Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

Po­lice of­fi­cers across Aus­tralia will be out in force over the Easter long week­end but road safety is not just their re­spon­si­bil­ity.

We owe it to our­selves and our loved ones to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for our own ac­tions, ev­ery time we get be­hind the wheel.

Last year over the Easter long week­end 8 peo­ple didn’t make it back home; the year be­fore 22 peo­ple.

This year let us aim for this to be zero.

As you plan the Easter road trip, try to fac­tor in mini breaks and ac­tions you will take to have a safe and en­joy­able long week­end drive.

Road trauma is in­creas­ing in Aus­tralia. Af­ter decades of im­prove­ments, a spike in re­cent years de­mands ac­tion from us all.

By work­ing to­gether at a com­mu­nity level, with our po­lice, and at gov­ern­ment level across fed­eral, state and lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions, we can do bet­ter, and I’m de­ter­mined see that hap­pen.

The 2016 road deaths to­tal was 1300. I don’t ac­cept that in 2017 an­other 1,300 Aus­tralians have to be added in ad­di­tion to the tens of thou­sands in­jured dur­ing the year.

Of course, gov­ern­ments need to pro­vide safer roads, po­lice need to en­force laws, but it is also about the de­ci­sions peo­ple make on the road – whether it be speed­ing, an­swer­ing the phone, not tak­ing a break, or tak­ing a risk when over­tak­ing.

Driv­ers need to choose wisely, for them­selves, their loved ones and for oth­ers.

Dar­ren Ch­ester MP, Min­is­ter for Trans­port

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