Scenic Rim leaders promote safety awareness during National Road Safety Week

ROAD SAFETY: Officers from Beaudesert Police Station spread the road safety message at the Twilight Markets in the leadup to Road Safety Week. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
ROAD SAFETY: Officers from Beaudesert Police Station spread the road safety message at the Twilight Markets in the leadup to Road Safety Week. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

IN the midst of National Road Safety week (November 15 to 22), Scenic Rim residents have been urged to remember the 1200 lives lost on Australian roads every year. A TMR report shows that in the year to November 15, road fatalities in the south-east Queensland policing district had increased by almost 177 per cent compared to the same period last year.

National Road Safety Week events include the display of yellow ribbons, an online pledge by drivers to promise to drive without distraction, and community competitions to promote road safety.

Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause said the state of the region's roads needed to be addressed.

"Our roads simply haven't kept up with development," he said.

"The only way to address this is to invest more and slow down residential development."

Mayor Greg Christensen said the condition of State roads was of great concern but added that every person who got behind a steering wheel or on a motorcycle had a responsibility to themselves and others.

He urged all drivers to pay attention to conditions on the roads.

"Just because a road is signed 100km/h that doesn't mean you should go that hard in heavy traffic, fog, strong wind or rain," he said.

"So many events- I don't call them accidents- are the result of poor decisions and poor attention. The best Christmas present we can give our families is to pay attention every day when driving, riding, walking or cycling because it gives us a chance to be around to celebrate."

This comes as Queensland police announced an operation this week to target heavy vehicles, focusing on log books, illegal modifications, drink and drug driving tests and speeding.

Federal transport minister Michael McCormack said National Road Safety Week brought focus to how people could work together to save lives and prevent serious injuries on the roads.

"The beginning of National Road Safety Week is an important date to me, as I'm sure it is to Australians across the country, as we reflect on the profound impact road crashes have on the community," he said.

Mr McCormack said road safety the Australian government was working hard to put Australia on a path to achieve "Vision Zero" by 2050.

"We take our role in this seriously which is why we committed $500 million for targeted road safety upgrades as part of our infrastructure stimulus package in June, as well as a $2 billion Road Safety Program in the 2020-21 Budget," he said.

"A significant part of the new infrastructure program will apply life-saving measures to roads in regional areas starting in the New Year, making a very real benefit to road safety.

"We have also committed $5.5 million over four years for a new National Road Safety Data Hub to assemble an invaluable national picture on safety to make sure we are targeting the areas most in need."

Mr McCormack said this week was also a chance to recognise the work of Peter Frazer and the SARAH Group (Safer Australian Roads and Highways), who founded the National Road Safety Week in 2013.

SARAH was named in honour of Mr Frazer's daughter Sarah, who was killed on the Hume Highway in 2012.

"SARAH's main focus is protecting vulnerable road users, particularly emergency services personnel and first responders on roads and roadsides, which is why each day this week will highlight a specific theme such as pedestrians or riders," Mr McCormack said.

Assistant Road Safety and Freight Transport Minister Scott Buchholz said it was a timely reminder that far too many people are dying or being injured on our roads.

"Every year across the world, around 1.35 million people will die in road traffic deaths," Mr Buchholz said.

"Those statistics represent more than just the tragic loss of life. They represent a horrifying number of people left hurting - children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and first responders.

"We will remember the lives lost on our roads and we pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.

"While the first responders in Australia should be acknowledged and thanked every day, I am proud that this week they will receive the national recognition they deserve.

"But ultimately, the way we can repay the best, is to drive safe every single time we get behind the wheel, be it a car, bike, bus or truck. "So this week, the aim is to keep road safety front of mind, so if you see a local or national landmark being lit up in yellow, remember those lost on our roads and take the opportunity to talk about the importance of road safety.

"Even one death on our roads is one too many, which is why the work we are doing on the next National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, in conjunction with our investments in safer roads, is so important."

Other For more information on National Road Safety Week see roadsafetyweek.com.au.