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Indigenous road safety in Australia and the "drivesafe NT remote" project

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Job, RFS and Bin-Sallik, MA
  • Journal Name: Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety
  • Journal Number: Volume 24 Issue 2 (Apr 2013)
  • Publisher: Australasian College of Road Safety
  • Published Location: Mawson, A.C.T.
  • ISBN: 1832-9497
  • Country: Australia

Indigenous Australians are substantially more likely than the non-Indigenous population to be killed or seriously injured in a road crash and much more likely to receive a custodial sentence for unlicensed driving. A number of projects in Australia have been designed to address these issues. The "DriveSafe NT Remote" Project makes advances on previous projects by providing an 'on-site' opportunity for Indigenous people to obtain a licence, by bringing a driver trainer and full Motor Vehicle Registry services to remote communities. The two-year trial program provides help with proof of identity, training, and licence testing. This paper describes the program, its implementation, the logic behind the expectation of road safety gains, and early results. Process analysis shows that a large proportion of clients needed help with proof of identity, which is challenging for many Indigenous people.


Interest within Indigenous communities has exceeded all expectations and 318 learner licences have been issued in less than a year of operation, passing the target of 280 licences that was set for the first two years of the program, while 67 drivers have moved from learner to provisional status or have advanced to public passenger vehicle licences. The DriveSafe NT Remote team has also issued another 125 licences outside of the project scope while in communities, including renewals and upgrades. They have also delivered training on Motor Vehicle Registry processes for many community members including local police officers, local government officers and teachers. The program has also generated flow-on benefits including increasing employment and social opportunities in remote communities.

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