V8 supercar drivers got behind a campaign it hoped may help reduce Queensland’s spiralling road toll.
They pledged their support to Fatality Free Friday, held nationally on May 31st this year.
Bernadette O’Connor reports.
Drivers Jamie Whincup, James Courtney and Jonathan Webb joined forces at Holden’s Driving Centre at Norwell.
Rivals on the track they all had a very clear message to everyday drivers on our roads.
James Courtney, Racecar driver: “If you’re going 80km/hr with a lane going in the other direction that’s a closing speed of 160km so that’s a pretty big impact and a lot of people don’t really think about that when they’re driving or talking on their phones, about how dangerous they can be.”
Jonathan Webb, Racecar driver: “What we do on the race tracks we do 300km/hr, but its well controlled, we’ve got fire, ambulence and all the saftey measures but on the road we dont have these things, we’ve got telegraph polls and guardrails and it’s important to be safe and think about what you’re doing.”
Even though it’s just one day of the year, Fatality Free Friday aims to highlight a much bigger picture.
Already this year on Queensland roads there have been 104 deaths, a 10 percent increase from this time last year, organisers of Fatality Free Friday say the message is simple, drivers need to take it easy.
Road users can go online and promise on that Friday not break to the law by wearing seatbelts, not using a mobile phone or speeding.
Founder of Fatality Free Friday, Russell White, says whether you’re on two feet, two wheels, four wheels or more, it’s about changing small road-behaviours.
Russell White, Australian Road Saftey Foundation: “It could be that they’re just going to look a little bit further down the road, they’re going to drive to conditions, they’re going to stay focused on what they’re doing. And they are going to think a bit about maybe being more cautious- changing that culture on the road a little bit.”
If the support of these V8 drivers can earn the respect of road users for just 24 hours then Fatality Free Friday has achieved just that.
Bernadette O’Connor, QUT News.