involvement of unlicensed drivers and riders in Queensland, Australia

Watson, Barry C. & Steinhardt, Dale A. (2007) The long-term crash involvement of unlicensed drivers and riders in Queensland, Australia. In International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety (ICADTS), August 26 - 30, Seattle, USA.

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Australian and international research has consistently found that unlicensed drivers and motorcycle riders are over-represented in serious crashes, and that these crashes are more likely to involve high-risk behaviours like drink driving and speeding. This paper reviews the long-term crash involvement of unlicensed drivers and riders in the Australian state of Queensland, utilising police-reported crash data for the years 1995 – 2004. Over this ten year period, the involvement of unlicensed controllers in reported crashes remained relatively stable. They consistently represented between 3% - 4% of all controllers involved in total crashes, and between 6% - 10% of those involved in fatal crashes, confirming their overrepresentation in more serious crashes. However, the proportion of unlicensed riders involved in motorcycle crashes was more variable and higher than was the case for unlicensed drivers, at all crash severity levels. For example, during the period, unlicensed riders accounted for between 7% - 14% of motorcycle riders involved in total crashes and 9% - 30% of all those involved in fatal crashes. The involvement of key contributing factors in the crashes involving unlicensed controllers also appears relatively stable. Among those unlicensed controllers involved in serious casualty crashes, 23% - 33% had alcohol or drugs in their system (compared to 3% - 7% for licensed controllers), 10% - 14% were judged to be speeding (compared to 2% - 3% for licensed controllers), and 25% - 34% were judged to be inattentive/negligent (compared to 17% - 19% for licensed controllers). Although more variable over time, unlicensed controllers were also consistently over-represented in single vehicle crashes compared to their licensed counterparts. Together, the findings of this study confirm that both unlicensed drivers and riders remain a concern for road safety. The relative stability in their crash-involvement patterns, particularly among unlicensed drivers, suggests that more targeted countermeasures are required to better address this problem. In particular, unlicensed riders represent a special sub-group of concern.

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ID Code: 10553
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: CARRS, Q, unlicensed riders, unlicensed drivers, unlicensed driving offenders, unlicensed riding offenders, offender types, road safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:48

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