Take the Fatality Free Friday pledge

Take the Fatality Free Friday pledge

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, there’s more of us on the roads than there has been in months. What better time to make this Friday, Fatality Free Friday?

It’s an Australian Road Safety Foundation initiative which aims to make Friday, May 29, free of fatalities, but also aims for long-term community change.

Drivers are urged to make a pledge online to always be fit to drive; stay focused on the road; scan the road ahead; keep a safe distance; and drive to suit the conditions.

The tally is more than 480,000 pledges so far this year across Australia.

Moreton Crime Prevention Unit Officer-in-Charge Sergeant Sarah Grayson says with more people out and about after an easing of restrictions, it’s a timely reminder to drive safely.

Sgt Grayson says there have been a couple of fatalities in the Moreton District this year and more broadly the Southern region which takes in Chinchilla, where three people died in a crash last week.

Every six seconds someone is killed or seriously injured on the road in Australia and about 1300 people die each year.

She says these crashes have a huge impact on not only the families and friends of those who have died, but also the broader community and the first-responders called to the crash site.

The key is to have more courtesy and patience.

“I’m calling on everybody to get on board and take the pledge. If anyone’s making the effort to go on the website and sign the pledge, they’re more likely to think about their driving on Friday,” Sgt Grayson says.

Fatality Free Friday 29th May 2020

As road users, whether that be as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, the choices we make on the road can often be the different between life and death. In the lead up to Fatality Free Friday on May 29, take the pledge to #ChooseRoadSafety.

Posted by Australian Road Safety Foundation on Sunday, May 24, 2020

Risk increases as restrictions ease

“Schools are back and it’s very busy in school zones. The 40km/hr speed limit is being enforced, so allow a few extra minutes at these times of the day,” Sgt Grayson says.

“Kids are very excited and easily distracted, especially in this first week back seeing their friends.”

For them, remembering road safety rules when crossing the street might not be top of mind.

Add to this the fact that schools are asking parents to drop children off instead of parking and walking them in, and it’s a busy and dangerous place at peak times.

Day trippers are hitting the roads with gusto, and police are urging them to drive safely, stop for rest breaks, tell someone where they’re going and pack some essentials in case they break down or get stuck somewhere.

Avoid the fatal five

  • Speeding is a major factor in serious and fatal traffic crashes. Speeds just 5km/hr over the speed limit in urban areas are enough to double the risk of a casualty crash.
  • Drink driving is the number one contributing factor in 30% of fatal crashes in Australia. More than one-in-four drivers and riders killed on Australian roads have a blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit.
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt is one of the leading causes of road crash death. Unrestrained drivers and passengers are eight times more likely to be killed in a road crash.
  • Drug driving is an increasing road safety problem. Drug use is associated with being involved in a crash - the risk is similar to driving with blood alcohol of 0.1 to 0.15%.
  • Almost 1 in 4 Australian drivers ignore medication warning labels and continue to drive after taking prescription drugs. Health professionals agree that some medications can impair your ability to drive and impact on traffic safety.
  • Fatigue. Fall-asleep crashes are usually severe, resulting in serious injury and death, as the driver makes no attempt to avoid the crash. A driver who has been awake for 17 hours has a driving ability similar to a driver with blood alcohol concentration of 0.05.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving is highly distracting and increases your risk of a crash four-fold, even when using a hands-free kit. Despite the dangers and illegality, around 60% of drivers have admitted using their mobile phone to talk and text

Don’t be a victim

If you’ve been out driving, make sure you lock your car and remove valuables when you park, particularly if you’re going on a day trip. Don’t leave items on display and make sure you take your keys with you.

Number plate theft is an ongoing problem. You can protect yours by installing one-way screws. The screws only cost a few dollars and are available from stores such as Super Cheap Auto. You can also get them from your local police station most of the time. It costs $120 to replace a stolen number plate, so it’s worth the investment.

Want to make the Fatality Free Friday pledge? Visit the website.

For more news and updates from across the region, head to our blog.

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