Drive safe, it's Fatality Free Friday

ONE person died on Queensland's roads last Friday.

One person died the Friday before that and one the Friday before that.

The organisers of Fatality Free Friday hope today will be different.

Each of the 1400 pairs of shoes - heels, flats, work boots, thongs, children's - laid out across Brisbane Square today represent the average annual number of people killed on Australian roads.

The organisers urged people to pledge to drive safely, not just today, but every day of the year.

Spokeswoman Liz White said a road toll of zero was the aim for today and the shoes were a stark "reminder of the many lives destroyed by road trauma".

She said this year's FFF program focused on "an increasingly prominent road safety issue" - work-related road crashes.

"Work-related road trauma is the highest single contributor to deaths and injuries in Australian workplaces," she said.

"With two out of three vehicles on the road making a work-related trip, people need to know a work related accident could happen to them and employers could be found liable."

Police commissioner Bob Atkinson said the workplace theme was important to recognise, whether it was fatigue or "employees who simply feel pressured by their employers to get too much work done in too short a time".

"The really sad thing about (fatals and serious injuries) that ruin lives is almost every time that happens it's avoidable, it need not happen," he said.

"In 1973 the road toll peaked in Queensland. There were a lot less drivers and vehicles on the road than there are today and there were 638 deaths on Queensland roads.

"Last year there was 269 deaths, the year before 249, that was the best result ever in 2010.

"What that shows is that you are making a difference and we can do a lot better than we did in the past.

"You'll never know the person whose life you saved, you'll never know the person who doesn't end up a paraplegic and whose life is ruined forever, and you'll never know the family who don't go through the trauma associated with that

"But be assured that what you are doing, the collective effort, is making a difference.

"We can avoid the symbolism of all these shoes out here that belong to people who are no longer with us."

Racing car driver Craig Lowndes, who has spent many more hours behind the wheel of a car then most of us ever will, asked people to go online at fatalityfreefriday.com to sign the road safety pledge.

"I drive a race car for a profession, but I understand what speed does and I understand what sped can do," he said.

"What's the difference between driving on a race track and on public roads.

"It's a controlled environment, I'm driving around the same bit of bitumen, I have a pit crew, fire marshalls and I have everyone on hand if something was to go wrong within 15 seconds.

"On a public road you're constantly have changing road conditions, not only weather conditions but differences from country to city roads."



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