Acting Superintendent Pat Swindells was joined by Road Policing Command colleagues and partner agencies including Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Transport and Main Roads to launch the Don’t Die on Rural Roads safety campaign in Monto this morning.
The Queensland road toll currently sits at 130 for the year of which 12% have been in the Wide Bay Burnett District.
A/Superintendent Swindells said that while the figures currently represented a decrease on last year’s toll, each fatality was more than just a number. During 2018 there were 40 fatalities in the Wide Bay Burnett District, an almost 30% rise on 2017 and 35% higher than the five-year average.
“The impact each fatal crash has on families and friends can’t be measured. Behind each of the numbers is a personal story of devastation.
“The campaign has a simple message, but we hope it serves as a reminder to the community about the consequences of a crash on our roads.
“We have analysed crash data and we are seeing rural roads and the Wide Bay Burnett District over represented in fatal crashes at almost. Of fatal crashes almost 80% are on our rural roads,” A/Superintendent Swindells said.
From today road users in the Central Region will notice signs around the Burnett Highway either side of Monto, Gayndah and Goomeri, and further signs between Eidsvold and Mundubbera, and Ban Ban Springs.
Police vehicles in the district will also carry the sign in the rear window as a reminder to road users.
Police will also continue to target the Fatal Five – speeding, drink/drug driving, fatigue, seat belt use and driver distraction/inattention to assist in the reduction of the road toll.
A/Superintendent Swindells said it was disappointing that some road users still ignored basic safety while driving.
“I urge all road users to be careful on our roads and ask the community to adopt our message today and influence your family members, friends and colleagues to do the right thing.”
“No phone call or text message can’t wait until you are in a safe place to respond. We know even two seconds of inattention can have fatal consequences.
“Speeding is still a factor in crashes. Don’t rush to get somewhere and risk never arriving at all,” A/Superintendent Swindells said.
Today’s launch comes before the official commencement of Queensland Road Safety Week (August 26-30) where the community will see an increase in police participating in events to educate the public on road safety.