Drivers urged to make safety a priority in the New Year
Motorists have been urged to put road safety at the front of their minds with this year’s road toll exceeding 2014’s record low by 19 deaths.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said, as at midnight last night, Queensland’s annual road toll was 242.
“While 2014’s Queensland road toll was the lowest ever recorded it’s disappointing that we could not reduce the number of fatalities even further in 2015,” Mr Bailey said.
This year’s road toll is the second lowest since records were first started in 1952. Across Australia there have been slight increases in the most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria.
“This heart-wrenching tally of 242 is a sober reminder that we all need to think safety first,” Mr Bailey said.
“As we begin the New Year, I urge Queenslanders to no longer accept this avoidable and tragic loss. It is up to each individual to take responsibility for their behaviour on the roads.”
The Palaszczuk Government is committed to road safety and driving the road toll down.
In August, the Government released its new Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan to reduce injury and curb the state’s road toll. The strategy sets a target to reduce the road toll below 200 by 2020 and reduce the number of hospitalisations from road crashes.
“Our goal is to eventually reduce the number of deaths on our roads to zero,” Mr Bailey said.
“This year we have commissioned education campaigns to reduce the number of distracted drivers, increase awareness of the dangers of driving in flood waters, target motorcycle rider safety and promote dry drivers.”
Tips to stay safe on the roads:
- Plan ahead to avoid driving after drinking – organise a lift, catch a cab or public transport, designate a driver or stay at a mate’s place.
- Never use your phone while driving – it is little different to driving drunk.
- Don’t rush – stick to the speed limit and allow extra time for your journey.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road and make sure you take regular breaks on long trips – fatigue kills.
- Always buckle up.
- Drive to the conditions – increase your following distance and drive slower than the signed speed limit if stuck in bad weather (or delay your trip until the weather clears).
- Remember – if it’s flooded, forget it.
For more safety information visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au.
Mr Bailey also urged more road users to Join the Drive to Save Lives by visiting www.jointhedrive.qld.gov.au.
Road Safety Initiatives 2015
- Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum (April)
- New skills-based learner practical driver test (June)
- Targeted motorcycle safety ads - The Perfect Ride (June)
- Release of a discussion paper on motorcycle licensing reforms, including the implementation of pre-learner training courses (August)
- Road Safety Action Plan and Strategy launched (August/September)
- Double Demerits for repeat mobile phone use offenders while driving (September)
- “If Its Flooded Forget It” ad campaign launched (November)
- Co-lab Youth Innovation Competition – youth initiated road safety innovation winners announced (October)
- Citizens Taskforce to develop innovative road safety solutions met for the first time (November)
- Christmas Dry Driver ad campaign (December)
- Road safety campaigns throughout the year, and will continue over the remainder of the school holiday period.
Road Safety Initiatives 2016-2017
- Over the next two years the Palaszczuk Government will deliver more than $500 million on road safety programs including:
o Improved road infrastructure targeting highest risk locations
o Rolling out the ‘Wide Centreline’ highway project
o Motorcycle licencing reforms
o Citizens Task Force to deliver proposals
- Young Driver Safety Campaign “Settle Down Stallion” from Co-lab to be launched on digital media.
- The Government has a number of initiatives to address speeding including:
o The installation of 4 new point to point speed cameras and 10 red light/speed cameras over the next 2 years to enhance the current program. (These cameras will be installed at locations that have a history of speed-related crashes or crashes involving motorists disobeying traffic lights.)
o The Government is also continuing to address speeding in school zones and will install flashing school zone signs at a further 200 school zones in the next two years.