SAFETY: Police are once again reminding country drivers to remain safe and alerts while on the road this festive season. Pictured are Far North police highway patrol Senior Constable Scott Salter and Senior Constable First Class Lucas Chambers.Zero – that’s the number South Australia Police want to see when the Christmas holiday road toll data is finalised.
Far North police are reminding the community to stay safe and remain alert on our country roads this festive season.
The plea for a zero road toll came as SAPOL launches its annual festive season road safety operation.
Operation Safe Holidays runs from Friday, December 12 until Monday, January 26, 2015.
The operation will see police focus on seatbelt use as well as detecting motorists speeding on rural roads, using their mobile phones or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Far North Highway Patrol traffic manager Sergeant Mark Jarman said just one-third of our population lives rurally, yet crash data shows us the risk on those roads is higher than in highly populated areas.
“It’s incomprehensible that some motorists are still taking risks such as drink driving, driving without a seatbelt, ignoring speed limits, or driving while using a mobile phone,” Sergeant Jarman said.
“These are all bad decisions that lead to fatalities and serious injuries.
“Fatigue is also a high risk on our roads during the holiday period so SAPOL reminds drivers to rest 15 minutes every two hours when travelling longer distances.”
Police data shows the most likely time to be involved in a serious casualty crash is in the days immediately prior to Christmas, especially on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between the times of 2pm and 10pm.
On Christmas Day, the riskiest time on the roads is between midday and 8pm.
“This festive period, we don’t want to see any trauma on our roads,” Sergeant Jarman said.
“The best gift you can give your family and friends, is to arrive safely.”
Christmas driving tips from the Motor Accident Commission and the South Australian Road Transport Association:
– Cut down on distraction by switching off your mobile phone.
– If you plan to have some Christmas drinks, don’t take the car. As the new MAC Drink Drive campaign reminds us – Drink Driving? Grow up. Have a designated driver, or plan to stay at your Christmas party overnight.
– Secure any loose items in your vehicle so they do not become missiles if you need to brake suddenly.
– Overtaking vehicles – try to use overtaking lanes when passing, it’s the safest option. Only overtake trucks when you can see well ahead and make certain you have plenty of room to overtake safely. If travelling below the legal speed limit maintain your speed and don’t accelerate when being overtaken, especially by trucks which are generally speed-limited to 100km/hour.
– Do not dart in front of trucks when approaching traffic lights. Heavier vehicles need a greater distance for braking. Give trucks plenty of room as they need it to stop safely.