Keep your mates safe on the roads at Schoolies

As tens of thousands of young drivers prepared to head to Schoolies celebrations this week, the State’s peak motoring body has issued a warning to not let a good time turn into tragedy on the roads.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said while the State’s road toll sat at 188 deaths, down by 23 on the same time last year, now was not the time to become complacent.

“Every death on our roads is a waste and as we enter the high risk holiday period, everyone needs to be extra vigilant on the roads,” Ms Ritchie said.

“For many, a road trip to Schoolies is a rite of passage and the last thing anyone would want is for it to end tragically. Sadly, P platers are our most at-risk age-group and are over-represented in the road toll every year. 

“A big concern with younger drivers is their inexperience and overconfidence which can lead to crashes. Our research shows more than half of young drivers surveyed rate their abilities as better than their mates.”

Ms Ritchie said passengers also had a big part to play when it came to road safety, with 82 percent of young people surveyed admitting to being a distraction to the driver.

“A car full of friends can make it difficult to concentrate on the road and encourages risk taking,” she said.

“We need passengers to not only help keep the driver on task, but also speak up if they see someone pushing the limits. It’s simply not worth dying to avoid embarrassment.”

Ms Ritchie pleaded with young drivers to stick to the road rules and remember the Fatal Five. 

“Always wear your seatbelt, don’t speed, put away distractions like your mobile phone, and don’t get behind the wheel if you’re tired or affected by drugs or alcohol – these are the biggest causes of fatalities on Queensland roads,” she said. 

“Remember, if you’re on your P plates you must legally have zero blood alcohol content. Be aware you could still be over that limit the day after a big night of drinking.”