Drivers have the power to reduce road toll: RACQ

RACQ has called on drivers to do the right thing to save lives, after it was reported the cancellation of static random breath tests (RBTs) at the height of the pandemic was blamed for an increase in fatalities.

Brisbane Times reported insiders had slammed Queensland Police’s decision to cancel RBTs at the start of COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Club spokesperson Renee Smith said increasing the number of marked police patrols on our roads was important in tackling the Fatal Five, but it was ultimately up to motorists to reduce the number of people killed in car crashes.

“Our members tell us they want to see police out on the road enforcing a range of driving behaviours, including seat belt and mobile phone laws,” Ms Smith said. 

“However, while we back on-road police patrols targeting high-risk groups and locations, drivers always have a responsibility to drive safely and in line with the road rules.”

Ms Smith said it was shocking despite achieving the lowest road toll on record last year, there had been 34 additional road deaths in Queensland compared to this time last year. 

“It’s devastating because while other states and territories recorded lower road tolls this year, we’ve lost 225 lives on Queensland roads in 2020,” she said.

“Every life lost is one too many and creates a ripple effect in the community, and we know that most road deaths are preventable.

“We urge drivers to do the right thing. Don’t speed, make sure you wear a seatbelt, don’t drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol and don’t get behind the wheel tired or distracted. It’s that simple.”

Ms Smith said the Club actively worked with the State Government and other stakeholders on Queensland road safety initiatives.

We have called for an increased investment in a range of road safety initiatives, including a mass action road safety program across Queensland’s road network, to achieve a minimum 30 percent reduction in fatal and serious injuries by 2030,” she said.

“We’ve also lobbied for the introduction of road rules to provide a safe space at roadside incidents requiring drivers to move over and keep a safe distance from the incident and those attending it. The State Government has committed to a policy review on this.”