Stanthorpe Police Sergeant Dan O’Dea
Stanthorpe Police Sergeant Dan O’Dea

Foreign drivers create mayhem on our roads

FOR many years foreign drivers have caused concerns on our roads, but the problem has been growing.

Some are caught not wearing seatbelts, others have random objects tied to the outside of their cars, while other still are found driving on the wrong side of the road.

Stanthorpe Police Sergeant Dan O'Dea sat down with the Warwick and District Community Road Safety group Tuesday night to discuss the serious problem.

"It's becoming a large issue in Stanthorpe and Warwick," Sergeant O'Dea said.

"It only used to be a problem during the major fruitpicking seasons, but now we are noticing it all year round.

"They have international licences, don't know our road rules, and the problem is not an easy fix for police."

Sergeant O'Dea said it was legal for people who held an international licence to drive in Queensland.

"We use the strategy of education and enforcement.

"We try to visit them in a group on the properties they are working at and use visual aids to help explain our road rules," Sergeant O'Dea said.

"Most of them can understand some English."

While Sergeant O'Dea said it was important they were educated about our laws, enforcement seemed to be making a larger impact.

"They all talk amongst themselves; if one gets caught doing the wrong thing the message gets passed on," he said.

"That's how enforcement works; it's about the flow-on effect."

Sergeant O'Dea said he believed if overseas visitors came into the country on anything other than a holiday visa, they should have to sit a standard road rules test.

"There should be a test in their own language for them to complete when they enter the country," he said.

President of the Warwick and District Community Road Safety group Graham Buchner said the committee was trying to help educate foreign drivers to improve safety on our roads.

"We want to do something before there is a serious accident," Mr Buchner said.

"They are not used to our roads which are very different from their countries, and we want to work alongside the police to educate the drivers.

"Recently I've been to visit John Dee Abattoir which is one of the biggest employers of foreign workers in Warwick and they seem willing to work with us too."

Mr Buchner said John Dee Abattoir agreed to hand out pamphlets containing information about our road rules to any new foreign workers it employed.

"It's just another one of those things we will need to keep working towards," Mr Buchner said.

What are your thoughts? Comment below or phone us on 4660 1316.

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