May 09, 2019People & Industry

The Road Safety Wave

National Road Safety Week happens every year from May 6 – 12. The initiative is about highlighting the impact of road trauma and encouraging a move towards zero fatalities by improving unsafe driving and roads. While the movement is still growing, it’s one that really does require attention from everyone, because it’s an issue that effects everyone that ever uses a road.

Emerging technologies are making the road safer. The rapid advancements in autonomous technologies and vehicle safety systems making cars smarter and insulating drivers from human error. In the natural gas industry, for example, data is used to increase driver accountability and monitor vehicle performance. In Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS) devices are fitted in vehicles with software that monitors driver behaviour and vehicle health. IVMS isn’t new but its application is rapidly becoming more technically functional as the data spans more vehicles.

Commercial drivers are also receiving increased training. Heather Jones from the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls says the organisation exists to give drivers real-world training.

“All companies want experienced drivers, and that’s not possible without real life experience. Over the last 3 years PHHG has provided 60 people with training who have gone on to find work,” says Heather.

Heather is currently on the road, driving between Karratha and Brisbane to spread the word about road safety and educate communities about truck drivers and the industry more broadly for National Road Safety Week.

Road safety is an issue framed by developing digital intervention and ANCAP ratings. That’s because they work. However, in the spirit of Road Safety Week it bears asking; ‘What can we do today, on our drive home, to make the road safer?’

We can wave.

When stressed; running late or at risk of getting lost, we tend to drive more dangerously as our focus is pulled from the road by our emotional state. We get distracted and we make bad or difficult to predict decisions that increase risk.

So again, what can you do on you commute today to make the road safer.


If someone waves to you, return their wave. If someone doesn’t wave back, don’t sweat it. Spread your waves thin and they will start to pile in.v

Lower the bar on what it takes to draw a wave from you. Don’t wait for a driver to let you in or be patient as you reverse parallel park. The Wave is like an uncertain dress code. It’s always better to be overdressed.

The Wave is a courtesy, and it’s a basic one. If you can do your part to increase road courtesy today, your chance of a encountering a courteous driver tomorrow is higher. The Wave does it’s own, small bit to keep the temperament of the roads stable. It helps keeps us at least a little bit calm in snaking, inexplicable gridlock. It helps to remind us that we are not in traffic, we are traffic.

As Heather says, “Drive so others survive. It’s all about changing your mindset and taking consideration the other person on the road”.

The Wave makes us better drivers. So, wave. And stay off your phone. Drive safe.