According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, as we participate in pre-Christmas parties and throughout the Christmas/New Year and school holiday period, it is vital we focus on road safety and aim towards zero fatalities.
“Road deaths are closer to home than you think. Every person in the road toll is someone’s grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, brother, sister, or child. We shouldn't accept that people die on our roads so let’s all aim for zero road deaths. All road users have a part to play, safety is a shared responsibility, and we all need to be more aware and avoid risks,” he said.
“Before we head off on holidays we need to ensure the car is ready and roadworthy. We need to plan ahead, choose the safest route which may not necessarily be the quickest and when we hit the road it is essential that we drive to conditions.
“Not driving to the conditions is a major cause of death and injury on our roads. Driving to conditions is about using common sense. A road’s speed limit doesn’t mean it is safe to drive at that speed the whole length of the road. Ultimately, all drivers have the responsibility to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. This means that drivers must do whatever is necessary to adjust to the current road and weather conditions,” he continued.
“Police have told me that one of the most important issues we need to focus on to aim towards zero fatalities is managing fatigue. Remember that driving when tired and not taking regular breaks is very dangerous. This highlights the importance of having a good night's sleep before a trip and taking regular breaks every two hours.
“Another proven killer is handling mobile devices when driving. You must ensure your mobile phones and other devices in the car are not accessible to disturb concentration, because when we are distracted our vehicles are essentially out of control.
“Statistics show that speed continues to be a major factor contributing to road trauma. There’s a lot of truth in the old road safety adage it's better to arrive a few minutes late than dead on time. Put simply, it is better to arrive late than to risk your life speeding to a destination. Also, avoid drink and drug driving which are factors in a considerable number of road accidents.
“Ensuring seatbelts and child restraints are properly fitted is also important, and pets require restraints as well,” he said.
These are important factors to keep in mind at all times but especially with more of us on the road during the busy school and Christmas/New Year holiday period. These are a reminder to be attentive, stay focused, and drive as if our loved ones are on the road ahead.
“Towards Zero takes the approach that everyone should be aware that safety must be a shared responsibility and the road toll is not just a number, it is real people and could include your family and friends.
“Be patient, obey the speed limit, give yourself enough time to get things done and remember that courtesy goes a long way on our roads. Everyone deserves to be safe in the traffic over the holidays, but we all have to play our part. If everyone drives to survive we’ll all get to our destination safely,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.