The Palaszczuk Government has launched a world-first road safety campaign to encourage Queenslanders to ‘drive smarter, not faster’ ahead of the Easter long weekend.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the innovative campaign will use neuroscience to tackle the serious issue of speeding, with ads showing real-life driving situations captured on dash-cam.
“This is the first road safety campaign in the world to tap into neuroscience as a way of changing driving behaviour,” Minister Bailey said.
“With the help of a behavioural neuroscientist we devised eight simple exercises to help Queenslanders stop speeding, stop being distracted and focus on driving.
“The campaign which begins today, shows drivers in real situations. The dash-cam footage doesn’t hold back and shows the reality of speeding and distractions. It encourages Queenslanders to look at the simple techniques they can use to driver smarter, not faster.
Mr Bailey said research had shown speeding saved drivers just 77 seconds on an average urban commute.
“Yet more than one million speeding infringements were issued in Queensland last year. It’s time for this to change,” he said.
“Speeding continues to be a killer on Queensland roads, with almost 60 people killed each year because of speed.
“The Easter holiday period is just a few days away, and we ask all road users to heed the message of the campaign – driver smarter, not faster. Is gaining 77 seconds through speeding worth the risk to you or your loved ones?”
Mr Bailey said half of all speeding crashes happened at just one to 10km over the speed limit.
“There is no such thing as safe speeding. Speed limits are not a recommendation, they are the maximum allowable speed and are there to keep people safe,” Mr Bailey said.
“Low-range speeding is dangerous and not worth the little time you may save in your commute. I encourage all Queenslanders to visit the StreetSmarts website and try the experiments to see which ones work to help you slow down.”
Developed by leading Australian neuroscientist Lucia Kelleher, the experiments combine a mixture of actions to cater for cognitive and sensory learners.
“The experiments set drivers up with the tools to learn from the science of behaviour and habit change and then actively apply the techniques to break the entrenched habit of low-level speeding,” Dr Kelleher said.
“The research experiments were specifically designed to break this ‘auto-pilot’ mode by bringing drivers into the present and pay more attention to their speed.
“Queenslanders will be astonished to see what the experiments achieved.”
Mr Bailey urged all motorists to stick to the speed limit and be considerate of increased traffic on the roads during the Easter long weekend.
“Easter is generally a time spent with family and friends and we want it to be safe for all Queenslanders on the road,” he said.
Over last year’s Easter long weekend, four lives were tragically lost and 102 people were hospitalised as a result of crashes in Queensland.