Queensland drivers urged to take care to avoid Christmas carnage on roads

This Christmas Queensland is saluting ‘dry drivers’ who do their bit to keep their family and friends safe on the roads

Police Minister Bill Byrne and Acting Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Leeanne Enoch said this year’s Christmas road safety campaign – Dry Driver – recognised the importance of designated drivers.

Launching the 2015 Christmas Road Safety Campaign alongside Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and officers from Road Policing Command, Minister Byrne urged all road users to take extra care over the festive season.

“Already this year we have seen too many funerals and too much trauma linked to road accidents,” Mr Byrne said.

“There have been 228 deaths already in 2015 and each fatality and every crash which injures or maims is one too many.

“The emphasis of this holiday’s enforcement campaign is on drink driving, which complements the advertising campaign that gets under way today.

“I’m also urging all those who are planning long journeys to take their time and plan for regular breaks to avoid fatigue.

“The carnage that is unfortunately associated with driving at this time of year has to stop.”

Minister Enoch said drink driving caused one in five fatalities on Queensland roads.

“If you are going to celebrate with a drink this Christmas and New Year season, make a plan before you head out,” Ms Enoch said.

“We need to do everything we can to stay safe on our roads and being a ‘dry driver’ is one way to play your part.”

Commissioner Stewart said the 2015 police campaign would focus on the fatal five of speeding, drink or drug driving, fatigue, seat belts and distraction and promised police would be highly visible during a state-wide operation up to midnight on January 29, 2016.

“I’m always saddened with any loss of life or injury on our roads. We will only stop these tragedies if all road users commit to obeying the road rules and drive to the conditions.

“Police will be highly visible throughout the holiday period. A number of operations will take place throughout the state and we will continue to enforce the road rules.

“If you offend you will be caught – everyone must play their part in road safety whether it is by complying with the road rules, enforcing them, or educating others in safe behaviours,” the Commissioner said.

Last year’s Christmas period saw 22 people lose their lives and 1,649 injury crashes. Police conducted 518,264 breath tests with 3,208 returning a positive reading.

Out of 1232 drug tests, 372 drug drivers were detected. Police caught 29,586 speeders, detected 2928 mobile phone offences and 1938 seat belt offences.

The Palaszczuk Government’s Dry Driver campaign starts today and will include TV, radio, digital, cinema and outdoor advertising and a strong social media presence.

“While having broad appeal, the campaign specifically targets males, who make up almost 86% of drink drivers in fatal crashes,” Ms Enoch said.

“Everyone processes alcohol differently, making it impossible to predict whether you’re under the legal limit or not.

“Counting drinks is especially challenging with so many new products on the market with varying levels of alcohol and a range of serving sizes.

“It is just so simple to stay safe by designating a driver, arranging a lift, catching a cab or public transport or staying at a mate’s house.

“We need to thank and appreciate every designated dry driver for their consideration, good sense and goodwill as they are the people, along with the police, who will be making our roads safer this festive season.”

Visit www.jointhedrive.qld.gov.au for more advice about staying safe on the road.


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