Plea to drivers after deaths

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 01 April 2013 | 19.55

Police at the site of a road fatality at Otago Bay yesterday morning. A 51-year-old Old Beach woman was killed in the single-vehicle crash. Pictures: SAM ROSEWARNE

MOTORISTS returning home from Easter holidays are being warned to take extra care after a horror 12 hours on Tasmanian roads.

A 25-year-old Huonville man and a 51-year-old Old Beach woman were dead yesterday after separate road crashes in the state's South.

The deaths took the state's road toll to eight – up from six at the same time last year.

Tasmania Police Southern District Supervision Inspector Adrian Bodnar said police were devastated by the fatalities after a fatality-free Easter last year.

The senior officer urged drivers to take a break today and tomorrow as they returned from Easter trips.

"It is really important people slow down, that they obey road rules and they drive to the conditions," Insp Bodnar said.

"Tomorrow there will be driver reviver stations around the state.

"If people on long journeys are starting to feel a bit tired, pull over and take that 15 minutes to have a break."

He said the Operation Crossroads police blitz would continue today and tomorrow.

"I would encourage people not to take the risk.

If you have had too much to drink – simply don't drive," he said.

About 6.30am yesterday the Old Beach woman lost control of her Hyundai Tucson on the East Derwent Highway in Otago Bay with police indicating the vehicle rolled at least once.

The woman, the sole occupant of the vehicle, died at the scene.

Nine hours earlier the Huonville man, riding an unregistered motorcycle without a helmet in the rain, lost control at speed and hit a concrete bridge at Lonnavale in the Huon Valley, south of Hobart.

Operation Crossroads statistics yesterday showed more than 50 people had been nabbed in the Easter blitz for alcohol-related offences including 17 on Saturday night.

Tasmania Police Inspector Darren Hopkins said younger motorists appeared to be behaving themselves more than their elders when it came to drink-driving.

Police were yesterday seeking witnesses for both fatal crashes.

Insp Bodnar said speed and alcohol appeared to be factors in the motorcycle crash on a secluded dirt road in Lonnavale, near Geeveston.

Insp Bodnar said people with the man at the time had spoken to police.

Speed did not appear to be a factor in the Otago Bay crash, he said.

"At this stage there are a number of scenarios," he said.

Police believe the woman lost control while negotiating a right-hand bend north of Murtons Rd.

State Emergency Service volunteers will run Driver Reviver stations today at Parramatta Creek north of Elizabeth Town, St Peters Pass north of Oatlands, Fossey River on the West Coast and Franklin River on the Lyell Highway.

The national Easter road toll is already well above last year's total.

By late Easter Sunday afternoon, 15 people had died on the roads.

The deaths push the road toll higher than last year's total of 11 and equal to the final 2011 Easter toll.

In Victoria there have been three Easter road deaths, four in Queensland, three in South Australia, two in NSW and one in Western Australia.

OPERATION CROSSROADS

• Total random breath tests conducted: 18,820 (14,503 last year)
• Persons charged with alcohol-related driving offences: 53 (52 last year)
• Drug tests conducted: 36 (26 last year)• Positive drug tests: 5 (6 last year)
• Infringement notices issued (speeding): 486 (534 last year)
• Vehicle confiscated/clamped: 6 (8 last year)

matthew.smith@news.com.au


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