Po­lice plead for safety at Christ­mas

Albany Extra - - News - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

We don’t want to see any se­ri­ous crashes, in­juries and cer­tainly no fa­tal­i­ties. Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke

Af­ter a fa­tal­ity-free fes­tive sea­son last year, po­lice are striv­ing for an­other safe Christ­mas and New Year break on our roads.

The Great South­ern avoided a fa­tal­ity dur­ing the Christ­mas-New Year dou­ble-de­mer­its pe­riod last year; how­ever, six peo­ple were taken to hospi­tal af­ter be­ing in­jured in road crashes.

So far 18 peo­ple have died this year on Great South­ern roads in 16 fa­tal crashes.

Great South­ern Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke is plead­ing for safety on the roads this sea­son.

“The most im­por­tant thing we are ask­ing mo­torists to do is look af­ter them­selves, look af­ter peo­ple in their car and the other road users,” he said.

“At the end of the day, a lot of the crashes we have is be­cause peo­ple make sim­ple mis­takes, we do have a mi­nor­ity of driv­ers do­ing the wrong thing and po­lice will be work­ing very hard to get those peo­ple and take them off the road.”

Supt. Clarke said the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who made mis­takes on the roads were mak­ing sim­ple mis­takes, deadly mis­takes.

“They are driv­ing be­yond their fa­tigue limit, dis­tracted by peo­ple in the car or by things in the car, us­ing mo­bile phones, all the things we are al­ways talk­ing about,” he said.

“It’s a busy time of year, the roads are busy; drive re­spon­si­bly, we say that every year but some­times I think it be­comes white noise with some peo­ple.”

Supt Clarke said it was par­tic­u­larly tragic dur­ing hol­i­day pe­ri­ods when po­lice saw peo­ple tak­ing risks and get­ting killed.

“In many cases it’s just be­cause of a sim­ple mis­take and some of those mis­takes you can never take back,” he said.

“We don’t want to see any se­ri­ous crashes, in­juries and cer­tainly no fa­tal­i­ties this Christ­mas, when you’re con­fronted by those sort of things it’s just ap­palling.”

“What’s worse is when it hap­pens around cel­e­bra­tion pe­ri­ods, for fam­ily mem­bers those cel­e­bra­tion pe­ri­ods then be­come sig­nif­i­cant for the wrong rea­sons.

“We don’t want fam­ily mem­bers sit­ting with va­cant chairs at the Christ­mas ta­ble and if peo­ple in­sist on do­ing the wrong thing we are happy to ac­com­mo­date them in lock up.”

This Christ­mas po­lice will have a high pres­ence on the roads and will con­duct ran­dom breath and drug test­ing.

Dou­ble de­mer­its be­gin to­day and end on Sun­day, Jan­uary 6.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Benson

Great South­ern Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke is plead­ing for safety on the roads this fes­tive sea­son.

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