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Road Safety Week 2021

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Every day, road crashes devastate the lives of Queenslanders and take an enormous toll on families and communities. So far this year, 157 lives have been lost in crashes on Queensland roads. This is 15 more lives lost than at the same time last year (as at 28 July 2021). Queensland Road Safety Week (QRSW) will be held from Monday 16 August to Friday 20 August 2021 is an annual event raising awareness of the importance of road safety,

Most of us know the basics of car safety: don’t drink and drive, don’t tailgate, don’t drive when tired and always be alert. But there’s more to staying safe on the road, especially when you’re driving with children in the car. Here’s some lesser known but super important safe driving tips.

Seat Belt Safety:

Seat belts significantly reduce your chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash on the roads. Following a few simple seatbelt rules can help when they are small people on board. Don’t start the engine until everyone is buckled up, yourself included (kids notice everything!). Ensure younger children understand they must always keep their seatbelt on.

Secure loose items:

Even small loose items can become deadly flying missiles in an accident. Pack items neatly into the glove box or the boot, as close to the back seat as possible and never above the height of the seat.

Kids to the back:

The safest place for children under 12 years of age to sit is the backseat. That’s because the force with which front airbags deploy can seriously injure children. While in Queensland, children above the age of 7 are legally allowed to sit in the front seat, it is recommended that they stay in the backseat until 12.

Road Safety Week 2021

Child car seat safety:

There are lots of car seats on the market and picking the right one can be overwhelming. You need to pick the correct size, orientation and style for your child and the car. Firstly, make sure it’s safe and complies with all of the regulations. Look out for the sticker and words that the seat is certified to standard AS/NZS 1754.

Child car seats should be less than 10 years old and have never been involved in an accident.

Child safety when exiting the car

If you have young children, always travel with the child safety lock on so they can’t escape! If you are solo parenting with a baby and a toddler, get the baby out first and securely into their pram. Why? Because they are less able to dart onto the road in a split second once their straps are off.

Avoid distractions

Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, and unfortunately kids can be pretty distracting. Keep children entertained (where possible) and give them spill-proof drink bottles and snacks that won’t make a mess. On longer trips, stop for regular breaks and encourage them to stretch their legs.

Road safety jumps to a new level when you have kids – its more than just indicating and obeying stop signs. By following road rules and keeping mind the above safe driving tips, you can help to minimise the risk to yourself and your family when you’re out on the road.

 

LEARNIT

Having a driver’s licence can be something we take for granted. The freedom that gives us and the opportunities it provides. However, many of Townsville’s young adults are not given the opportunity to achieve their licence due to circumstances out of their control.

Enter LearnIT.

DriveIT NQ’s LearnIT Youth Mentoring Program is run by Queensland Youth Services and funded by the Queensland Government. LearnIt NQ helps young people who may not have access to a car or someone who can teach them to drive, to complete 100 hours of driving to achieve their P-plates.

Combine that with the fact most employers require workers to have at least a P licence and it means disadvantaged youngsters are even further behind.

As of April this year, 90 volunteer mentors have provided 9542 hours in supervised driving lessons since the LearnIT program was introduced. More than 100 provisional P1 licences have been obtained since the program was introduced in 2018.

Road safety program facilitator Murray Holm said many drivers who achieved their licence went on to gain employment or independence that allowed them to access other community or health services more readily.

Going through the LearnIT program prepares someone towards job readiness not only because of the fact they have the licence, but because the mentoring improves their social skills and what Murray calls community literacy. Improvements are seen in their communication skills and time management due to them having to book lessons as well as learning about different sorts of jobs from our volunteers.

LearnIt grew out of a memorandum of understanding between DriveIT NQ and Queensland Youth Services with funding from Transport and Main Roads. It has been through the support or local businesses and organisations that the LearnIT volunteers are able to do what they do. All volunteer time, four cars, fuel, tyres and maintenance costs are all donated by local businesses. Partners include DriveIT NQ, Queensland Government, Graduate School of Motoring, Pickerings Auto Group, Carmichael Ford, Bob Jane T-Marts, Rotary Club of Port of Townsville, Learning Partnerships, Getbranded, Triple M Townsville and Townsville Bulletin.

For more information about LearnIt,
contact Murray Holm at rspf@qys.org.au or 0439 386 498.

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