Police urge caution after crashes

TASMANIA Police's annual Christmas road blitz has started poorly with two crashes in Launceston on the first day of Operation Crossroads.

About 10.15am yesterday a middle-aged Hobart woman was involved in a head-on collision with a roadworks truck in Vermont Road, Mowbray.

Police said the woman suddenly veered on to the wrong side of the road before hitting the large truck.

Senior Constable Steve Ockerby said the woman was very lucky to escape with non-life threatening injuries and the truck driver was fortunate to be in a heavy vehicle.

``She had to be cut from the vehicle . . . the driver of the truck is obviously shocked by what happened but other than that he appears uninjured,'' Senior Constable Ockerby said.

``This is the second collision we've attended this morning where apparent inattention is the cause.''

Speed did not appear to be a factor and the woman's blood would be screened for drugs or alcohol.

The crash followed an earlier collision at Invermay at the intersection of Goderich and Forster streets about 8.05am.

The accident saw a four-wheel drive hire car and a small sedan collide.

One person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Northern District Support's Inspector Darren Hopkins said statistically the most serious crashes were likely to occur today. 

``A majority of the crashes requiring hospitalisation during the holiday period will occur Christmas Eve, accounting for 13 per cent of all serious crashes during the reporting period,'' Inspector Hopkins said.

``Many members of the public will be using our roads to visit family and friends over the next few days; please take your time, drive to the conditions and make it a safe journey for everyone.''

Police  expect  an increase in crashes involving interstate and overseas drivers today as well as more accidents in higher speed zones.

There is expected to be a doubling of crashes involving occupants not wearing seat belts and more drug and alcohol-related collisions. 

Inspector Hopkins said police would today be focusing on the ``fatal five: speed, seatbelts, alcohol and drugs, distraction and fatigue, with particular attention towards failing to give way''.

The Christmas holiday road toll reporting period began at midnight yesterday and will last until 11.59pm on January 3.

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