Australia focuses on driveway safety

Making the nation's driveways safer has been one of the government's top priorities in recent years. This topic was even the focus of 2012's National Road Safety Forum.

Now driveway safety is the subject of a discussion paper, titled Driveway Safety Design Guidelines, which was launched by Catherine King, minister for road safety, on 25 June.

This paper outlines different home and driveway designs that will hopefully protect children from being accidentally injured or killed by drivers on their doorsteps.

Improving visibility for drivers is key, as is ensuring children are supervised when they are near roads where vehicles may be present.

"On average, seven children are killed on private properties every year as a result of moving motor vehicles, and around 60 more are seriously injured," said Ms King.

She explained that young children are most at risk, with those under the age of five making up 90 per cent of driveway deaths.

Such accidents usually occur at a child's own home, and it is often a family member who is behind the wheel. Because of this, Ms King said, the government is "committed to investigating ways to avoid these devastating incidents".

Ms King added that there is no single solution to this problem, though the paper does emphasise that driveway and vehicle design play a major role in such incidents.

For instance, vehicle's with reversing cameras could make it easier for drivers to see if a child runs out behind their car and brake in time. The government recently announced that research would be conducted into the effectiveness of such cameras.

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