In brief

Franklin County News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

ROAD SAFETY

With a ris­ing num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble road users be­ing killed in crashes, Po­lice are en­cour­ag­ing all driv­ers to slow down and be mind­ful of other road users, as part of UN Road Safety Week. As of early May, al­most twice as many pedes­tri­ans – in­clud­ing chil­dren– have been killed on the roads than at the same time last year, while more than three times as many cy­clists have died. Other vul­ner­a­ble road users, in­clud­ing mo­tor­cy­clists, con­tinue to be over-rep­re­sented. ‘‘Global road safety week is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for all of us to think about our driv­ing habits and how we can bet­ter keep our­selves and oth­ers safe. When we are us­ing the roads, we re­ally need to be keep­ing ‘road safety’ at the fore­front of our minds ev­ery day of ev­ery week,’’ said Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Gre­ally, Na­tional Man­ager Road Polic­ing. ‘‘This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant as the num­ber of road deaths for the year trag­i­cally al­ready stands at 132 – 12 higher that at the same time last year. At that rate, on av­er­age there will be close to an­other 250 peo­ple who die and count­less more who will be in­jured by the time the year ends if things don’t change. But it doesn’t have to be this way – we can all do some­thing about it. Tak­ing those few sec­onds to put on our seat­belt and put away our mo­bile phone, as well as re­duc­ing our speed by a few kilo­me­tres an hour and in­creas­ing our fol­low­ing dis­tances are all very sim­ple things we can do that can make all the dif­fer­ence be­tween life or death when a mis­take hap­pens.’’ Gre­ally said an­other wor­ry­ing as­pect is that 15 pedes­tri­ans – seven more than last year – and seven cy­clists – com­pared with two last year – have died as of the first week of May com­pared with the same time last year. ‘‘The un­for­tu­nate thing is that we know so many of these tragedies are com­pletely avoid­able. While all of us are hu­man and mis­takes will hap­pen, they should not be at the ex­pense of our­selves or oth­ers be­ing killed or in­jured. This means all of us who use the roads hav­ing greater aware­ness of our sur­round­ings and adapt­ing our driv­ing style to al­low for the con­di­tions. For ex­am­ple, chil­dren may not al­ways look be­fore cross­ing the road, and for safety cy­clists need at least 1.5m of space around them when we pass.’’

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