Six of nine lives lost in Gympie fatal crashes last year (clockwise from top left): Bev Nimmo, Jorn Gilbert-Hall, Tyreece Pilot, Deklan Gilmartin and Robyn and Lindsay Jensen.
Six of nine lives lost in Gympie fatal crashes last year (clockwise from top left): Bev Nimmo, Jorn Gilbert-Hall, Tyreece Pilot, Deklan Gilmartin and Robyn and Lindsay Jensen.

Gympie police to ramp up patrols after horror 2020 road toll

Gympie police are readying to ramp up “high visibility operations” this year after a horror year on the roads, both locally and across Queensland, in 2020.

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The high number of road deaths has increased in a shockingly tragic start to 2021, with 39 people dead from 35 fatal crashes in the state so far this year.

Both figures are a huge increase on this time last year, with 17 more fatal crashes and 20 more deaths as of last Sunday.

Queensland was the only state to record an increase in road deaths for 2020 with a toll of 267, 57 more than in 2019.

89 people died inside the Central police region last year, a span that includes Gympie, the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Coast.

Officer in Charge of the Wide Bay Burnett District Road Policing Unit Sergeant Chris Watson said there were three more fatalities attended by the Gympie Patrol Group last year than there were in 2019.

“In the Gympie Patrol Group 2019 we had seven fatalities and 154 Injury crashes, and in 2020 we saw 10 fatalities and 147 injury crashes,” Sgt Watson said.

“Already this year we have had two fatal crashes in the Gympie Patrol Group.

“Any crash involving injury or loss of life is one too many. Our main priority in the Gympie Road Policing Unit is reducing trauma and lives lost on our roads.

“Along with the other Road Policing Units in the Wide Bay Burnett District we have a common goal of ensuring the motoring public get to their destination safely.”

Veteran Gympie police officer Sergeant Chris Watson.
Veteran Gympie police officer Sergeant Chris Watson.

Sgt Watson said Gympie region police would be focusing intently on the “fatal five” for the rest of the year.

“In 2021 we will be conducting a number of High Visibility operations in the Gympie Region targeting the Fatal Five – Speeding, Drink/Drug driving, not wearing seatbelts, fatigue and distracted driving,” he said.

“These will focus on known traffic hot spots and crash areas as well as areas not usually targeted using highly visible and also covert police vehicles.

“This will supplement our daily enforcement undertaken on the road network in the Gympie Region.”