Island tragedy front of mind in safe driving push
THE death of a British national on a Fraser Island beach was at the front of Joanne Freeman's mind when she visited the landmark.
The United Kingdom Consul-General for Queensland and the Northern Territory explore K'gari on Sunday as part of an awareness-raising trip for the Driving is Different Down Under campaign.
She said Deklan Gilmartin's death in a July rollover on 75 Mile Beach made the visit especially poignant.
"That's why it was timely for us to come when we did," Ms Freeman said.
"It's very sad for the young gentleman who died and our thoughts and condolences are with his family.
"It's a reminder to everybody that you can't take these things for granted. You have to be safe, careful and cautious."
Ms Freeman said the campaign was aimed at young travellers preparing to explore Queensland who may be surprised by the challenges they face on our roads.
These include driving on sand in places like Fraser Island, as well as covering vast distances on our highways.
"It's about following advice, understanding the rules of the road and understanding the distances," she said.
"The distance from Brisbane to Cairns is greater than the distance from London to Prague."
Ms Freeman said while her visit to Fraser Island gave her a chance to see its spectacular scenery, and to enjoy the thrill of driving on the beach, it was eye-opening.
"I can see, if you're a young person in charge of a 4WD, how easy it is to get distracted," she said.
"If you're driving on sand, please follow the advice to the letter.
"We want you to have fun but we'd rather you are safe. We want you all back safely."