Suncorp Group's AAMI brand urges a fatality-free festive season
The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) joined forces with Suncorp's AAMI brand, government dignitaries and Queensland Police to implore Australians to prevent road trauma this holiday season.
Against the Brisbane CBD backdrop, nine Christmas trees lined the parkland.
Each represented the life of a child aged 14 and under whose life was horrifically lost on Australian roads during the December 2018–January 2019 season.
The nine trees were adorned with 217 yellow ribbons, as a memorian of the total number of lives lost due to road fatalities over those two months.
With this year’s road toll sitting at 1,012 (as at 31 October 2019 according to the ARSF), eight per cent higher than this time last year, there are countless more families preparing to face their first Christmas without their mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter.
Chief Executive of AAMI Insurance Gary Dransfield said he hoped the road toll installation would be a wake-up call for Australian drivers and would help to make our roads safer these holidays.
"We know through our claims experience that road related accidents can happen, but many of them are avoidable," Mr Dransfield said.
"Our teams are always there to support our customers in their time of need, but over Christmas we hope that it won’t be a busy time for them.
"Everyone has a part to play when it comes to reducing the road toll."
ARSF founder and CEO Russell White said the nine decorated Christmas trees would hopefully encourage Australians to do everything in their power to save lives.
"Christmas should be a time of love and laughter, not loss of life, but tragically it’s also the most dangerous time on the road," Mr White said.
"End of year exhaustion, increased drivers on unfamiliar roads and a spike in drink and drug driving are the major factors, so we all need to take responsibility to ensure we are fit to drive, not distracted and taking extra caution.
"It’s heartbreaking to think that for 217 more families, the holiday season will now forever be marred by the memory of losing someone precious to them. Of course no driver deliberately sets off looking for a crash, but every time someone speeds, drives tired or inhibited, or picks up their mobile phone, it increases the risk.
"People need to realise that the broader impact of road trauma goes beyond just the road toll – countless others are seriously, often permanently injured, families are torn apart and our first responders must carry with them the experience of these horrific scenes for the rest of their life."