Operation Zero: southern region steps up to target road toll during deadliest month

Hundreds of police will be out in force from Toowoomba to Toogoolawah, Cunnamulla to Carole Park and Roma to Redbank Plains and everywhere in-between as the Southern Region aims to reduce trauma on its roads this July, with view to achieving zero fatalities

Acting Inspector David Campbell Operations, Southern Region was leading the charge and called on all road users to play their part to safeguard the community and first responders alike from the tragedy and trauma of needless loss.

“Already, we have had a troubling start to the month with the tragic death of a man on the Brisbane Valley Highway at Somerset this morning. My heart goes out to those involved in the crash, the man’s family and emergency responders,” Acting Inspector Campbell said.

“This tragedy will not deter our resolve, in fact-it bolsters it-we will do everything in our power to stop further carnage on our roads and we urge the community to help.

“Whether you’re on the Warrego, Cunningham or New England highway, you can expect to encounter police fatal five enforcement activity and we make no apologies for it,” Acting Inspector Campbell said.

“That means the targeting of speeding, fatigue, inattention, wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And we’re not just focused on the main arterials, either, you can expect us anytime, anywhere.

“Across the region, encompassing the Ipswich, Darling Downs and South West districts, we’ve already lost 35  lives on our roads this year and that’s 35 too many, fourteen more than last year.

“Until it happens to someone you love, or you’re involved in the emergency response it’s difficult to fathom the reality of fatal traffic crashes.

“We never forget the lives behind those numbers – their tragedy becomes our trauma.

“There’s only so much public education activities, a police officer holding a radar gun or manning a speed camera can do, as a community we all need to step up and take responsibility every time we get behind the wheel.

“To put it bluntly, I’m calling on all road users to wake up to the realities of the risks they’re taking on our roads, when you get behind the wheel of a car, you have a lethal weapon at your disposal-add in speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, driving tired and driver distraction, and the risks are amplified to a deadly extent.  

“I’ve heard every excuse in the book offered by Queenslanders-from all walks of life-attempting to explain away their blatant disregard for our ‘fatal five’.  

“What they’re really saying is they don’t care about their actions or the deadly consequences they could bring.”

Inspector Campbell said passengers, riders, cyclists and pedestrians also played a crucial role in road safety.

“Poor decisions can often be prevented by checking in with yourself and others. Calling out a friend or family members poor driving can be a hard conversation to have, but it may very well be life-saving-I’d encourage everyone to get comfortable having these chats. Simply put, drive so others survive,” he said.

Operation Zero fast facts

* Southern Region Police are conducting Operation Zero from 1-31 July 2022.

* Over the past decade, the month of July has been the worst month for lives lost in Southern Region.       

* Operation Zero has the goal of zero road trauma for road users in the Southern Region.

* Vehicle drivers are asked to ‘drive so others survive’ during Operation Zero in the month of July.

* During Operation Zero, Southern Region Police will be conducting extensive enforcement across Southern Region in conjunction with public messaging and education.  

* During Operation Zero, Southern Region Police will have a Zero tolerance for Fatal Five offending.  

* Road users are asked to use the road in consideration of the Fatal Five – speeding, fatigue, inattention, wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  Road users include vehicle drivers, riders, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

*21 lives lost throughout 2021, 35 lives lost year-to-date 2022.

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