Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services the Honourable Mark Ryan MP joined Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus today to launch the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) annual September school holiday road safety campaign, Operation Spring Break.
This state-wide operation will be in effect from today and will continue until Friday, October 8, with an increased overt and covert policing presence on all major roadways for the school holiday and back to school period.
Assistant Commissioner Marcus said as Queensland continued on a trajectory to its worst year on the roads in over a decade, the QPS was pleading with the public to make better decisions behind the wheel.
“We’re about to reach an incredibly grim milestone – 200 deaths on our roads,” he said.
“These aren’t just numbers – that’s 200 people whose lives were cut short, and who have left family and friends behind.
“Your actions behind the wheel are your responsibility and can have very serious consequences. We are asking you to take that responsibility very seriously.
“Police will be out there doing our bit, but we need road users to do theirs too.
“If you’re travelling with your family and enjoying our beautiful Queensland weather, you can expect to see police on the road in both marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling major thoroughfares.
“We want motorists to know that they can expect to see us anywhere, anytime and they should drive accordingly.”
Assistant Commissioner Marcus said motorcycle rider safety would continue to be a focus during spring and summer, as riders remained over-represented in fatal crashes.
“This past year, we have seen a spike in motorcycle registrations, meaning we are seeing more riders, who remain our most vulnerable road users, on Queensland roads,” he said.
“To date, we have sadly seen 44 motorcycle fatalities on our roads this year – 17 more than last year.”
Minister Ryan said that the Queensland Government and QPS were committed to getting Queenslanders to their holiday destinations and back home again, safely.
“With this warmer weather, I am expecting Queenslanders to take advantage of our beautiful coastline or heading out west to explore,” Minister Ryan said.
“I want drivers to take responsibility for their actions while travelling on the roads to these destinations for the safety of themselves, their families and others.
“If you’re out on the roads and not adhering to the road rules, you can expect to see police.
“We are asking the community to help make this a safe and enjoyable break for all.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the road safety blitz coincided with the launch of the new RideCraft campaign.
“It’s a timely reminder for everyone to stay safe on our roads, but especially motorbike riders,” Mr Bailey said.
“This new campaign encourages riders to tune up their craft to reduce their chances of being involved in a crash.
“So far this year, riders and their passengers have made up 25 per cent of lives lost on our roads, even though they equate to just five per cent of registered vehicles.
“The campaign launches today, and I encourage everyone to take a look because this needless loss of life has to stop.”
Mr Bailey said the Fatal Five continue to be contributing factors to more than half of lives lost on Queensland roads.
“The ‘Fatal Five’ are speeding, drink/drug driving, failure to wear a seatbelt, fatigue, and driver distraction, so it’s important that everyone know their limits and the limits of the road,” he said.
“It’s why the Palaszczuk Government is also rolling out mobile and fixed cameras to catch drivers illegally using their mobile phones and not wearing seatbelts, anywhere, anytime.
“We’re also making an almost $1.7 billion investment in road safety in this year’s state budget, which will be used to prioritise safety upgrades, improve driver education, make school zones safer and develop policies to reduce road crashes and trauma.”
For more information on the campaign and others just like it, visit: https://streetsmarts.initiatives.qld.gov.au/