by Aden Stokes
WITH school wrapping up for the year and families around the region relaxing and entering into holiday mode, a lot of people will be driving long distances and accidents will be at their peak.
Officer-in-charge of Emerald Road Policing Unit Sergeant Brad Weeks said his message for Christmas is to be safe.
"If you are going to be driving long distances please plan ahead,” Sgt Weeks said.
"Have plenty of rest before and during your trip, don't drink or take drugs and drive, don't be distracted, make sure you and all of your passengers are wearing a seatbelt properly fitted and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination so you don't have to speed.”
Sgt Weeks said accidents and receiving a fine are not the only things that can ruin your holiday.
"If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere it can be very distressing and even dangerous,” he said.
"Have a quick check of your vehicle before you leave.
"At least check the oil and and fluid levels, check the tyre pressures and condition.
"Most tyre outlets can do an inexpensive quick tyre and suspension safety check for you.
"If it's been a long time since you've have had your vehicle mechanically inspected, right now is a great time to see your local mechanic before heading off on holidays.”
Sgt Weeks also wanted to remind families who have a learner driver to not let them drive a long distance without regular breaks.
"It's very important to give them as much experience as possible and I know they need to get their hours up, but don't forget that they are still learning,” Sgt Weeks said.
"By all means give them some experience on the highways, but long distance driving can not only be difficult for the learner driver, it can also be difficult for the instructing person to stay focused on teaching and watching.
"It only takes a fraction of a second of not watching the learner driver for them to make a catastrophic error.
"My final message is to have a very Merry Christmas and return home safe and sound.''