Holiday season road safety advice

Drivers urged to take responsibility for their behaviour behind the wheel.

An RACQ survey has revealed about a quarter of respondents have knowingly driven while tired or over the speed limit – two of the major causes of road trauma.

The survey found 25% of Queenslanders admitted to knowingly driving while tired, 23% driving over the speed limit, and 16% driving while using a mobile phone.

It also found 56% of respondents said they had accidentally driven over the speed limit and 29% had accidentally driven while tired.

Of those drivers who knowingly drove while tired, 39% continued to their destination.

Road Policing Group Acting Superintendent Stephen Donnelly said it was up to individual drivers to take responsibility for their actions on the road.

“When you get in the driver seat, your mission is to get to your destination safely,” he said.

“Focus on the driving task. Your safety and the safety of others is literally in your hands.

“We all have a role to play in road safety.”

Road toll figures for Queensland are on track to be the worst in five years, with 253 people losing their lives in crashes up to 21 November.

This was up 5.4% on the previous year and 16.2% abover the 2016-20 average.

In support of road safety, RACQ has partnered with Bishopp Billboards to roll out more than 40 signs on some of Queensland’s deadliest roads, asking motorists to "Drive like your life depends on it".

The billboards would be on highways and local roads from Cairns to the Gold Coast and inland across the Darling Downs.

During the last Christmas-New Year period (9 December 2020 to 29 January 2021), 37 people died on Queensland’s roads, up from 20 the previous holiday season.

There were also more than 1700 people injured in crashes during that period, up from 200 the previous year.

Acting Supt Donnelly said Queensland police would be cracking down on drivers failing to observe the Fatal Five ­– speeding, drink driving, seat belts, driver distraction and fatigue – over the coming holiday period.

He said the aim was to reduce the number of fatal and serious traffic crashes.

 “We want to see everyone using the roads safely and getting to their destination,” Acting Supt Donnelly said.

“We expect increased volumes of traffic at the festive season coincides with the easing of COVID restrictions on movement.

“Unfortunately, we know drivers will deliberately speed, not wear seat belts and drive whilst using their phones or affected by intoxicating substances.

“As part of the Christmas road safety campaign, police will therefore be increasing their presence on roads and actively enforcing the Fatal Five.”

Acting Supt Donnelly also urged drivers to show patience on the road.

“As drivers, we can all encourage better behaviour in others through our example,” he said.

“One good deed leads to another, so be calm and considerate.”