Heading into the Christmas period, the NT Government is asking everyone to think about how you will get home, plan ahead and use a Sober Bob. Sober Bob is anyone willing to get you home safely and may not necessarily be the person you are out with. Sober Bob is not only a mate, but can be a bus driver, taxi driver, mum, brother, girlfriend, or uncle.
Simon Saunders, Executive Director of Transport Services and Safety explained that Drink driving remains a major problem in the Northern Territory, with around 40% of fatalities and 20% of serious injuries relating to alcohol. The NT road toll is still at least three times the national rate, with (an average of) 48 people killed on NT roads each year. Saunders added that the problem is particularly highlighted around seasonal events. “The Territory sees a significant increase in alcohol related accidents around events such as Christmas, Easter, major events and long weekends,” Mr. Saunders commented “The NT Government is committed to working towards a safer road transport system where no person is killed or seriously injured and all Territorians must work together towards the goal of zero deaths and injuries on our roads.”
Senior Sergeant Tony Bennett from Darwin Traffic Operations explained that this festive season the NT Police will be increasing their presence on Territory roads with additional Random Breath Test locations and a focus on drink and drug driving.
“We will have every available resource on the roads to ensure all Territorians have a safe Christmas and New Year,” Sen Sgt. Bennett commented “We are asking all drivers to take the responsibility seriously. The best present you can give your family over the festive season is your presence. Do not become a statistic. Drive to your ability and the conditions. If you plan to drink, plan to have a Sober Bob.”
Mr. Saunders explained that the ‘Who’s Your Sober Bob?’ campaign is also conducted with the support and assistance of St Johns Ambulance Service, the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and RADD (Recording Artists Actors and Athletes Against Drink Driving). Saunders also added that the NT Government will once again operate free buses on New Year’s Eve from 7pm on 31 December 2017 to 7.00am 1 January 2018. Services will depart Darwin, Casuarina and Palmerston Interchanges, picking up and dropping off at all bus stops along the route.