Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has issued an urgent plea to Queensland motorists in the lead up to this year’s Queensland Road Safety Week.
The road toll as of 8am this morning was 14 more than this time last year, with 166 lives lost so far.
Mr Bailey urged motorists to consider the risks of unsafe driving every time they got behind the wheel.
“We are preparing for our fourth annual Queensland Road Safety Week next week, but driving safely is a year-round responsibility for all motorists,” Mr Bailey said. “The Palaszczuk Government is doing all we can to reduce the road toll, but we need motorists to play their part.
“Last year, distraction, drink driving and riding, fatigue, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt were a factor in 56% of road deaths. These, more than any other road deaths, are preventable and unnecessary. “In total, 247 people were tragically killed and 6450 people were hospitalised in 2017 – many with life-altering injuries.
“It is a devastating fact that road trauma has become one of the biggest public health issues facing our community. Road rules are in place for a reason – if you break the rules, a lot of times you are not only doing something illegal, you are putting lives in danger. “We all need to take responsibility for our behaviour on the roads and one simple way to reduce trauma is to start by following the road rules.
“We urge motorists not to take unnecessary risk with their life and the lives of others.
“Imagine how much safer it would be if everyone obeyed the speed limit, didn’t race through orange or red traffic lights and put their phones out of reach. This is entirely achievable, but up to each individual to do the right thing.
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said Queensland Road Safety Week had become integral in efforts to reduce the road toll to zero and played an important part of the Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2017-19 – a guide which sets direction towards a future of zero deaths and injuries.
“It is also Australia’s only statewide road safety initiative and we are encouraging Queenslanders, specifically to speak up for road safety,” Mr Crawford said.
Queensland Road Safety Week is a joint initiative of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police Service working in collaboration with RACQ and CARRS-Q.
Mr Bailey said events were happening across the state during Queensland Road Safety Week, including regional expos, roadside awareness programs, truckie toolbox talks and school/community events.
“The week is about coming together as a community to focus on safety for every road user – pedestrians, motorists, heavy vehicle drivers, bike riders and motorcyclists,” Mr Bailey said.
Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan said the key to making Queensland roads safer was educating the public and ensuring young Queenslanders were learning good driving habits.
“Unfortunately, too many Queenslanders know the pain of losing a family member or friend to road trauma, so I am delighted to see the unified response to the challenge of promoting road safety,” Mr Ryan said.
“I would also like to recognise all those police, fire and ambulance officers who respond to crashes daily. In doing their jobs, they are confronted with road trauma and its aftermath and they are to be commended for their professionalism and compassion.”
Acting Assistant Commissioner Dale Pointon said Queensland Road Safety Week was the time to make a commitment to safe road use and help reduce the road toll.
“The QPS encourages Queenslanders everywhere to re-educate themselves on the road rules and to challenge the behaviours that lead to devastation on our roads,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Pointon said. “By improving our driving habits, we can all play a part in reducing injury and loss of life on our roads.”
For more information on Road Safety Week and how to get involved, visit www.jointhedrive.qld.gov.au/road-safety-week
The campaign runs online and on social media from 27 August until 7 October. To watch the videos visit: https://jointhedrive.qld.gov.au/young-drivers/road-to-zeroor follow Join the Drive to Save Lives on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JoinTheDrive
To make a pledge, download a Speak Up for Road Safety Facebook filter and make your pledge using the #SpeakUpSelfie hashtag. You can also share your stories or life-saving tips on social media by using #SpeakUpForRoadSafety or #QRSW2018 hashtags.
Vision of road incidents in Queensland is available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCK8wjaTpQ_pg9r1GpMFnHIDdGCdkMHmS
The Queensland road toll for 2017 was 247 fatalities, which is four fatalities (or 1.6 per cent) fewer than the previous year, of 251 fatalities and seven fatalities (or 2.6 per cen) fewer than the previous five year average.
In the past five years, young adult drivers/riders accounted for 22 per cent of all drivers/riders involved in serious crashes (where age is known) but only make up 14 per cent of licence holders. More statistics are available at https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Transport-and-road-statistics/Road-safety-statistics
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford