Drive safely and drive to the conditions and your own capabilities.
That’s the simple message from Moreton Bay Region Inspector Lee Jeffries as he launched the seventh annual Road Safety Week at Caboolture yesterday.
Joining local police for the launch at the Caboolture BP northbound were the SES, Queensland Fire Service officers, local Ambulance paramedics and Main Roads staff.
Inspector Jeffries says the state’s road toll so far this year is alarming, with 174 people killed on our roads – 20 more than at the same time last year, and 49 more than in 2019.
In the Moreton Bay Region, 13 people have lost their lives – equal to the number of deaths at the same time in 2020, but double the number who had died at the same time in 2019.
“While the Fatal Five are always primary considerations as factors with road deaths, the main theme I see is driving inappropriately to the road conditions,” Inspector Jeffries says.
The Fatal Five are Drink and Drug Driving, Speeding, Seatbelts, Distraction and Fatigue.
More than one in four riders and drivers who die on Australian roads have a blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit, with drug use increasing the risk of being involved in a crash.
Speeding just 5kmh over the limit in urban areas and 10kmh over the limit in rural areas doubles the risk of a crash and people not wearing seatbelts are eight times more likely to die in an accident.
Inspector Jeffries says putting road safety first should be a priority every time you use the road, whether you’re a driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicycle rider or motorcycle rider.
As part of Queensland Road Safety Week people are encouraged to “sign up for road safety” by sharing their safety messages by making a sign, taking a photo and sharing it through social media using @StreetSmartsQld or #QRSW2021.
Inspector Jeffries says the over-representation of young people in the Moreton Bay Region’s fatalities and road trauma is tragic.
“It’s multiple factors – we have had three crashes where multiple people in the same vehicle have been killed.
“Two of those crashes resulted in the deaths of four persons in their 20s and late teens.”
Inspector Jeffries says there are multiple impacts right across the community associated with each crash, starting with the families of those involved and reaching emergency services personnel and hospital staff – and they have life-long effects.
“We want to remind motorists that your behaviour on the road has a direct consequence on your life and those around you,” he says.
“My single message is drive safely, drive to the conditions and your own capabilities because your life and everybody else’s depends on it.”