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Ministerial Statement: 327 lives lost in 2008 ...
« on: January 02, 2009, 06:14:17 PM »
Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
The Honourable John Mickel

327 lives lost in 2008 - Queensland road toll remains unacceptably high

The provisional Queensland road toll for 2008 shows the number of deaths occurring on the State's roads remains unacceptably high, Transport Minister John Mickel said today.

Mr Mickel said drink driving, speed, fatigue and inattention were once again major killers, with deaths continuing to occur at the rate of almost one every day.

Although fatalities were down from 2007, Mr Mickel said that the provisional 2008 road toll of 327 deaths could have been further reduced by a few simple actions.

"The 2008 road toll should remind motorists that getting behind the wheel of a car is one of the most dangerous situations they will face on a day-to-day basis, and how easy it is to lose a precious life in a split second," Mr Mickel said.

"I commend those who drive responsibly on the roads because their efforts have contributed to the slight reduction in the toll compared to the 2007 when there were 360 deaths.

"However, the loss of 327 lives in the space of a year on Queensland roads confirms that there are still too many people out on the roads behaving recklessly, driving without sufficient care and attention and not obeying the road rules.

"Together with the year's road toll, the Christmas fatality rate we have just experienced was worse than the previous year, with 10 lives lost in the short period between December 19, 2008 and January 1, 2009."

New South Wales experienced the same fatality rate throughout the same period while Victoria led the toll with 16 fatalities. The Australian Capital Territory was the only jurisdiction to have no lives lost on the roads.

"I can only urge those who speed, drink drive and take other dangerous risks on the roads to stop being complacent, think about other road users and step up to their responsibilities as a licensed driver," Mr Mickel said.

"My message to all Queensland road users for 2009 is learn from the past, don't repeat the same tragic mistakes of others, and ensure you and your passengers are kept safe this year."

Mr Mickel said ways this could be done included:

. never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

. driving within the speed limit and to the conditions

. giving trucks the space they need on the roads

. keeping motorcycles in sight

. never driving tired

. wearing a seatbelt at all times

. paying full attention to the road at all times while driving

. obeying level crossing signals.
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