Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is urging drivers to slow down over the festive season for the sake of their loved ones in a bid to stop deaths caused by speeding.

Mr Pitt said the State Government’s road safety campaign was based on evidence showing speed contributed to almost one in every four deaths on Queensland roads this year.

“A new television commercial ‘Faces’ within the Slow down stupid campaign, will air until the new year to remind us all of the impact on families who have lost loved ones in speed related crashes,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is the fourth in a series of six television commercials produced as part of the long-term Slow down stupid campaign which commenced last year.

“Evaluation results from the first phase of the campaign have proved the approach to be successful, with more than three quarters of Queenslanders followed up agreeing that since seeing the advertising

they less inclined to speed, and 72 per cent agreeing they check the speedo more often.

“While the results from this campaign have been positive, we need to keep up constant reminders to motorists that it’s not just young hoons on high speed freeways who die in speed crashes – it is innocent people, including your friends or family sitting in the passenger seat beside you,” Mr Pitt said.

In the first nine months of this year, 61 people lost their lives on Queensland roads in crashes involving speeding.

Of the 61 deaths, 64 per cent (39 people) were the speeding drivers or riders themselves, almost one in four (23 per cent, 14 people) were the innocent passengers of the speeding drivers or riders, and a further 13 per cent (8 people) were other road users (drivers, riders, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists).

Mr Pitt said that in addition to those killed on the road hundreds more were injured every year.

“On average more than 1000 people were either killed or injured in speed crashes in Queensland every year (2003 to 2007 average),” Mr Pitt said.

“Motorists who choose to speed need to realise they are putting all in their path at risk every time they put their foot down.

“There is simply no such thing as safe speeding, because you can’t predict the unexpected.

“If we are to reduce the number of avoidable deaths and injury on our roads, drivers must slow down and obey the speed limits.”

In the past five years (2004 to 2008):

  • Almost as many fatalities occurred in 60k/h speed zones (32 per cent), as did in 100-110km/h zones (34 per cent), where the speed limit was kno
  • Almost a third occurred in rural areas (31 per cent), with 41 per cent in provincial cities, and 28 per cent in the greater Brisbane area.
  • A quarter (25 per cent) of drivers and riders in fatal crashes were aged 30-39 years, with young drivers aged 17-24 years involved in 30 per cent, and 25 to 29 year-olds in 15 per cent, where age was known.

Mr Pitt also warned people to plan ahead if they wished to consume alcohol over the festive season.

“If they are going to drink, then they should think about, for example, arranging for someone to be the designated driver, or catching a cab or organising a lift”, Mr Pitt said.

“It’s important that drivers, especially young drivers, don’t let anyone pressure them into driving if they have been drinking.”

“Party hosts need to be vigilant and keep an eye on guests who might not be fit to drive.

“Insist on calling a cab for your guest or arrange a lift for them with another guest who is able to drive.

“Keep an eye on the size of the drinks you pour, always make non-alcoholic drinks available and serve food where possible. Bear in mind it doesn’t take many drinks to be over the legal limit.

As a general guide, men can usually have two standard drinks in the first hour and one every hour after that while women can only have one per hour.

Learner, provisional and probationary licence holders are reminded that they must have a zero blood alcohol content at all times.