Driving home road safety message

The Examiner's police reporter CAROLINE TANG begins a series on road safety awareness this Easter, with the launch of police blitz Operation Crossroads today.

AUTHORITIES have advised road users to slow down and stay safe this Easter, after two people died on Tasmanian roads during this time last year.

Four people have died on Tasmanian roads in the past three weeks alone.

Tasmania Police is part of the Australia and New Zealand-wide Operation Crossroads campaign, which starts today and ends on Easter Monday.

The initiative will target speeding drivers, as well as other major causes of road trauma.

Police Commissioner Darren Hine said police wanted everyone to arrive at their destination safely.

He said more police would be on the roads, including a marked increase in high visibility patrols, speed cameras, and random breath-testing sites.

"Speed is not just going over the speed limit," Mr Hine said.

"It's going too fast for the road or weather conditions.

"Our advice is to take your time, don't even think about driving if you've had a few drinks, and take regular breaks from driving."

Police will also focus on targeted mobile random breath- testing patrols in rural areas.

Mr Hine said police aimed to increase road safety awareness and reduce serious injury crashes.

"Everyone has the right to travel on the road safely and Operation Crossroads is about maximising police resources to target unsafe driving on our highways and arterial roads," he said.

"Road safety is a shared responsibility.

"If we all play our part we can bring the road toll down."

Mr Hine said the top causes of road deaths were speed, not wearing seatbelts correctly, alcohol or drugs, driver distraction and fatigue.

Road Safety Advisory Council chairman Jim Cox urged drivers to respect everyone using the road, including cyclists and motorcyclists.

"Allowing yourself to be distracted while driving is not safe," Mr Cox said.

Police and Emergency Management Minister Rene Hidding said speed was a factor in 52 per cent of fatal crashes and 37 per cent of serious injury crashes in the past five years.

"Many people are going on holiday and there may be the temptation to go a bit faster to get there quicker," Mr Hidding said.

DRIVER REVIVER SITES:

State Emergency Service volunteers will host Driver Reviver sites on Easter Monday at:

- St Peters Pass, Midland Highway, in the South.

- Sideling Lookout in the North-East.

- Parramatta Creek in the North.

- Fossey River in the North-West.

- Franklin River Nature Trail in the West.

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