Fatalities rising on Warwick roads, driver error to blame
WARWICK police officers are urging drivers take more care on the roads after a year littered with traffic crashes, ranging from minor bungles to fatalities.
The coronavirus pandemic means 2020 Queensland Road Safety Week looks a little different than other years, but police say the emphasis on safer driving remains the same.
For Warwick police officer-in-charge Jamie Deacon, the Southern Downs’ increase in road deaths in the past year, despite the lockdown period, should ring alarm bells for the community.
“Most crashes can be avoided – there’s usually a causal factor involved, and it’s usually something to do with the driving behaviour of one party,” Snr Sgt Deacon said.
“If we can eliminate that error in judgment, or those driving behaviour issues – well, we aren’t going to be able to prevent all crashes, but a large number of them should be preventable.”
According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland’s crash data indicates the “fatal five” – distraction, intoxication, fatigue, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt – are a factor in one of every two fatal accidents.
Even though the coronavirus will prevent police officers from more directly engaging with the community this week, Snr Sgt Deacon said patrols would increase, along with online and social media workshops.
“We’re doing enforcement every day, so you’ll probably see a few more units out with RBTs, stop signs, speed regulation, and life-endangering offences in general,” he said.
“It’s easy to police things like your seatbelt, speed, drink and drug driving, but it is more problematic with fatigue or mobile phones – you need that individual responsibility there.
“The whole point of this is to raise awareness for those in the community to take care of their own driving behaviour.”
This year, roads across the Warwick area have already claimed the lives of a number of residents, including a young Freestone man.
Queensland Government’s most recent crash data, dated up to 2018, reveals the Cunningham Highway to be the worst site for accidents within the 4370 area, with 58 per cent of fatalities occurring there.
Warwick-Allora Rd, Warwick-Killarney Rd, and New England Highway were the next most common accident black spots.