Indigenous Road Safety

Aboriginal people are over-represented in road trauma in Australia. They are 3 times more likely to die on the roads and 1.4 times more likely to be seriously injured than non-Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal people are disproportionately represented in statistics relating to drink driving, unlicensed driving, not wearing seat belts, pedestrian collisions and unsafe travel such as riding in the back of trucks and utilities.

Since 1971, the rates of road injury involving Aboriginal people have been increasing while the rates for non-Aboriginal people have been decreasing.


The Department of Health provides information about the number of Aboriginal people admitted to hospital annually, by road user group.

This information is available in the Road Safety Council’s Annual Crash Statistics booklet.

Figure 1 - 2012 Hospital Inpatients by Indigenous Status by Road User Group
(Data: Department of Health)

Figure 2 - 2012 Hospital Inpatients by Indigenous Status by Road User Group
(Data: Department of Health)


Indigenous Drink Driving & Licensing Kit

The Road Safety Commission, on behalf of the Road Safety Council, produced a resource kit for Aboriginal people in Western Australia called Your Licence is Your Life: Indigenous Drink Driving and Licensing Kit.

The kit includes:

  • A short DVD starring Mary G about how to deal with the process of getting your licence, drink driving and the practical driving assessment. These videos can be viewed at the bottom of this section.
  • An interactive CD based on the Learner’s Permit theory test.  This contains interactive question and answers to help people get ready to apply for the Permit. The CD includes five practice quizzes, with the option to listen to an Indigenous voice-over instead of reading the questions, helping people prepare for the interactive computer-based Learner’s Permit theory test.  Information on where to go for further information on issues such as fines and payments is also provided. This resource is also available here.

The resource kit was launched in 2011. Be sure to check with the appropriate authorities that you have the most current forms and information.


The Road Safety Commission is involved in a range of projects which address Aboriginal road safety. Current projects include:

  • Regional and remote areas vehicle project – The Road Safety Commission is investigating which vehicles meet the  needs of people in remote areas while also providing five star safety. This information on safer vehicles which are fit for purpose and suitable for remote conditions will be circulated online and in brochure form.
  • Remote area safe system demonstration project – The Road Safety Commission has worked with Bidyadanga Aboriginal community to work towards establishing a safer system, with safer roads, safer vehicles, safer behaviour and safer speeds, at this community.


Since 2006 the Road Safety Commission and Goolarri media have forged a strong working partnership to deliver Indigenous specific road safety messages to the people of the Kimberley.  Goolarri Media was recognised in 2006 and 2007 by winning AVPA (Australian Video Producers Awards) for their drink driving television commercials.

Advertising is written and produced by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.

Goolarri Media is a not-for-profit media and events organisation based in Broome, Western Australia.  This nationally recognised organisation produces and delivers television and radio services to the Kimberley region of Western Australia as outlined by the following map.  

View the campaign material here.

Other Resources

Department of Transport

Further information about licensing can be obtained from the Department of Transport:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is committed to working to close the gap in Indigenous health. Their comprehensive online resource has a specific section dedicated to Indigenous Road Safety, which offers high quality research into this important area. Key sections include resources, policies, programs, publications, strategies, reports, news and events. You can join the free online yarning place for Road Safety which supports the sharing of knowledge and experiences amongst people working in that area

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Published: 30/6/2015 10:33:41 PM