The State Government has provided funding of $50,000 towards improving road safety locally with an education program to discourage drink-driving.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said funding for two Sunshine Coast Council pilot projects will provide a positive approach to educating the public about drinking and driving by rewarding drivers who do the right thing. Drivers will be offered free breath testing outside popular licensed venues in Mooloolaba and Maroochydore and provided with $5 Go-Cards or taxi vouchers to encourage use of alternative forms of transport.
“This project will raise awareness of alcohol consumption and encourage people not to drink and drive by offering taxi and GoCard vouchers,” said Ms Simpson.
Statistics indicate that during the period 2008-2012, 29 out of 126 fatalities on the Sunshine Coast were alcohol related. The goal of this project is to is to help reduce the number of alcohol related fatalities and injuries on the Sunshine Coast.
The Queensland Police Service on the Sunshine Coast conduct approximately 20,000 breath tests per month. In July 118 drivers and in August 116 drivers were found to be over their legal BAC limit to drive a vehicle.
“Road safety is a top priority for the State Government and this is a great new initiative to help educate people about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.”
“It is difficult for people to work out what their true blood alcohol concentrations are after drinking. Therefore the message needs to be clear that if you intend to drive then don’t drink alcohol,” said Ms Simpson.
Ms Simpson said that the State Government has committed $350 million over two years for a Road Safety Action Plan.
“We are serious about fixing our roads, skilling our drivers and reducing the road toll,” said Ms Simpson.
“Two Sunshine Coast projects have received $50,281 as part of the Community Road Safety Grant funding. Eligible not-for-profit groups and local governments across the state were successful in receiving a total of $850,954 for 41 grass roots road safety projects.”
“This is a great example of government, business and the community working together to help reduce road trauma,” Ms Simpson said.
Some of the winning projects included:
- child restraint education and awareness
- school bicycle education programs
- upgrades to school road safety related infrastructure
- driver mentor programs to assist disadvantaged learners in achieving 100 hours on-road supervised driving
- designated driver programs
- signage for heavy vehicle drivers and tourists to alert them to fatigue rest stops and trivia signage to help keep them alert
- a trial of innovative road safety treatments at high risk rural intersections and sharp corners
A second round of road safety grants for non-profit and local government groups will open in February 2014.