Indigenous Road Safety

Aboriginal people are over-represented in road trauma in Australia. In Western Australia, Aboriginal people make up 4% of the population, but 9% of those killed on the roads and 8% of those who are seriously injured. These vulnerable road users are around three times more likely to die in road crashes than non-Indigenous Western 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 2010 Reported Road Crashes in Western Australia (174 page PDF 1.2 MB)

Figure 1 - 2010 Hospital Inpatients by Indigenous Status by Road User Group
(Data: Department of Health)

Table 2 - 2010 Hospital Inpatients by Indigenous Status by Road User Group
(Data: Department of Health)


Indigenous Drink Driving & Licensing Kit

The Office of Road Safety, on behalf of the RSC, 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:

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 Office of Road Safety has projects on hand which address Aboriginal road safety.

  • Regional and remote area vehicle project – The Office of Road Safety is in the process of determining which vehicles meet the needs of people in remote areas while also providing five star safety.

  • Remote area safe system demonstration project – The Office of Road Safety has worked with Bidyadanga Aboriginal community to develop a safe system, with safe roads, safe vehicles, safe behaviour and safe speeds, at this community.

  • Roebourne voluntary alcohol interlock trial – Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation in Roebourne have worked with the Office of Road Safety to promote the use of alcohol interlocks on a voluntary basis. Findings from this trial will feed into the development of the Repeat Drink Driving Strategy.



Since 2006 the Office of Road Safety 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: 1/7/2014 1:04:59 PM