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Be warned - traffic police on festive season alert

THEY'RE ABOUT: A/Sgt Chris Watson says police will be out and about these holidays.
THEY'RE ABOUT: A/Sgt Chris Watson says police will be out and about these holidays. Renee Albrecht

IF YOU have noticed a lack of police activity on the roads lately, including a dearth of random drink and drug testing activity, fear not. They have been saving up for Christmas.

And that starts now, according to Gympie Road Policing Unit officer in charge Chris Watson.

Acting Sgt Watson has warned drivers to stick to the rules so everyone can get to and from their holiday destinations safel;y.

Driving safely and lawfully is also the best way to avoid unpleasant interactions with police at the roadside or along Cooloola Coast beaches where road rules apply.

"The school holiday period running into Christmas and New Year is traditionally the busiest time on the road in the Gympie region.

Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island will be among the busiest areas, he said.

"The higher volume of traffic on the road network, combined with greater than usual distances, places all users at an increased risk of being involved in an injury crash.”

Police operations have already begun, to coincide with the graduation of 2017 year 12 students.

"Operations will continue through the remainder of the school year and into the holiday period, with an emphasis on the Fatal Five offences (speed, impaired driving, seat belts, fatigue and driver distraction.

"As well as targeting the major highways through the region, police will also be targeting Rainbow and Teewah Beaches, including with random breath and drug testing,” he said.

He says police are urging drivers to plan their journeys and to make sure their cars are roadworthy.

And he says they should remember they are supposed to be on holidays and avoid becoming impatient.

"Take plenty of breaks and above all be patient with the extra volumes of traffic on the roads.

"It's better to arrive a little late than not at all.”

Her says police unmarked vehicles will combine with a highly visible presence, with new police motorcycle livery and hi-vis protective gear.

Good news is that so far this calendar year we have had fewer crashes (from 183 last year to 172) , fewer fatal crashes (eight to six), and a big drop in drug drivers (151 to 109).

Injury crashes are up from 136 to 145 and drink drivers are steady at 132.

Topics:  christmas fraser island gympie crashes gympie police rainbow beach

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