Police want zero dead
POLICE are hoping to count down the new year without adding to the death count on North Queensland roads.
December has been fatality-free in North Queensland so far and trafficpolic e are urging drivers to remain focused.
Northern Region TrafficCo-ordinator I n s p e c t o r B r i a n Richardson said 33 people had been killed on North Queensland roads so far this year, which was five more than the same time last year.
‘‘We haven’t had a fatality in the North this month at all. That’s good news and we’re trying to keep it at zero.’’
He said 33 people had been killed in other regions of Queensland roads in December.
But 24 people have been injured in 18 separate serious road crashes in the region since the Christmas road blitz began on December 13.
Three people were killed in North Queensland during last year’s Christmas campaign.
Insp Richardson said police were still catching far too many motorists flouting simple road rules.
He said a massive 1300 drivers had been issued with speeding tickets in the Northern Region in the last two weeks.
He said police had conducted almost 13,500 random breath tests on drivers across the region and 109 drink d r i v e r s caught.
A further 73 people have been issued with seat belt infringements and 35 had been nabbed for mobile phone offences.
‘‘What really jumps out is the number of speeding offences,’’ Insp Richardson said.
‘‘That really is the danger offence, along with drink driving that is also too high.
‘‘A lot of people are still travelling at excessive speed, which shows we need ongoing enforcement to reduce that.’’
Insp Richardson said he was baffled to see the number of seat belt offences.
‘‘What surprises me is that 73 people have been issued with seat belt infringements,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s just no excuse, that law has been in place for about 30 years. What on earth is going through these people’s heads?
‘‘It just goes to show how difficult it is for us to get the message through to these people.’’
B u t d e s p i t e t h e t i c k e t s , I n s p Richardson said he believed North Queensland drivers were slowly getting the message.
‘‘We have had excellent coverage of this issue through the media, and I hope people are starting to take notice,’’ he said.
‘‘I think people are becoming very aware of the need to take care when driving, and just how quickly a tragedy could happen.’’
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