ROAD SAFETY WEEK: Locals raise pressing questions with police
DALBY Burnett District Crime Prevention Coordinator senior constable Dan O’Hara says reducing the number of road fatalities has to be a collaboration between the police force and the wider Dalby community.
This week, Dalby police have taken a step closer to that goal by collaborating with the town over coffee, kicking off Road Safety Week.
Snr const Dan O’Hara said the Coffee with a Cop event was a step in the right direction in curbing road trauma, and traffic-related fatalities.
“With engagement with the public we’d like to actually at least make sure there’s no increase (in fatalities),” he said.
“We’d like to have it drop year by year, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.
“Often you’ll find road tolls fluctuate despite the best efforts of the police.”
According to snr const O’Hara, events like Coffee with a Cop are important for the police to raise awareness about the seriousness of the traffic offences that occur as a result of the Fatal Five – speeding, seatbelts, inattention, fatigue, and drink/drug-driving.
The officer said people they connected with at the even were keen to learn more about road safety, and road rules that they were otherwise unaware of.
One particular road rule had some people stumped.
“A lot of them are a bit concerned about the $1000 fine that you can get for mobile phone use, and that goes under the fatal five as ‘inattention’,” snr const O’Hara said.
“That’s the big one that’s has sort of rocked them.
“A lot of people are a bit tempted to actually use their mobile phones and our advice is when you go for a drive just put your phone on silent, or if your phone rings, just leave it.
“No phone call is that important that you can justify having a head-on to answer it.
“And that’s the problem, so put your phone on silent or just let it ring, and when you can safely pull over, pull over onto the side of the road and answer it.
“Nothing is that important that you can’t let it go for a minute or two.”
Just days before Road Safety Week began, four people were involved in an horrific accident just outside of Dalby which resulted in three patients, including a toddler, being flown to hospital for treatment.
As Road Safety Week continues throughout the remainder of this week, snr const O’Hara encouraged locals in the region to wise up about their driving habits, and think about the long-term impacts of their actions on the wider community, and the officers who have to attend crashes when they occur.
“Road Safety Week is not only just the responsibility of the police, it’s also the responsibility of the public,” he said.
“And as police, we’d appreciate it if the public worked hand-in-hand with us and attempted to actually curb the road toll.”