SAFETY FIRST: Minerva Mine’s Andrew Millard and Ian McCallum sign the Fatality Free Friday car and pledge to be safe on the road.
SAFETY FIRST: Minerva Mine’s Andrew Millard and Ian McCallum sign the Fatality Free Friday car and pledge to be safe on the road. Meghan Kidd

Driving home safety message in Emerald

LINING up to get their hot brekkie yesterday morning, Sojitz Minerva Mine employees finished off their snags with a safety pledge.

More than 150 employees signed their names and a promise to themselves, their families and their friends to drive safely and obey the road rules, as part of Fatality Free Friday on May 31.

Sojitz Minerva Mine safety and training superintendent Stuart Adams said being a small mine site they had an advantage in getting the message across.

"We can reach all of our employees with this important message," Mr Adams said.

"It's about getting people home safely, and managing fatigue."

Just glancing around the carpark on site, the cars are few and far between.

The company has taken the proactive approach and uses a bus transport service for all of its 300 employees.

"Most of our employees are bussed out," Mr Adams said.

"They're local and it cuts down the traffic on the road."

With only one day until Fatality Free Friday, Colin Edmonston, regional manager road safety from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and senior advisor Pam Thomas were using every opportunity to push the throttle down on the safety message.

With an inflatable life-sized vehicle parked up on the lawn on site while workers enjoyed a barbecue brekkie, they signed the pledge to be vigilant on the roads.

"We're trying to promote zero fatalities on the last Friday of May, hoping to change behaviours on the road," Mr Edmonston said.

"We get people to sign the car, and to consider their behaviour and safety when they get behind a wheel."

It was the first mine site the car had been to, after stops in Mackay and Rockhampton in previous days.

"We chose Minerva because we've heard so many good things about the choices they're making to keep safe on the roads," Mr Edmonston said.

"They have a good bus usage system which is excellent."

Now in its eighth year, the message is as important as ever, with about 1200 men, women and children lost on our roads last year in Australia.

"Each year, Fatality Free Friday grows momentum and reaches an increasing number of Australians," Australian Road Safety Foundation chief executive Russell White said.


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