Loretta Bryce takes a look at 2009 on the Fraser Coast's roads
Loretta Bryce takes a look at 2009 on the Fraser Coast's roads

2009 a bad year for drink drivers

MORE motorists have risked other people’s lives by drink-driving and driving disqualified in 2009, but the Fraser Coast’s police officers have managed to reduce the number of people killed on our roads this year.

“The good news is that we’ve seen a decrease in the number of fatalities,” Maryborough traffic branch Sergeant Tony McCarthy said yesterday.

“There were 15 fatalities on Maryborough district roads this year compared to 19 in 2008.

“But 15 deaths is still horrendous. It’s a lot of people and a lot of families affected.”

Sgt McCarthy hoped the last day of 2009 would not bring any more bad news.

While fewer people died on the region’s roads this year there was an increase in the number of drunk and disqualified drivers.

Sgt McCarthy said 550 people were caught drink-driving this year – 48 more than last year.

Motorists increasingly defied court-ordered disqualifications, with 146 people found driving disqualified.

That compares with 123 motorists caught driving disqualified in 2008.

“The increase in drink-drivers is alarming,” Sgt McCarthy said.

“We continue to warn people about drink-driving and we don’t hide the fact that we are out there to catch drink-drivers.

“And people obviously aren’t heeding the orders of the court.”

Sgt McCarthy said Fraser Coast police would continue to emphasise the fatal four in 2010, with a particular focus on drink-driving.

“There will be an increase in the number of people using the roads in 2010.

“We just hope drivers obey the rules and be more patient.

“We’ll be doing more drug testing in the region in 2010 and we’ll also introduce high-visibility highway patrol cars to increase people’s awareness of the police presence.

“The community needs to play a part too. We need the community to be on our side to help us reduce road trauma.

“If people see something on the road that shouldn’t be happening, take down the number plate and give us a call.

“We rely on community assistance and we can act on the information we are provided.”

THE YEAR OF DRIVING DANGEROUSLY

Maryborough District traffic record, up to 3pm yesterday (2008 record)

Fatalities – 15 (19)

Drink-drivers – 550 (502)

Disqualified drivers – 146 (123)

Unlicensed drivers – 498 (570)

Injury crashes – 343 (318)

Non-injury crashes – 343 (396)



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