BLOG: “What happens on the road is symptomatic of what happens in society”


“What happens on the road is symptomatic of what happens in society”. This was one of the more powerful statements from WA Road Safety Commissioner, Kim Papalia’s session at the Know Injury Knowledge Exchange as he outlined the impact of injury on adults between the ages of 25 to 64. Not content to simply sit by, the passion from the audience was clear; with so many questions the Commissioner could barely finish his presentation.

“There is no silver bullet”

This session was an eloquent call to action for businesses, not for profits, and government agencies, particularly local government authorities. The message was clear. No singular agency can stop road trauma; to be successful, we need a collaborative, whole community approach.

“Local projects for local communities”

This is where regional workers can get involved. It was rightly pointed out that what works to reduce road trauma in the Pilbara may not work in the Wheatbelt and that success is dependent on our ability to understand the communities in which we work.

Understanding people’s behaviour, how to influence that behaviour and most importantly, working together with other community groups and agencies are three key ways that the injury prevention sector can take legitimate steps “towards zero”.

This way we can achieve a state where our citizens are “more likely to…win the lottery” than die in a car crash, rather than the reverse.


Written by Marc Zen, Know Injury