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Play smart these footy finals

SOUTH Gippslanders who drink and drive have been put on notice ahead of a wave of Transport Accident Commission-funded police enforcement activity to coincide with the AFL finals.

A TAC grant will enable Victoria Police to fund $1 million worth of overtime hours for road safety policing over and above normal police operations between now and early next year.

More than $700,000 of that will be spent targeting drink drivers, as Victorians embrace footy finals, spring racing and the Christmas/New Year period.

This comes as the TAC ramps up its drink driving campaign to remind revellers of the deadly consequences of driving over the limit, estimated to be a factor in one-in-four road deaths.

TAC CEO Janet Dore said being caught at a booze bus was the best thing that could happen to drink drivers.

“Losing your licence for a positive reading is a far better outcome than having the police knock at your family’s door to explain that you’ve been killed or badly hurt in an accident,” she said.

With drink driving-related casualties estimated to cost the Victorian community at least $270 million per year, Ms Dore said it was a timely warning.

“We know that Victorians’ social calendars will be particularly busy over the next few months so, if alcohol is going to be involved, it is essential that people plan a safe way home. That should never involve driving.”

The TAC’s Levels campaign hit the airwaves last week, reinforcing the dangers of drink driving and educating the public about the myths around how many standard drinks people can have while remaining under the legal BAC limit.

“There is no rule about how much alcohol you can consume before your impairment level makes you a danger on the roads,” Ms Dore said.

“Many factors affect how much a certain amount of alcohol will affect your blood alcohol level, such as tiredness, whether you have eaten and physical size. You can never estimate your BAC so the message has to be: if you drink, don’t drive.”

Ms Dore said driving impairment kicks in at low BAC levels, increasing a driver’s tendency to take risks and reducing their ability to respond to changing road situations.

“Between .05 and .08, the ability to judge distances is significantly reduced, reactions are slower and concentration span is shorter,” she said.

At .08 drivers are five times more likely to have a crash than before they started drinking. At 0.12, their crash risk has increased tenfold.

“Anyone who thinks they can drink and get behind the wheel should know that they can be tested by police at any time and in any location. They should see that as the best case scenario,” Ms Dore said.

From October 1, all drink driving offenders caught with a .07 BAC or above will be required to install an alcohol interlock device, preventing them from driving unless they record a zero BAC. All repeat drink drivers caught under .07 will also be required to fit interlocks.

Reducing drink driving-related road trauma through improved vehicle technology, education and zero tolerance enforcement regime is a key goal of the Victorian Government’s Road Safety Strategy. For more details on the strategy, visitwww.roadsafety.vic.gov.au.

 

Watch it: drivers are urged to monitor their alcohol consumption during the footy finals.

Watch it: drivers are urged to monitor their alcohol consumption during the footy finals.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=12125

Posted by on Sep 9 2014. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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