296 too many road deaths already
With more than six weeks remaining for 2009, police are urging drivers to slow down to avoid more deaths.
In 2008, there were 18 deaths in 15 crashes in the district, which covers the area between Tiaro, Howard and Mundubbera and includes Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
This year, there have been 16 deaths in 14 crashes.
“We want people to take more care on the roads,” Sergeant Kev Thompson of Hervey Bay police said.
“Accidents are preventable and avoidable if people drive with care.
“We don’t want to have to go to fatals.
“We want everyone to be here for Christmas.”
The state’s road toll stood at 296 yesterday.
Police across Queensland staged simultaneous events in the afternoon, using crowds of people to demonstrate the high number deaths on the roads. Police Minister Neil Roberts and Commissioner Bob Atkinson led a minute silence in Brisbane to mark the approach of 299 deaths.
Two hundred and ninety nine people wearing hats gathered there and at other locations across the state including the Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
Commissioner Atkinson said regional fatalities were highlighted at each event by the use of red hats among a sea of white.
“Each one of these people represents someone’s family member, loved one or friend who will never come home; an empty place at the dinner table this Christmas,” he said.
Mr Roberts said: “At the start of this year, the Bligh Government and the Queensland Police Service set an ambitious target of limiting the road toll to Below 299 in 2009.
“Sadly, the state’s road toll is expected to pass the 299 target in the coming days and there are still more than 50 days left in the year.”