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Fatal Five Reasons for Driving Accidents and Deaths

Awareness of the Fatal Five – drink driving, non-wearing of the seatbelt, speed driving, fatigue and distraction – was part of the highlights of the annual Fatality Free Friday held last May 30. 

However, before Fatality Free Friday, the police revealed alarming statistics that all the more motivated the police to conduct the information drive against traffic offences and accidents.

Police reported that in the previous year 25 persons died on Sunshine Coast roads. Since the start of this year, there have been six people who died on Coast roads and 312 people injured in crashes. The police are determined to lower the statistics of traffic-related crashes, deaths and injuries for 2014.

As for drink driving, since January 1 655 persons were charged with drink driving offences and 786 were penalized with fines for using a mobile phone while driving. Overspeeding, garnered a whopping 6192 drivers who exceeded the speed limit which the police recorded through handheld traffic speed enforcement.

This overspeeding number was taken exclusive of violators caught overspeeding by fixed traffic cameras on Fridays. Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Johnston noted that Friday is the busiest part of the week on the road and recommended that it should be at this time that people should plan their trips.

Preparations were stepped up for the celebration of the Fatality Free Friday. Motorcycle champion Chris Vermeulen was invited to attend the event at Sunshine Plaza where educational activities were held. The Coastwide Driving School provided training and practical tips for parents to share to their children.

The Fatal Five is part of the Road Safety campaign of the Queensland police. It used to be Fatal Four: drink and drug driving, speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and driver fatigue. Distraction was recently added to make it the Fatal Five, which is mainly attributed to the rampant use of mobile phones while driving.

Overspeeding occurs when a person drives and exceeds the mandatory speed limit in the area. The demerit points or fines that will be imposed as a penalty would depend on the seriousness of the speeding offence.

Driver fatigue is when the ability of a person to drive safely is adversely affected by his being sleepy or tired, whether physically or mentally. The campaign against driver fatigue targets mostly those who drive for a living like bus drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers and heavy vehicle drivers. In fact, Queensland has a National Driving Hours Policy which aims to combat and manage heavy vehicle driver fatigue.

Drivers and passengers of Queensland are required to wear a seatbelt at all times. The driver and the passenger who did not wear seatbelts may be penalized with fine or demerit points. There are only a few exceptions wherein a driver or passenger is legally allowed to wear a seatbelt.

Drug and drink driving will result in serious consequences for the driver. The penalties include fines, imprisonment, license suspension and disqualification from driving. The gravity of the penalty will depend on the driver’s level of blood alcohol concentration and the existence of aggravating circumstances.

The distraction of a driver may be because of the use of a mobile phone during driving, twiddling with the car air-condition or radio, or attending to children in the backseat. A driver caught using his mobile phone may be penalized with $330 and 3 demerit points.  

This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice.


Mackander, Megan. 24 May 2014. Retrieved from

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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