Awareness of increased road risks the aim of CARMA
REMAIN patient, be attentive and alert…good "CARMA" will then follow on our roads.
With the festive season here, all road users must take some responsibility to help stop the carnage.
Leading advocates from the CARMA road safety initiative have asked drivers to unite in a national call to action to prevent any more families from losing loved ones on the roads at Christmas.
Russell White, leading road safety campaigner and co-founder of the CARMA call to action said that most traffic incidents were preventable and happened because people simply failed to drive safely.
"Our aim this holiday season is not to preach the road rules, but rather to create awareness of the increased risks on our roads at Christmas time and ultimately change behaviours.
"As always, the Christmas and New Year periods see a surge in traffic volumes, an increase in congestion, tired and weary drivers and unfortunately, higher numbers or people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"While we can't control many of these external factors, what we can do is drive with greater alertness, caution and courtesy - remember to share the roads with others, allow increased travel time and schedule frequent breaks to help all drivers remain safe during these high-pressure periods."
Road Trauma Services Queensland team member resident Phil Barry, who lost his son James in a tragic, yet preventable car crash the day after Boxing Day in 2002, joined Mr White and the CARMA initiative in pleading with drivers to travel with heightened caution and patience.
"Ten years ago my life was changed forever when my son James didn't make it to a family Christmas gathering. Sadly, the circumstances surrounding his death could have easily been prevented with repercussions extending far beyond our own families sorrow," he said.
"From the bottom of my heart, when behind the wheel this Christmas, I urge all drivers to avoid distraction and just focus on driving.
"Don't change CDs, don't text or talk on the phone and especially don't drink and drive. Above all, be patient and drive to conditions."
Five driving tips
- Follow the leader… from a safe distance. A significant number of accidents occur because drivers did not have enough time to react to sudden stops or turns.
- No need for speed. Aussies accrue hundreds of millions of dollars in fines each year and thousands dying on our roads, it's clear that we're still speeding - at any cost.
- Put the phone down. The most dangerous drivers are distracted drivers. Whether you're talking, texting or changing the tunes, being distracted for a split second could have much more grave consequences than missing a phone call.
- It's safe to assume the worst of people. Driving is one scenario when you need to be prepared for everyone else to act like idiots. Always expect the unexpected.
- Take a break. If you're tired, pull over and rest.