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Alcohol major contributed to Rockhampton road fatalities.



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11 January 2001 B9/2001

ALCOHOL MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ROCKHAMPTON ROAD FATALITIES

According to official end of year road fatalities, 17 of the 317 deaths on Queensland roads have occurred in the Rockhampton district.

During a visit to Rockhampton today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Senator Ron Boswell, said he had been advised most of these deaths were generally alcohol related accompanied by driving in the early hours of the morning.

“It is extremely devastating for those families who have lost loved ones and we should not accept the road toll as inevitable,” he said.

“Fortunately, The end of year Rockhampton fatalities did not increase and remained the same as 1999 fatalities (17).  I understand from the Police Central Region Office that these fatalities incorporated two accidents where there were multiple deaths.

“Across the State, there has been a 22.7 per cent increase in the number of driver fatalities for the Year 2000 since 1999.

“During the official Christmas holiday period, Queensland road fatalities were down by 1 from 11, with Rockhampton district recording 1 fatality - down 1 from 1999.”

Official road fatalities for the year 2000, released by Senator Boswell this week, show a 3 per cent increase from 1999 fatalities (1,764).

“The year 2000 recorded 1,817 fatalities on our nations roads - this is the highest figure we have seen since 1996 when 1,970 fatalities were recorded,” he said.

Senator Boswell said driver fatigue and alcohol were among the major causes of road death.  “It is frustrating to know that these dangers can be avoided if drivers only took a few simple precautions,” he said.

“Research shows people should avoid driving during the hours when they normally sleep.

“A major commitment is needed from all of the community if we are going to achieve safer national roads.

“Fatality figures and continued trends need to be reversed, we need to do much more if we are to achieve the vision of a genuinely safe road transport system in Australia.”

Senator Boswell stressed that government and police efforts to address deriving behaviour can only be successful with the active involvement and guidance by young drivers’ peers and family.

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Wednesday, 17 January 2001