QUEENSLAND emergency services and RACQ patrols have become the focus of a new road safety campaign as part of this week’s Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Week.
Motorists will be urged to slow down and give space to the thousands of police, ambulance, fire and rescue personnel and the RACQ’s roadside assistance patrols who risk their lives to help others by the roadside.
The RACQ has produced a video to help draw attention to the Yellow Ribbon campaign.
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RACQ Executive Manager, Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding first responders and those who provided roadside assistance attend more than one million roadside incidents in Queensland every year.
“So often road safety messages are about protecting drivers, passengers and other motorists and but it is important to remember the lives of first responders, and others who work on our roads, should be equally valued,” Mr Spalding said.
“Emergency services and RACQ patrols experience near-misses every day from drivers failing to observe basic road safety guidelines when passing.”
Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Week was launched in May 2012 by Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Inc. following the death of Sarah Frazer, a young woman whose vehicle broke down on the Hume Highway in New South Wales.
Mr Spalding said Sarah and the tow-truck operator who came to her rescue were both killed when they were side-swiped by a passing truck.
“It’s a tragedy when anyone dies on our roads, but particularly when the incident can easily be avoided. We need to drive so others survive,” Mr Spalding said.
The RACQ’s fleet of 800 roadside assistance, tow trucks and traffic response vehicles this week will be displaying yellow ribbons or stickers to show their support for the cause.
“We’re urging all our members and other motorists in Queensland to slow down and give on-road workers – emergency or otherwise – plenty of space,” Mr Spalding said.
Queensland Motorways Ltd will also support the initiative by lighting the Gateway Bridge.