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The Safety of International Visitors on Australian Roads - a Joint Report

By Barry C. Watson, Deborah J. Tunnicliff, Jane L. Manderson and Erin L. O'Connor


This report has been jointly prepared by CARRS-Q and Queensland Transport to inform the development of a National Road Safety Strategy for International Visitors 2004-2010. It examines the crash and offence involvement of international visitors in road crashes in Australia, at both the national and state levels. While it remains difficult to quantify the full extent of the problem, the available data suggests that international visitors represent a relatively small proportion of the overall number of road users killed and injured in Australia. Nationally, international licence holders represented only 0.7% of the total number of motor vehicle operators involved in fatal crashes between 1996 and 1999. However, a major exception is the Northern Territory, where in the period 1998-2002, international visitors represented over 13% of road fatalities and almost 8% of injuries. International visitors appear to experience problems associated with driving in unfamiliar conditions. Their crashes are more likely to involve: failure to wear seat belts; driver fatigue; the overturning of vehicles; and incidents which appear to involve disorientation, such as head-on and angle crashes, and failure to keep left (particularly among drivers from right-side driving countries). Little information is available about the factors that contribute to crashes among international pedestrians or cyclists

Topics: 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience, 150703 Road Transportation and Freight Services, 111716 Preventive Medicine, International visitors, road crashes, traffic offences, road safety
Publisher: CARRS-Q
Year: 2004
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