Police combat rise in car crash injuries
MORE people have been injured in traffic accidents this year in the Gympie region than last year, and police are on the beat to educate drivers and save lives.
This week is Queensland Road Safety Week, is a chance for everyone to be involved and help make our roads safer.
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Gympie police District Crime Prevention co-ordinator Deb Wruck said, from her display at Hungry Jacks yesterday, the number of fatalities in the Gympie region was on par with last year but the number of injuries was higher.
"I don't have the exact figures but fatals are on par," said Snr Const Wruck.
"We have had a lot of people injured, that's definitely peaked.
"Bruce Hwy is always a concern but the truth is you could have an accident driving to the store; it doesn't have to be a long journey.
"It's your decisions you make, it is the people behind the wheel."
Today, Snr Const Wruck will be at the Star Liquor bottle shop on the Southside, from 9.30-2.30pm.
She said Road Safety Week was a chance to reach out to the community.
"Every day we are doing something.
"Tuesday we have our drunk goggles, which have three levels of intoxication and people can feel what it is like to be drunk and do things, walk in a straight line or catch a ball."
Each day will focus on different road safety issues, speed the focus yesterday, drink and drug driving today, distractions, seatbelts and child restraints tomorrow, sharing the road on Thursday and fatigue on Friday.
"The big thing we find is people pre-drink before they go out, but they don't know the proper amount of pouring," Snr Const Wruck said.
"They pour one drink, but the strength may be that of three, so we show them the correct measures so they won't have any trouble.
"People should always have a designated driver, or simply don't drive at all."
Snr Const Wruck said many accidents in the region were caused by distractions, with a surprising amount involving animals in the car not properly restrained.
Penalties and fines apply to animals not properly secured.
"Please restrain animals in the car," Sen Const Wruck said.
"We've had a few incidents with dogs, where the driver has had to reach and taken their eyes off the road.
"Restrain them, you must treat them like you would a child."
According to Snr Const Wruck, another surprise for Gympie police is the number of motorbike accidents including males in their 40s on good roads and good weather, driving within the speed limit of 60km/hr.
"We're not sure why but it seems to be motorbike riders simply going on their weekend rides," she said.
"People must remember to be careful because accidents can happen at anytime."
Snr Const Wruck will host a free Senior Road Safety Forum on Thursday, held at the Gympie RSL Orchid room, 9am-12pm.
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The forum will feature a free morning tea, lucky door prizes, presentations from TMR on licences and medical conditions, Gympie Council on alternate transport, Roadcraft on 4WD and towing safety, and Traffic Police will run a road rules refresher quiz.