Police display drives home rural road safety message
POLICE are on a mission to make Queensland roads safer with their Join the Drive to Save Lives initiative this week.
During the 14-day period from August 24 to September 6 last year – described by police as a horror period for the southern Queensland region – 10 fatalities occurred.
This year’s mission for the southern region is zero fatalities.
Roma District crime prevention coordinator Senior Constable Dale Kenna said not driving to the conditions was a major cause of accidents on the road.
“One of the main causes behind the crashes in that horror period was overtaking,” he said.
“The majority of the accidents are single-vehicle accidents and are the result of overtaking or swerving to avoid kangaroos.
“Sometimes overtaking large road trains or caravans you can get frustrated.
“With country driving you just have to be patient. You don’t have to overtake immediately, just wait for the right time.”
On Monday police officers were at Westlands Plaza with a public display on road safety, including a driving simulator.
Sen-Constable Kenna said the aim of the simulator was to educate community members on how different conditions affect your everyday driving.
From 2016 to 2017 the number of traffic crashes on Queensland roads increased from 2095 to 2155.
Queensland Police statistics showed that from January 1 to July 29, 2017 the southern region reported 26 fatalities. In that same period this year, there were 35 fatalities.
“The reality is that most fatal crashes are caused by driver error and at least one of the fatal five factors,” SenConstable Kenna said.
He said the main factors contributing to fatalities in the southwest region included not driving to conditions, fatigue, inattention and distraction.
He said all drivers have a responsibility to themselves and other road users to drive to the conditions, which includes driver experience, time of day, type and condition of vehicle driven, traffic congestion, probability of wildlife and other roadway obstructions and other vehicles sharing the road.
In the southern region in 2017 fatigue was a factor in 12 per cent of fatalities, with inattention and distraction causing 39 percent of fatalities.
“Queensland Road Safety Week is a chance for police and the community to be involved in making our roads safer,” Sen-Constable Kenna said.
STAY SAFE: Senior Constable Dale Kenna, from Roma Police Station, and Greg Caletti, from Roma PCYC, test out the driving simulator that featured in the Queensland Road Safety week display at Westlands Plaza.