Townsville youth tackle road safety with Cowboys and Fire

North Queensland’s sporting superstars have been enlisted to help the city’s next generation of drivers tackle the issue of road safety.

The list of athletes includes Cowboys’ legends Matt Bowen and Antonio Winterstein as well as players from WNBL juggernauts the Townsville Fire.

Students will meet the athletes on Tuesday and take part in activities aimed at driving home the message about the fatal five: speeding, alcohol and drugs, fatigue, distraction and failing to wear a seatbelt.

Held as part of Queensland Road Safety Week, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper and police will also join the event.

“While the number of deaths on Queensland roads is the lowest in five years, far north and north Queensland communities continue to be overrepresented,” Mr Bailey said.

To-date 32 people have died on far north and north Queensland roads, six more than the same period last year.

“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering more $23 billion for better Queensland roads, including $900 million in road safety initiatives, but we all have a role to play.

“We want young people to put safety first when they head onto the roads, and it’s great our local sporting stars are helping to share that message.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said young people continue to be one of the most-at risk groups on our roads.

Nine young people died in North Queensland crashes last year and a further 184 were hospitalised.

Mr Harper said Townsville local Zaine Hayter would also share history after being involved in a single-vehicle rollover in 2011, which left him with life-changing injuries.

“Mr Hayter was almost 18, the age of some of the students, when he was left with permanent brain injuries,” Mr Harper said.

“Hearing a personal story can help students understand the impact of their decisions and behaviour on our roads.”

Queensland Road Safety Week is a Palaszczuk Government initiative, delivered annually in partnership by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police Service. The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), RACQ and the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) are supporters.

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