The Darling Downs recorded 36 deaths on its roads in 2013 and 20 in 2012, 12 people have died on roads across the Darling Downs so far this year. At this time last year the region had experienced 14 deaths on its way to one of the highest regional road tolls in the State, yet in 2011 the region had recorded just two deaths during the same period. So what has changed?
“There are so many factors that contribute to the road toll,” Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said. “Speed, fatigue, not driving to the road conditions, driver behaviours … so many of these are out of our control.”
“What we can control is our own behaviour on the roads,” he said. “On Friday I want everyone in the region to think carefully before they get in their car … ‘I am going to take extra care on this trip’ and then follow it up by doing exactly that.”
Cr Antonio said statistics show that Fridays are the worst day for fatal accidents. “Nearly a quarter of deaths (21%) on our roads in our region occur on a Friday,” Cr Antonio said. “Stopping people dying on our roads cannot be achieved by one group or individual â€“ we need all our residents to be involved and make a stand.”
Cr Antonio supplied his own list of road ‘rules’ for the region’s residents.
- Take extra care on the roads
- Put your lights on for safety
- Follow the road rules
- Do not speed
- Do not drink and drive
- Take care at level crossings
- Slow down in the wet and drive to suit the conditions
- Do not tailgate other drivers and look as far ahead as possible
- Wear your seatbelt
- Do not use your mobile phone while driving
- Set a good example by driving calmly and safely
- Take care as a pedestrian when crossing the road or street
“Fatality Free Friday is more than just a single day. Yes, the target is to have a fatality free Friday, but ultimately the aim is for a longer term community change in regards to driver behavior and attitudes on the road,” he said.
Toowoomba Regional Council will team with the Department of Main Roads and Transport and Emergency Services personnel to raise awareness of road safety with an information session and free sausage sizzle on the Village Green next to Council Chambers in Ruthven Street from 12 noon to 2pm on Friday May 30th.
Communications officerStakeholder Engagement & Communication
Toowoomba Regional Council