As holiday-makers hit the roads this Christmas period, they’re being urged to stay safe.
With 58.1 per cent of the state drought declared, there are countless mobs of cattle being droved along stock routes.
Drivers are urged to be aware of the risk this may pose, to adhere to signs and slow down, and remember that cattle have right of way.
Central Highlands mayor, Kerry Hayes, said it was a good reminder that not all of us get to take a break, and being mindful and patient on the roads this Christmas period was important.
“While most of us are looking forward to the Christmas break, for some, the day job does not just stop,” he said.
“Those cattle and the drovers are likely to remain on the road until it rains, or until they can find agistment.
“So, as the holiday season approaches, please be responsible and courteous on our roads and start planning now for a safe trip, if you are travelling.”
The minister for police, Mark Ryan, and assistant commissioner of Road Policing Command, Mike Keating, launched the 2018 Queensland Police Service Christmas road safety campaign on the Gold Coast last week, accompanied by emergency services including Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Ambulance Service and RACQ LifeFlight.
Mr Ryan said the summer holiday period was without doubt the busiest time on the roads as Queenslanders were out and about, celebrating the festive season.
“The state government is absolutely determined to reduce the devastation and trauma that is seen on our roads, particularly around this busy period,” he said.
“If we could have one Christmas wish, it would be for zero fatalities on Queensland roads during the holiday period.”
Assistant commissioner Keating said the bringing together of emergency services for the launch was symbolic of a response to some of the most traumatic scenes emergency services workers see on our roads.
“In 2018, we have lost 230 lives on Queensland roads and as far as we’re concerned, that is 230 lives too many,” assistant commissioner Keating said.
“Alongside this, we have seen far too many traffic crashes requiring hospitalisation on our roads, all of which impact our Queensland communities and our emergency services workers.
“This Christmas, we just want to see everyone make it home safely and enjoy the time spent with loved ones.
“We don’t want to meet you on the worst day of your life, this Christmas period.”
Running from Friday, December 14 through until February, this year’s Christmas campaign will see police out in force with localised and state-wide traffic operations.
In particular, police will be targeting the Fatal Five – speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction, fatigue and seat belts.
“We know the Fatal Five are consistently prevalent in road fatalities and we will be working hard to ensure we target these factors,” assistant commissioner Keating said.
Doctor Alistair Hamilton, a RACQ LifeFlight critical care doctor, said road safety was about more than the road toll and fatalities, and the Fatal Five was vital to changing road behaviour.
“Injuries can have a life-long impact on victims and can change their entire future,” Dr Hamilton said.
“One moment of inattention, one bad decision to race a red light or to go over the speed limit could mean life in a wheelchair, painful operations or permanent health issues, or worse.”