THE roads in Outback Queensland lead to some of the most scenic views in Australia. From rainforests to deserts, this spectacular part of Australia offers unique environments many tourists have probably never encountered. While this is all part of the outback’s appeal, it also comes with many hazards.
An increase in heavy vehicles, four-wheel drives and recreational rigs using the roads has created a new set of challenges for the Queensland Police Service (QPS). As a result of an increase in accidents, caused by inexperienced drivers, the QPS has introduced the award-winning road safety campaign: ‘Stay On Track Outback’ – an awareness program to educate tourists on driving in different conditions, dealing with wildlife crossings and road trains and the risks associated with driving at night, including fatigue. Ultimately, the aim of the initiative is to keep people safe on the roads.
‘Stay On Track Outback’ was launched during the 2012-13 tourist season in partnership with Santos, Murweh Shire Council, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and the Charters Towers branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA). The campaign is supported by the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey and Assistant Commissioner of the Southern Region Tony Wright.
Isuzu UTE Australia partnered with the campaign by donating a new 4x4 Isuzu D-MAX crew cab ute, fitted out as a fully-operational police vehicle. “A large proportion of our customers purchase their D-MAX or MU-X specifically for outback touring, so we felt an immediate synergy with this program,” David Harding, IUA’s Assistant General Manager of Marketing and PR, said.
To raise awareness of the program and to educate tourists and road users of the risks involved in outback travel, Jayco Motor Homes have jumped on board alongside (or, more accurately, behind) Isuzu to play a vital role. “In partnership with Santos, Jayco Motor Homes and Isuzu UTE Australia, a Jayco motor home and Isuzu D-MAX ute, decorated with ‘Stay On Track Outback’ graphics, are travelling across western Queensland to support the Imparja television ads in the education phase of the project,” QPS said in a statement.
“[QPS] remains committed to reducing trauma and death on Queensland roads. We utilise a suite of measures, including enforcement action, high visibility patrols and operations, and a range of education and community engagement strategies, to help reduce serious and fatal traffic crashes.”
The 'Stay On Track Outback' campaign won the Queensland Road Safety State Government Award in 2013.
If you are interested in learning more on this fantastic program that aims at saving lives, you can find more information at www.stayontrackoutback.qld.gov.au