TAKE THE PLEDGE: Australian Road Safety CEO Russell White stands with the symbolic letterboxes, one for every life taken on Australian roads last year.
TAKE THE PLEDGE: Australian Road Safety CEO Russell White stands with the symbolic letterboxes, one for every life taken on Australian roads last year. Ray Cash Ph 0409344014

Play your role to reduce road tolls

TODAY marks Fatality Free Friday, an initiative asking drivers to take extra care as they drive on the statistically most dangerous day of the week.

Sixteen per cent of last year's road toll occurred on a Friday, and the Australian Road Safety Foundation is urging motorists to be conscious of the impact their choices can have on others.

Since January last year, there have been seven deaths as a result of traffic incidents on Noosa roads.

Noosa Police officer-in- charge Mick Doogue said police would be out in force today ensuring the safety of road users.

"All police will be taking part (today),” Snr Sgt Doogue said.

"We'll all have some form of traffic control that we'll do for Fatality Free Friday.”

Snr Sgt Doogue supports the initiative, stating any day that helped drivers be more conscious on the road was a positive thing.

"It's a wonderful initiative,” he said.

"Really any day that helps lower the road toll is good.”

Snr Sgt Doogue said while "accidents do happen”, most crashes could be avoided by driving correctly and staying alert and aware.

"With any fatal accident, if people adhere to the road rules and drive to the conditions, we'd have a greater chance of reducing road deaths and injuries,” Snr Sgt Doogue said.

Statistics from the Australian Road Safety Foundation released in the lead up to Fatality Free Friday show an alarming number of road users have regular "near misses” on the road.

The data revealed 58% of Australian drivers narrowly avoid a car crash at least once a month, while 18% of drivers said they experienced close calls on a weekly basis.

The foundation's CEO, Russell White, said Fridays remained one of the deadliest days of the week on Australian roads, accounting for 214 fatalities last year, or 16% of the total road roll.

"This Fatality Free Friday, we ask everyone to spare a thought for the loved ones left behind after a fatal road crash,” Mr White said.

"We urge every motorist, passenger, cyclist and pedestrian to pledge their support for Fatality Free Friday, because every decision made can be the difference between life and death.”

The same study showed that almost half of Australians do not ask speeding friends or family members to slow down, and 46% of people riding with a texting taxi, UBER or professional driver will not ask them to put their phone away.

"We need to create a culture where we call each other out on bad behaviour behind the wheel, instead of shuffling the responsibility onto others,” Mr White said.


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