Drive safely this Christmas

As the school term and work starts to wrap up for most and Australians’ minds turn to travel over the Christmas period, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack has urged people to take their time and drive safely this Christmas.

Launching the Australian Road Safety Foundation’s Christmas road safety campaign today, Mr McCormack said the Christmas period can often see people driving long distances on roads they may not use regularly.

“This campaign has 91 stockings representing people killed in road crashes across Australia during the three-week Christmas holiday period last year, including 52 people who lost their lives over the 12-day Christmas period from 23 December 2017,” Mr McCormack said.

“We know Christmas can be a stressful time, with extended travel for many families. And while many of us know the road rules and plan ahead, it is always good to have a reminder, especially around roadworks.

“One road death is one too many. So it is important we all remember to take our time, share the driving and drive safely to make sure we get to and from Christmas holiday safely over the next few weeks.”

Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz also urged Australians to take extra care on our roads, imploring travellers to plan ahead.

“Striving for a fatality-free Christmas period shouldn’t be something we only dream about, it should be a reality that we actively seek to achieve,” Mr Buchholz said.

“The Government has continued to play its part by ensuring our roads are safer and passing laws to make choosing safer cars easier for Australian consumers. In addition, we have begun a National Road Safety Governance review and invested millions more in the Black Spot Program and other road safety improvements nationwide.

“These initiatives will only succeed with the support and vigilance of every driver on the road – whether that involves making a quick trip to the local shops or travelling interstate on an extended holiday with the whole family in tow.

“Christmas is a time for getting together with loved ones to celebrate 2018 and to welcome in the New Year, so it is very important to make arrangements to get home safely from these events.

“In other words, if you plan on drinking then plan a safe journey home. I implore everyone to please take great care to drive safely at all times during the Christmas holidays.

“Drive safely, have a Merry Christmas and a great 2019.”

Hannah Maguire