Ahead of the festive season, police are urging drivers to stay safe so their Christmas isn‘t ruined by a loved one dying in a car crash.
Ahead of the festive season, police are urging drivers to stay safe so their Christmas isn‘t ruined by a loved one dying in a car crash.

Burnett police urging drivers to stay safe these holidays

Blackbutt police acting officer in charge Jessie Wellen is urging road users to follow the rules and said Blackbutt police will be increasing safety measures.

“I don’t want Christmas to be remembered for someone’s loved one dying from a traffic crash,” Sergeant Wellen said.

“Especially if the crash involved the fatal five – drink/drug driving, fatigue, speeding not paying attention and mobile phones.

“Here at Blackbutt we will be doing a lot of RBT’s and ensuring everyone sticks to the speed limit.

“The town gets so busy over the holidays with a lot of tourists, so it’s so important for everyone to stick to the 50km speed limit as there are a lot of pedestrians crossing the road through town.”

The D’Aguilar Highway that runs through Blackbutt has tragically claimed three lives this year.

It has been labelled as one of the state’s most dangerous stretches of road.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said an analysis of crash history and data from the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) the highway between Caboolture and Kingaroy had received a disappointing two-star safety rating, as well as a medium-high to high crash risk.

“The D‘Aguilar Highway claimed 14 lives and put 211 other people in hospital with serious injuries between 2012 and 2016,” Dr Michael said.

“Our research shows these deadly crashes happen when drivers run off the road, crash head-on, or collide with other vehicles at intersections.”

The South Burnett Times analysed data from the department of main roads and made a shocking discovery of just how many crashes were listed as ‘head-on’.

Between January 2000 and December 2018, the section of the highway between Kilcoy and Kingaroy has seen 779 incidents.

Of these:

  • 249 required hospitalisation and 22 were fatal.
  • 69 incidents were described as ‘head-on’ – making up just 8.9 per cent of incidents
  • Despite this, 35 of these head-on crashes, or more than 50 per cent, required hospitalisation or were fatal.
  • 10 fatalities were listed as head on – meaning someone lost their life in 14 per cent of all head-on incidents
  • Of the total number of fatalities during this period, 45% were head-on collisions.
Blackbutt police acting officer in charge Jessie Wellen is urging road users to follow the rules and stay safe this Christmas.
Blackbutt police acting officer in charge Jessie Wellen is urging road users to follow the rules and stay safe this Christmas.

Sergeant Wellen said it’s important to pull over if you are feeling tired.

“It’s important that if someone is driving tired, for them to pull over where it is safe to do so. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes to stretch their legs, get a coffee or something to eat,” she said.

“Taking a few minutes out of the trip to recuperate and recharge before getting behind the wheel again may ensure that someone arrives at their destination safely.

“After the year that we have had with COVID-19, I want everyone to spend quality time together with their loved ones and for everyone to arrive at their intended destinations safely.”

South Burnett

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