Taken from the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) newsletter.
A week before Perth residents can drive ‘down south’ again, the Australian Road Safety Foundation has warned drivers are taking more risks during the coronavirus lockdown. The ARSF’s latest research showed one in four regional West Australian drivers admitted to taking increased road risks since the implementation of the measures. The reason is likely due to the fact three quarters of the region’s drivers believe roads are safer under current conditions.
The alarming research confirmed speeding is already the most common road rule broken, with more than half of the region’s drivers admitting to exceeding the limit. That equates to a 21 per cent increase, while there’s been an 11 per cent increase in people driving after a few drinks and a five per cent increase in people using a phone while driving.
ARSF founder and CEO Russell White warned there is never an excuse to be taking risks on or around the roads.
“Sadly, with fewer cars on the roads during coronavirus, we’re seeing an increase in bad driver behaviour, which is unacceptable,” Mr White said. “Road trauma at any time is tragic, but it’s also largely preventable. While our incredible frontline medical and emergency services are already working harder than ever, is that text message or few extra minutes worth adding extra pressure on these resources?”
Australian Road Safety Foundation ambassador and motor racing champion Craig Lowndes said every road user is armed with the choice to make the right decisions when behind the wheel.
“Now is not the time to relax,” he said. “There is no room for complacency on the roads now, or ever, and all lives must be top of mind for road users at all times. The stark reality is that any time you take a risk behind the wheel, you are putting the lives of every motorist, passenger, cyclist and pedestrian around you at risk. Together, we can save precious lives on our roads.”
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