FATALITY FREE: Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz.
FATALITY FREE: Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz.

Emerald police urge awareness on roads

IN TIME for Fatality Free Friday, an Emerald policeman is asking that drivers take fewer risks and not get distracted on the roads.

Officer in charge of Emerald Road Policing Unit, Sergeant Brad Weeks said that recently drivers had been less concentrated on the road despite there being less traffic, and more and more people were making their cars unsafe by modifying them.

In the past two weeks Emerald Police has fined two people for travelling 36km/h over the posted limit. One person was going 136km/h in a 100km/h zone and the other was doing 86km/h in an 50km/h zone.

“The road environment at the moment has changed because of the COVID-19 restrictions,” Sgt Weeks said.

“People are tending to possibly take a little bit more risks as far as not concentrating as much on their travel because there’s not as many cars out there.

“We’re seeing a decrease of the number of cars but we’re seeing a slight increase in vehicles that are exceeding the speed limit.

“We’re also seeing an increase of people modifying their vehicles to the point where the vehicles are becoming unsafe.”

Given some of the restrictions, Sgt Weeks said that at the moment, it was difficult for police to promote safer driving face-to-face. He said pedestrians also had a responsibility to remain aware at all times.

“For the modern day we need to take a modern approach,” Sgt Weeks said.

“People have their heads down looking at phones while crossing roads.

“So it’s not only drivers of vehicles that are creating a dangerous situation by being distracted: it’s our other road users that need to stay alert.”

Sgt Weeks emphasised the importance of education campaigns all year round – not only from police, but from peers and fellow residents.

“We keep pushing out educational reminders to people and Fatality Free Friday is one of those things that comes each year to get that message out there.

“We need people to be continuing to remind each other.”

To help combat road accidents, the Australian Road Safety Foundation, supported by the Federal Government, asks Australians to commit themselves to five driving habits: to always be fit to drive, to stay focused on the road, to scan the road ahead, to keep a safe distance, and to drive to suit the conditions.

Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz wrote that the campaign was meant to champion the reduction of road injuries and fatalities.

“We are all road users, which is why road safety matters so much within our communities,” he said.

“There were 1,195 people killed in road-related deaths in 2019 – that’s over three per day.

“Remember, the next time you get behind the wheel of a car, motorbike, truck or bus – whatever it may be – road safety is everyone’s responsibility.”


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