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Police plead for safety at Christmas

After a fatality-free festive season last year, police are striving for another safe Christmas and New Year break on our roads.

The Great Southern avoided a fatality during the Christmas-New Year double-demerits period last year; however, six people were taken to hospital after being injured in road crashes.

So far 18 people have died this year on Great Southern roads in 16 fatal crashes.

Great Southern District Superintendent Ian Clarke is pleading for safety on the roads this season.

“The most important thing we are asking motorists to do is look after themselves, look after people in their car and the other road users,” he said.

“At the end of the day, a lot of the crashes we have is because people make simple mistakes, we do have a minority of drivers doing the wrong thing and police will be working very hard to get those people and take them off the road.”

Great Southern District Superintendent Ian Clarke is pleading for safety on the roads this festive season.Great Southern District Superintendent Ian Clarke is pleading for safety on the roads this festive season.
Camera IconGreat Southern District Superintendent Ian Clarke is pleading for safety on the roads this festive season.Picture: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Supt. Clarke said the vast majority of people who made mistakes on the roads were making simple mistakes, deadly mistakes.

“They are driving beyond their fatigue limit, distracted by people in the car or by things in the car, using mobile phones, all the things we are always talking about,” he said.

“It’s a busy time of year, the roads are busy; drive responsibly, we say that every year but sometimes I think it becomes white noise with some people.”

Supt Clarke said it was particularly tragic during holiday periods when police saw people taking risks and getting killed.

“In many cases it’s just because of a simple mistake and some of those mistakes you can never take back,” he said.

“We don’t want to see any serious crashes, injuries and certainly no fatalities this Christmas, when you’re confronted by those sort of things it’s just appalling.”

“What’s worse is when it happens around celebration periods, for family members those celebration periods then become significant for the wrong reasons.

“We don’t want family members sitting with vacant chairs at the Christmas table and if people insist on doing the wrong thing we are happy to accommodate them in lock up.”

This Christmas police will have a high presence on the roads and will conduct random breath and drug testing.

Double demerits begin Friday 21 and end on Sunday, January 6.

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