Survive drive this disaster season

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are urging motorists to drive to conditions as Queensland prepares for a wet 2021-2022 Queensland disaster season.

With a La Niña weather event impacting Queensland this summer, the QPS is reminding drivers of the hazards created by wet weather.

QPS Assistant Commissioner and Queensland Disaster Management Committee Executive Officer Ben Marcus said reduced visibility, slippery roads and debris were some of the road hazards drivers could experience during and after a storm, tropical cyclone or flood.

“So far this year, police have already seen drivers taking dangerous risks on wet roads including speeding and driving through flood waters,” Assistant Commissioner Marcus said.

“As we now enter Queensland’s disaster season, police want all motorists to consider what they need to do in order to make it home safe in wet weather.”

Assistant Commissioner Marcus said there were a number of actions drivers could take this summer.

“Before leaving home, remember to plan your journey ahead of time by checking for weather warnings and road conditions in your area, and along your travel route,” he said.

“While on the road, slow down, always leave enough space between you and the car in front of you and listen out for weather warnings and updates on your local radio station.”

Assistant Commissioner Marcus said during a disaster, damaged or flooded roads and debris could create delays and difficulties for emergency services responding to crash sites.

“Ideally, the last place you should be during a storm is on the road,” he said.

“However, if you find yourself caught in a storm or heavy downpour while behind the wheel, find a safe place to pull over and turn on your hazard lights.”

Since the start of November, QFES personnel have attended more than 30 water rescues across Queensland.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach urged motorists to be aware of the risk of flooded roads and reinforced; if it’s flooded, forget it.

“Large parts of Queensland are experiencing heavy rainfall and many catchments are swollen and will respond to further rainfall quickly,” Mr Leach said.

“If motorists are faced with floodwater on the roads, it is never safe to attempt to make it across.

“Too many motorists think they are the exception to this rule and find themselves in a dangerous situation which is also dangerous for emergency services.

“Please be patient, drive to conditions and plan ahead in case your route is flooded.”

Since the start of 2021, a total of 261 people have lost their lives on Queenland roads, 14 more than the same time last year.

“Every year, police and emergency services see Queensland drivers endanger their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, by taking unnecessary risks on wet roads,” Assistant Commissioner Marcus said.

“With so many lives lost already this year, the responsibility is on everyone to make sensible decisions behind the wheel this disaster season.”

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