Aboriginal road safety

People living in our remote regions face a range of health and social disadvantages that contribute to their risk of crashing. Poorer road conditions, delayed access to medical services, road hazards and the need to travel longer distances on higher speed or unsealed roads also increases this risk.

Low rates of vehicle ownership, make travelling in open load spaces and vehicle overcrowding common. Unlicensed driving is also a common occurrence.

Aboriginal people represent approximately 30% of the Northern Territory’s population but are tragically over-represented in our road safety statistics. Around 50% of NT road deaths and 30% of serious injuries are Aboriginal people.

Not wearing seatbelts is a factor in over 50% of these deaths.

Alcohol is the biggest contributing factor to road deaths involving Aboriginal people. Around half of these deaths are linked in whole or part to alcohol.

Current initiatives

What you can do

  • encourage others in your community to be safe and responsible drivers
  • if you have been drinking, don’t drive:
    • plan how you will get home, or
    • stay the night.
  • sign up for the DriveSafeNT Remote program if you are living in a remote community
  • ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy
  • expect the unexpected and drive to the speed limit
  • obey the road rules, buckle up and drive to the conditions of the vehicle and the road

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

 ActionsYearLeadSupport Safe System
1.3 Evaluate and strengthen road safety education programs including road safety education in the school curriculum. 2-3 DIPL / DOE   Safe road use
1.5 Enable expanded transport options including a review of urban and remote transport networks. 3-5 DIPL   Safe road use
Safe Vehicles
3.1 Continue to facilitate and expand the Aboriginal child restraint programs which provide access for the fitment of child restraints 2-5 MACC / DIPL DOE / DOH / Police Safe road use
7.1 Develop place based strategies and initiatives to create positive road safety culture in partnership with remote communities.   DIPL   Safe people
7.2 Continue to expand DriveSafe NT Remote to maximise road safety outcomes in communities. 1-2 DIPL   Safe people
7.3 Develop and deliver targeted and culturally appropriate road safety campaigns and messaging in language, including school resources. 1-2 DIPL DIPL / MACC/ POLICE Safe people
7.4 Develop strategies to address the over representation of Aboriginal people incarcerated for traffic offences. 1-2 DIPL ADG / DCM / Aboriginal Policy Safe people
7.4 Develop targeted and culturally appropriate strategies to minimise possible suspension of licenses, as a result of any unpaid fines. 1-2 DIPL / ADG   Safe people


Related links

  • Western Australia Road Safety Commission – Keeping your mob safe on the roads offers advice on how each community can approach businesses or groups outside the community to support funding road safety improvements.