Be safe this Easter

Smithton Police Senior Constable James Radford asks locals to be safe on the roads and on the water this Easter long weekend as police continue to target the ‘fatal five’ contributors to accidents through the ‘Operation Crossroads’ blitz. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Safety. Alcohol and driving do not mix, but this fact is often forgotten when it comes to boating.

Ahead of the Easter long weekend, Smithton Police are urging locals not to mix alcohol with driving, or with boating.

Under the Marine Safety Act 2006, it is an offence to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol limit over 0.05 per cent.

Smithton Police Sergeant Lee-Anne Walters said police will be checking boat operators during the extended weekend.

“Vessel operators can be breath-tested and required to accompany police for the purpose of a breath analysis.”

Royal Life Saving Tasmania (RLS) has reiterated the facts, reminding people about river safety in a bid to prevent further drownings and ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday period on and around our inland waterways.

RLS research shows that in Tasmania, 44 people have drowned in rivers over the past 13 years, with 32 per cent of cases known to have involved alcohol. Boating and watercraft incidents claimed the lives of 13 people on Tasmanian rivers.

On our roads, the statewide ‘Operation Crossroads’ traffic blitz will again be conducted over the Easter holiday period in a bid to address and target the ‘fatal five’ contributors to accidents: speed, seatbelts, alcohol and drugs, distraction, and fatigue.

Sergeant Walters said it was a sad reality that fatalities increased during holidays.

“During the operation, we will be engaging in a number activities with a view to increasing road safety over the Easter holiday period, which unfortunately is a time when police normally see an increase in serious or fatal accidents,” she said.

“Police urge motorists to plan your travel over this long weekend, allowing for extra time to account for extra traffic on the roads.

“Plan for regular rest stops when travelling and avoid distractions in your vehicle.”

Sergeant Walters said the leisurely weekend was also generally a time when many young people and their instructors had time to practise driving. She asked road users to “be courteous” to one other.

Operation Crossroads is on from Thursday March 24 to Tuesday March 29.

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