Topics:  christmas, driving, fatal four, road safety

Fatal four upgraded to five for Christmas road campaign

FROM people shaving, putting on make up and eating their breakfast, Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has witnessed the juggling acts people try while seated behind the wheel of a car.

Now, those driving behaviours have been officially recgonised in this year's Christmas road safety campaign, the fatal five.

The fatal four welcomed a new member on Tuesday in Brisbane with Police Minister Jack Dempsey announcing distraction would be added to list, already comprised of speeding, fatigue, drink driving and not wearing a seat belt.

"In 2011, 15% of people taken to hospital after a car crash were in a crash caused by inattention," he said.

"After a horror weekend on the state's roads, I ask that Queenslanders keep the fatal five in their minds as they travel this Christmas."

Mr Dempsey said no text message or social media post was worth any person's life The road safety campaign follows a horrific crash north of the Gold Coast on Friday night that killed five young people.

Queensland's road toll currently stands at 265 - 12 more than the same time last year.

Mr Stewart said driving distracted could attract a $330 fine and three demerit points.

"I have seen in traffic people doing the most ridiculous things from putting their make up on, having a shave and eating their breakfast," he said.

The impact was hard not only on the families and friends of those who fall victim to the fatal five but on emergency services too, Mr Stewart said.

"We don't like going to any of those accidents, it does have an impact on our people," he said.

"(They) are the ones who have to come along, investigate it and clean up the mess."

RACQ executive manager technical and safety policy Steve Spalding believes people do not fully appreciate the dangers of distracted driving.

"Driving is a complex task and one that requires full focus and attention," he said.

"If you have a distraction, you are diluting the ability to focus on that job."

RACQ research found 32% of survery respondents had been distracted by hands-free mobile phones, up from 29% last year.



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