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Designing university, government and industry community engagement to build informed and effective interventions in the area of road safety

Murray, Clare & Brownlow, Doug M. (2011) Designing university, government and industry community engagement to build informed and effective interventions in the area of road safety. In AUCEA International Conference, 11-13 July 2011, Sydney, NSW. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Individuals, community organisations and industry have always been involved to varying degrees in efforts to address the Queensland road toll.

Traditionally, road crash prevention efforts have been led by state and local government organisations. While community and industry groups have sometimes become involved (e.g. Driver Reviver campaign), their efforts have largely been uncoordinated and under-resourced. A common strength of these initiatives lies in the energy, enthusiasm and persistence of community-based efforts. Conversely, a weakness has sometimes been the lack of knowledge, awareness or prioritisation of evidence-based interventions or their capacity to build on collaborative efforts.

In 2000, the Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) identified this issue as an opportunity to bridge practice and research and began acknowledging a selection of these initiatives, in partnership with the RACQ, through the Queensland Road Safety Awards program. After nine years it became apparent there was need to strengthen this connection, with the Centre establishing a Community Engagement Workshop in 2009 as part of the overall Awards program.

With an aim of providing community participants opportunities to see, hear and discuss the experiences of others, this event was further developed in 2010, and with the collaboration of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, the RACQ, Queensland Police Service and Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd, a stand-alone Queensland Road Safety Awards Community Engagement Workshop was held in 2010.

Each collaborating organisation recognised a need to mobilise the community through effective information and knowledge sharing, and recognised that learning and discussion can influence lasting behaviour change and action in this often emotive, yet not always evidence-based, area.

This free event featured a number of speakers representing successful projects from around Australia and overseas. Attendees were encouraged to interact with the speakers, to ask questions, and most importantly, build connections with other attendees to build a ‘community road safety army’ all working throughout Australia on projects underpinned by evaluated research.

The workshop facilitated the integration of research, policy and grass-roots action enhancing the success of community road safety initiatives. For collaboration partners, the event enabled them to transfer their knowledge in an engaged approach, working within a more personal communication process.

An analysis of the success factors for this event identified openness to community groups and individuals, relevance of content to local initiatives, generous support with the provision of online materials and ongoing communication with key staff members as critical and supports the view that the university can directly provide both the leadership and the research needed for effective and credible community-based initiatives to address injury and death on the roads.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 45846
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: road toll, road safety, Queensland
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
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
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Authors
Deposited On: 12 Sep 2011 09:59
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2011 09:59

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