Drive safe these holidays

Deaths spike in what could be horror year on our roads

POLICE are concerned 2020 is going to be painful year for families as the region's road death toll spikes.

The death of a 92-year-old Centenary Heights man after he was struck while driving a mobility scooter on Friday put the Southern region at 32 road fatalities for the year.

This is seven more than at the same time in 2019.

"I am disappointed with the behaviour of motorists over the past 6 months," Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon said.

"That is 32 lives that should not of have been lost."

In most deaths the driver responsible was either affected by drug or alcohol, distracted by their phone, speeding, tired or had failed to ensure all their passengers were wearing seatbelts.

July and August are tradtional see a spike in traffic crashes. 

In 2019 eight people died in July and nine in August, with 13 people suffered life-altering, serious injuries. 

Their ages ranged from a toddler to an 82-year-old. 

AC Condon said the last point was a serious concern.

"About 23 per cent of those fatal crashes involved the occupants not wearing seatbelts and high percentage of those seatbelt-related deaths involved speed and alcohol," he said. 

Since the start of the year eleven crashes involved motorcycles overtaking on double lines, around corners and not wearing a helmet.

"We can only do some much as law enforcement so the community needs to get on board," AC Condon said.

"The people behind the wheel or riding motorcycles are making poor decisions which is costing them their lives."

Police were out in force over the weekend with the start of the school holidays.

They were recently cleared to resume roadside breath tests, and nearly every motorist stopped at the weekend was asked to blow in the bag.

More than 12,584 tests were conducted in the Southern Region, about 1541 of those in the Darling Downs.

"Most alarming for me is that 19 drink drivers were detected in the Darling Downs," AC Condon said.  

"Our drink drive rate is appalling.

"Recent figures suggest people took advantage of the fact that through the COVID restriction we stopped roadside breath testing.

"Drink drivers are a risk to themselves and the public.

"If you have a mate that you know is drink driving, the best thing you can do is let us know.

"You'll be saving their live and the lives of other people on the road." 

Police handed out 260 fines for serious traffic infringements, such as speeding and drink driving.

Two motorists were booked for using their phones behind the wheel and three were booked for not wearing a seatbelt.

Police were called to two serious crashes on the Cunningham Highway on Saturday, both involving three vehicles while a car and tractor collided at Fordsdale.

Today, two cars crashed on Woods St in Warwick, a motorist hit a pedestrian in East Toowoomba and three cars piled up on the Warrego Highway near Chinchilla.

A man died in a single-vehicle crash near Moore on Tuesday. 

The numbers are not looking good as we head into the second half of 2020 which tends to see a great volume of traffic on roads.

AC Condon said urged motorists to slow down and drive to the conditions.

"Accidents occur because people behind the wheel make mistakes and some of those mistakes cost them their lives," he said.