Can you participate in a new driving study?

OPEN ROAD: Annually around 1,300 people die and 33,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Using a new research method, the Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), this study aims to provide Australia with answers to some significant road safety questions.

OPEN ROAD: Annually around 1,300 people die and 33,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Using a new research method, the Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), this study aims to provide Australia with answers to some significant road safety questions.

Car drivers are needed for Australia’s first Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), being led by the University of New South Wales in collaboration with several other leading universities. This study is part-funded by the NRMA.

The aim of the study is to improve road safety in Australia by better understanding how people drive in normal and safety-critical situations.

For the study, 360 participant drivers will have their own vehicles equipped for four months with a compact data collection system that records their driving behaviour, the behaviour of their vehicle and their interactions with other road users. The equipment is designed so as not to damage the vehicle or interfere with normal operations of the vehicle.

All vehicles will be equipped with the data collection system at a designated installation site by qualified technicians in Sydney or Melbourne. During the installation process, participants will be invited to complete a series of questionnaires, two physical tests (grip strength and rapid walking) and some non-invasive vision tests.

After that, participants will drive their vehicle as they normally would and, after four months, complete an exit questionnaire and have the data collection equipment removed by a qualified technician.

Participants, who complete the study satisfactorily, will receive two (2) $125 Coles-Myer Shopping vouchers (one after installation of study equipment and one after removal of study equipment).

To be eligible for this study, participants need to:

  • ​be between 20 and 70 years of age;
  • hold a valid NSW or Victorian driver’s licence (full licence only);
  • own a registered passenger vehicle (sedan, coupe, hatchback, station wagon, or sports utility vehicle/four-wheel drive) or have owner permission to use a registered passenger vehicle; and
  • drive at least 10 trips a week.

To register your interest, and for more information, please visit the study website at www.a​nds.unsw.edu.au or contact Dr Wu Yi Zheng by sending an email to ANDS@unsw.edu.au​. Thanks.

Australian Naturalistic Driving Study FAQs

How to keep your kids safe on their school commute

SAFE HANDS: Your child’s safety depends on you.

With school back across NSW this week, the NSW Centre for Road Safety has put together a list of tips for a safe start to the term. Parents, carers and kids, keep these in mind when travelling to and from school.

1. Make sure your children are in an appropriate child restraint that is fitted and used correctly.

2. Stick to the 40km/h speed limit in a school zone as children are about and can be unpredictable.

3. Look out for buses pulling out – watch for wig-wag lights.

4. Always park and turn legally around schools and avoid dangerous manoeuvres like U-turns and three-point turns.

5. Always give way to pedestrians particularly when entering and leaving driveways.

6. Drop the kids off and pick them up on the school side of the road in your school’s designated drop-off and pick-up area. Calling out to them from across the road can be dangerous because they may run to you without checking traffic.

7. It’s safest for the kids to get out of the car on the kerb side of the road to be away from passing traffic.

8. Plan your trip to school so you are using pedestrian crossing areas where possible.

9. Talk with your children about Stop, Look, Listen and Think every time they cross the road. STOP: one step back from the kerb. LOOK: for traffic to your right left and right again. LISTEN: for the sounds of approaching traffic. THINK: whether it is safe to cross.

10. Always hold your child’s hand. Children need your help to spot dangers such as vehicles coming out of driveways. They can also be easily distracted and wander into traffic.

For more information, please visit Transport for NSW’s Back to School Safety page: Transport for NSW’s Back to School Safety.

What tips do you have for making sure your kids stay safe on their commute to and from school?

Police demand motorists change attitude, after horror long weekend on roads

Police car Senior police are today pleading with motorists to take greater responsibility on NSW roads as the Easter long weekend road toll ended with four people dead, 189 injured and families torn apart.

Over the long weekend, four people died on NSW roads compared to two people last year, with 189 people being injured down 17 on last year (206 injured). Meanwhile, 243,888 breath tests were conducted resulting in 298 drink driving charges, and 4801 infringements notices were issued for speeding. 1300 Random Drug Tests performed that resulted in 222 positive tests.

Commander of Specialist Operations, Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said police are extremely disappointed that some motorists were not listening, and at worst, not thinking.

“Right now there are four people dead, including two young children, and families are left wondering why. One of the reasons is lack of attention. Not paying attention to the conditions. Not paying attention to their surroundings. And just not paying attention.

“While the Easter long weekend has ended, the school holidays have just begun, and there will be thousands of families taking a break.

“We are asking that all motorists change their attitude to driving, pay attention so they get to and from their destinations safely,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said while some of the traffic offence figures were down the motoring public needed to show greater concentration.

