Driveway Safety

The death or risk of serious injury to a child caused by a collision with a vehicle at home has understandably captured the attention of the broader Australian community in recent years. A series of tragic incidents involving small children prompted road safety and injury prevention specialists to examine the issues surrounding this problem and to consider potential solutions.

Driveway safety was a focus of the 2012 National Road Safety Forum. The forum considered the role of vehicle safety technologies, driver education and awareness campaigns, parental awareness and closer supervision, and housing design measures, and concluded that all of these approaches are important. This page provides further information about a number of these activities.

Driveway Safety Brochure

The brochure “Driveway Safety: Are your kids at risk?” provides advice about keeping children safe around vehicles at home. Copies are available on request and the brochure is available for download in a number of non-English languages.

Driveway Safety Design Guidelines

The Department worked with a number of industry experts to develop a proposed framework of design principles and measures, which could form the basis of a best practice, voluntary design guide to help home owners, builders and designers make choices that reduce the risks to children.

On 25 June 2013 the Department released a discussion paper setting out the proposed design principles and measures, seeking the views of all interested parties, with submissions received until 20 August 2013.

Submissions were received from 52 organisations and individuals, including state government agencies, local councils, community-based organisations, private business and the general public. The following report summarises the feedback received.

Child Pedestrian Safety Research

The Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report Child pedestrian safety: 'driveway deaths' and 'low-speed vehicle run-overs', Australia, 2001–10, is available from the BITRE website.

Reversing Camera Research

The Department has also been pursuing research into the effectiveness of reversing cameras in reducing casualties, both in driveways and on public roads. The report ‘Camera effectiveness and backover collisions with pedestrians: a feasibility study’ identifies international data sources in relation to back-over collisions with pedestrians and outlines how the effectiveness of reversing cameras could best be measured using the available international data sources. As this is a preliminary scoping study only, the report does not provide an actual estimate of reversing camera effectiveness.

A detailed second stage study has been jointly initiated by the Australian and NSW Governments.

Other Sources of Information

NRMA Insurance publishes a Reversing Visibility Index, which measures how well a driver can see out the back of a car.