On-call: Tasmania Police Burnie CIB Inspector Adrian Shadbolt has urged drivers to stay safe during the Christmas period. Picture: Brodie Weeding
As families sit down to share a meal on Christmas day, Tasmania Police officers will remain on high alert to prevent the day taking on a devastating meaning.
Burnie-based Inspector Adrian Shadbolt said his Christmas gift would be to protectthe community from the sadness of another road fatality.
He said while police always hope Christmas day will be quiet, no-one should hesitate from giving them a call.
“You’d like to think Christmas day would be quieter but that’s not a word I use lightly and unfortunately things happen,” Inspector Shadbolt said.
“We have a responsibility to remain available to the community.”
Inspector Shadbolt said officers working on Christmas day would hold a small celebration at the station.
He said the holiday period can be a difficult time for officers.
“I think it can be challenging for a police officer at this time of year,” Inspector Shadbolt said.
“Christmas is a family time and the officers who are working are expected to be available and respond.”
Tasmania Police will launch Operation Crossroads on December 22.
The campaign will target the ‘fatal five’ factors that commonly play a role in car crashes.
Inspector Shadbolt said it was essential people considered their transport during the festive season.
He said road fatalities were profoundly devastatingat any time of year, however, the meaning of Christmas day should not be ruined.
“How would you feelat Christmas time if that date actually marked a horrific event?” Inspector Shadbolt said.
“Sadly, there are some members of the community that willbe going through that experience this Christmas and I feel very sad for those families.”
Inspector Shadbolt said most Tasmanians had been touched by road death, however,road safety remained a big issue.
He said officers were deeply impacted by call-outs to fatal crashes.
“You don’t want to keep bringing it up all time but the reality is road trauma is always there and the impact of it is just huge,” Inspector Shadbolt said.
“It’sjust tragic, you know, I couldn’t emphasise enough how horrible it is.”
Inspector Shadbolt said officershad been conducting more breathalyser and random drug tests than ever before.
He urged drivers to be hyper-vigilant about speed, inattention, alcohol and drug intake, seatbelt safety and fatigue.
“Christmas shouldn’tbe a time of remembrance,” Inspector Shadbolt said.
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