Po­lice want zero dead

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - By JES­SICA JOHN­STON

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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