Dec 16, 2012

Stay safe this Christmas

The Gillard Government is urging all road users not to let the festive season get the better of them this Christmas.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, today reminded all road users, whether they are travelling just around the corner or interstate, to be careful of fatigue, speeding and drink driving this Christmas season.

“Whether you’re in a car, truck or on a motorbike, it may be tempting to rush your journey to get presents under the tree in time, but please remember, the safety of your family, friends and other road users is in your hands,” Mr Albanese said.

“Already this year 1,186 people have been killed in road crashes across Australia. Too many lives have been lost already and we urge all road users to take special care during the holiday season.

“Drivers and riders must remember to take regular breaks, monitor their speed and not take risks like driving under the influence of alcohol or using hand-held mobile phones.

“There will be more police on our roads and the penalties for breaking the law at this time of year are much tougher,” Mr Albanese said Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, said that the Government has been working to make our roads safer, but it’s also up to all road users to share the roads responsibly.

“Speed, fatigue, alcohol and drugs remain major causes of serious crashes and deaths on our roads —and we continue to find that about a quarter of people killed in crashes have failed to wear a seatbelt,” Ms King said.

“Most road tragedies are entirely avoidable and all road users should act responsibly when travelling on our nations roads.

“We, along with the state and territory governments, are doing everything we can to make our roads safer and improve vehicle safety. The Gillard Government has through our $36 billion Nation Building Program, upgraded our roads to make them safer for drivers.

“The Government is also pursuing higher crash protection standards and the adoption of new and effective safety technology in vehicles, including a new requirement for seatbelt reminder systems in passenger cars.

“Australia is also leading the development of an international crash standard for Pole Side Impact, which will bring improved protection against head and other injuries in all side impacts, a major source of road trauma in Australia.

“We urge all road users to take a few simple steps to greatly reduce their chances of a serious crash.  Keep to the speed limit and share the driving, don’t drive after drinking, wear your seatbelt, and most importantly, have a very safe and happy holiday season,” Mr Albanese and Ms King said.