TIO Shows Great Social Responsibility – Well Done!

The media and our politicians love to knock the insurance industry (Bill Shorten was at it again this week) and yet so many insurance companies, brokers and others in the Insurance Industry do great things over and pay out billions of dollars in claims and put people’s lives back together.

Much of the extra work goes into community initiatives that really benefit society and take the pressure ofF government.

I would like to applaud one such initiative. It is the Party Safe Program run by the Territory Insurance Office (“TIO”) in the Northern Territory.

As the administrator of the Motor Accidents Compensation Scheme in the Northern Territory, TIO were acutely aware of the number of road deaths in the Territory. The research they conducted revealed the following disturbing facts:

  • The risk of being killed on a Northern Territory road was up to three times greater an than elsewhere in Australia.
  • The risk of being killed in a car crash in the Territory was the highest of any developed country.
  • Half of all fatal crashes in the NT involved drink-driving. 48% involved a driver being over the legal blood alcohol limit.
  • In more than half the fatal accidents, seat belts were not being worn where available.
  • For every fatality, 10 people are seriously injured. Many of these injuries are life-changing. As with the fatalities, alcohol was a major contributing factor.

While alcohol and partying feature heavily in Australian culture, the effect of alcohol on drivers appeared not to be fully appreciated by Territorians.  The following statistics confirm this:

  • 1 in 314 drive over the legal limit in my home state of Victoria
  • 1 in 192 drive over legal limit in Queensland – the state where I was born.
  • 1 in 42 drive over legal limit in the Northern Territory!

What this means is that a road user is eight times more likely to share the road with a drink driver in the NT than they are in Victoria.

While more policing helps, educating the public on the risks was seen to be an extremely important method of changing the culture of mixing alcohol and road use.

Having identified a real community problem and the need for education, TIO went about tackling the problem by developing the “Party Safe” road safety community education program. The primary focus being to raise the awareness of the risks associated with drink-driving.

Party Safe operates at major sporting, community, entertainment and cultural events across the Northern Territory. They are not doing heavy-handed lecturing, but rather arming those in attendance with information. What also impresses me is that while there is TIO branding it is subtle and does not detract from the main message.

What I find really great is that with all the events that the program covers, it is staffed entirely by volunteer staff from TIO. It is not the same people doing it week after week, but the last time I asked it was oversubscribed with people wanting to help the good cause. I can see why, I wanted to be part of it myself when I saw it in action.

The Party Safe program began in 2009 with 1 marquee at a few events but now has 2 marquees, a van and a presence at around 15+ events annually.

Well done TIO on your great example of fantastic corporate responsibility and social conscience and to all your staff who so willingly give up their time for such a worthwhile cause.

I am pleased to say that the Party Safe program won the State Government Initiatives Award at the Australian Road Safety Award in 2011 and this was due mainly to the volunteers who make this program possible.

While I know TIO are doing this for all the right reasons, I do hope they continue to get this sort of much-deserved recognition for the program. TIO and their staff really deserve it.

One response to “TIO Shows Great Social Responsibility – Well Done!”

  1. Gerry Sweeney says:

    Allan,
    Thank you for raising the profile of the teams efforts
    Every one at TIO fully supports this initiative and are willing to give up their time out of hours and on weekends to participate in the programme
    It brings a very humane face to our business

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