Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Bill Byrne and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick today joined Queensland’s emergency services to launch the 2016 Easter Road Safety Campaign.
Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said QPS would play a key role in ensuring road safety and compliance by coordinating a state-wide traffic operation starting today.
Assistant Commissioner Keating called for the support of the Queensland public to exercise safe road behaviours over Easter and specifically to heed the warning of the dangers of speeding.
“Last year, Queensland’s road toll was 243. So far in 2016, the road toll stands at 54, which is already ten more than the same time last year,” he said.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility – everyone must play their part, whether that is by complying with the road rules, enforcing them, or educating others in safe behaviours.”
Minister Byrne pleaded with motorists to heed the Fatal Five and avoid a repeat of last year’s tragic spike in the Easter road toll.
“During last year’s five-day Easter period, there were eight fatalities on our roads and 295 injury crashes causing 366 injuries.”
Over that period, police conducted 97,141 breath tests with 361 drink drivers returning a positive reading, and out of 523 drug tests conducted statewide, 55 drug drivers were detected.
Police also caught 5147 motorists speeding, while 228 seat belts offences and 250 mobile phone offences occurred.
“I urge all road users to be extra vigilant and careful on the roads this Easter. We must all work hard to turn these statistics around.
“Easter is one of the busiest periods on our roads. It’s a time when many families travel long distances to reach their holiday destination. This Easter, we want them to get there safely,” he said.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick, who was first on the scene of a fatal crash near Gin Gin over the Christmas period, said the effects of road accidents extended far beyond those visible at the roadside.
“It’s a sad reality that every holiday period Queensland’s paramedics are called to trauma cases as a result of road accidents across the state,” he said.
“They are met with scenes of carnage that could have been avoided and battle to save lives that should have been spared.
“We are calling on Queensland drivers to do what they can to prevent these scenes from unfolding – for their sake, the sake of their families and friends, and for the sake those who are first to respond when incidents happen behind the wheel.”
The QPS traffic operation will run until midnight on March 28.