“Why speed when it’s raining, why let yourself become distracted, why get into a car when you have been drinking and drive, and why when you’re tired – would you keep driving. If they could, that’s the question those who have been killed or injured would like to ask.

“It appears the answer is impatience and complacency.

“Today I’m asking everyone who uses the roads, those on holidays, those going to and from work, pedestrians alike, to think about what they’re doing, if not for their own sake but for the sake of their family and friends,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Do you agree that the attitude of some motorists is to blame for accidents on our roads? 

10-year driver licence now available for eligible motorists

From 16 March 2015, holders of unrestricted class C and/ or R licences aged 21 to 44 are eligible to opt for a 10 year renewal.  This follows a recommendation of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal review called Reforming Licensing in NSW. The change has been introduced to enhance customer experience by minimising the amount of times a customer needs to attend a registry or service centre.

From 16 March 2015, holders of unrestricted class C and/ or R licences aged 21 to 44 are eligible to opt for a 10 year renewal. This follows a recommendation of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal review called Reforming Licensing in NSW.


From this month, holders of an unrestricted C and/or R class licence, aged 21 to 44 years are eligible for a 10-year driver licence.

Eligible customers who have no relevant offences recorded in the previous five years leading up to the date they renew their licences will receive the 50 per cent safe driver discount when renewing their licence.  If you are eligible for the discount, you will be advised at the time of renewal.

The introduction of 10-year driver licences will result in time and cost efficiencies for eligible motorists. The 10 year licence costs $316, while a 5 year licence costs $170. See Transport for NSW’s fees page for all costs associated with the licence.

All drivers can get a half price licence if you have a clean driving record for 5 years. If you are eligible for the 10-year licence, the half price discount is a bigger saving, which is an incentive to drive safely, particularly for young drivers.

The 10-year driver licence option is restricted to the 21 to 44 year age group to minimise the risks of facial changes making visual identification more difficult. It is also because people in older age groups need to have more frequent eyesight testing.

You can only apply for the 10-year driver’s licence when your licence is due for renewal.

If you have any further questions about the 10 Year Licence, see the Roads and Maritime Service FAQs. See this page more information on the Fair Go for Safe Drivers’ incentive scheme.

What do you think of this news?

The most misunderstood road rules in country areas

As part of Road Rules Awareness Week 2015, Transport for NSW asked Road Safety Officers working in local government to highlight the issues they have found most misunderstood in their local area. These were the results for officers working in country areas.

STOP MEANS STOP: You must stop completely at a stop sign, before reaching the stop line.

STOP MEANS STOP: You must stop completely at a stop sign, before reaching the stop line.

1. Stopping at children’s crossing
These part-time crossings operate when the orange children’s crossing flags are present. This could be just before and after school hours, during school excursions and at lunch time. When approaching a children’s crossing you must stop at the stop line if a pedestrian is on or entering the crossing. Some of these crossings also have school crossing supervisors, and you must stop when they display a hand held ‘stop’ sign.

2. Giving way at T-intersections
If you are travelling on a road that ends with a T-intersection, give way to pedestrians or vehicles travelling on the road that you are approaching, unless otherwise signposted.

3. Stop signs and stop lines
You must stop completely at a stop sign, before reaching the stop line.

4. Overtaking
Overtaking is one of the riskiest manoeuvres on the road. There are a number of rules about overtaking to make it safer, including not overtaking across a continuous line and not overtaking a turning vehicle. It’s important that you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and that you can safely overtake the vehicle ahead.  All other road rules apply, including the speed limit, when overtaking. If someone overtakes you, don’t increase your speed, keep left and give them reasonable space to pass and then move back into the lane.

5. Default speed limits
The default rural speed limit, which applies in non-built-up areas without signposted speed limits, is 100km/h.

“Learning to be a good driver doesn’t end with getting your driver’s licence – it requires practice and staying up to date with the road rules. Driving is all about risk management and we need our drivers to not only develop the knowledge and experience but also the attitude to become safer and smarter drivers,” says Centre for Road Safety General Manager Marg Prendergast.

“Whether you’re a driver, rider, pedestrian, cyclist or passenger – we all have a role to play in keeping our roads and each other safe so make sure you know what the road rules are and stick to them.”

Do you agree that these road rules are often not followed in the country?

Road Rules Awareness Week and the Top 10 Most Misunderstood Road Rules guide were launched in February 2013 following a community call for a clearer explanation of the road rules.

To learn more, call 13 22 13 or find the NSW Road Users’ Handbook.