A recent spate of serious car accidents has prompted a reminder for Tasmanian motorists to put safety first when on the road.
This year to date there have been 22 fatalities and 163 serious injuries resulting from car accidents, compared to 19 fatalities and 148 serious injuries this time last year.
Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said speed, drug and drink driving, inattention and not driving to the conditions were the main factors in these incidents.
“We had three months where we had very few serious crashes and one only fatality so it’s really disappointing there’s been an uptick,” Assistant Commissioner Higgins said.
In other news:
“It’s showing me people are a bit too complacent on the roads.”
Assistant Commissioner Higgins said Tasmanians needed to follow the rules and drive to the conditions.
Road Safety Advisory Council chairman Garry Bailey said Tasmania’s road fatality rate per 100,000 people was almost twice the national average.
“Unless we can start reducing these numbers we will end up with 175 Tasmanians dying over the next five years,” Mr Bailey said.
“It’s confronting and it should confront every Tasmanian.”
Mr Bailey said road safety was a public health matter like COVID-19.
“In the case of COVID-19, the public overwhelmingly obeys the rules and we’ve got a great result. If you translate that to road safety, you’d have a much better result,” he said.
Police, Fire and Emergency Management Minister Mark Shelton urged Tasmanians to stay safe when on the road.
“When driving around Tasmania and enjoying our wonderful lifestyle we have, we implore on people they don’t speed, they don’t drink and drive, they wear their seatbelts and observe what is going on around them,” Mr Shelton said.
“We are in the middle of winter now, and it’s critical everyone stays safe on the road.”