Using kids to help police bad driving

EDUCATING pre-schoolers to warn their parents about driving while using a mobile phone is one idea from a forum aimed at reducing the state's road toll.

More automatic numberplate recognition devices in police cars, making CPR training a requirement when getting a driver's licence and rewarding those with clean driving records with cheaper registration fees were some other ideas raised.

Road safety delegates and ministers met in Brisbane yesterday for the forum called following the devastating Easter long weekend road deaths.

Eight people died during the Easter weekend - almost triple last year's toll, when three people died at Easter.

Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said there were many issues raised during the forum but double demerit points and higher fines over long weekends that other states have adopted were not supported.

"It was brought up but not many people thought that double demerit points were a good idea and that's because there is a lack of evidence involved in that," she said.

The safety of road workers and narrow roads being built in new developments were some of the problems raised, she said, along with issues in different public service departments, including health and transport and main roads, hospital and health services and police.

"In fact one of our eminent doctors in Queensland spoke about the fact that he thought that when you renewed your licence, or when you get your licence, that it should be mandatory for people to have undergone a resuscitation course so that people are aware that when you do drive a car you are driving a machine that can maim and kill people," she said.

In her opening address, she said Queenslanders were not getting the message about road safety and that emergency service workers were fed up because they felt like they were talking to a brick wall when it came to educating the public.

Ms Miller said mobile phones were another hot topic on the agenda at the forum.

"It was brought that up that perhaps there should be some sort of program within schools, even down to pre-schoolers, who can say to their parents if they pick up a mobile phone or if they try and look at Facebook, that the kids in the car can say to their parents, please stop this, it's not good for anybody's safety on the roads."

Acting assistant police commissioner Michael Keating said authorities and road safety companies were on the right track when it came to combating the road toll.

"We know the trends in relation to road safety in the last few years have been quite positive," he said. "But … there is some fine tuning we could do, absolutely.

"Overall the fundamental message though is the decision comes to the driver of the motor vehicle. People need to make the best decision when they're driving a car about their safety and the safety of other people around them."

Mr Keating said many poor decisions were made during the Easter weekend.

"One driver was detected at 220kmh in a 100kmh zone.

"What we are seeing is people taking risks and making poor decisions." - APN NEWSDESK


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