Last year, the Queensland Government gave $15 000 to Mareeba Shire Council to encourage disaster preparedness and resilience building as part of the RACQ Get Ready Queensland initiative.
Council decided to use these funds to educate and remind road users to drive to the conditions so as to improve road safety across the Shire.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said Mareeba Shire has high visitation from international tourists, particularly backpackers who combine seasonal work with their travels. “Council recognised the need for a dedicated ‘Drive to the Left’ campaign,” Cr Gilmore said.
“As part of this campaign, Council designed a ‘Drive Left’ wristband to remind international travellers to keep to the left on Aussie roads.
“This initiative may be unconventional, but we are hopeful that this approach will appeal to travellers working in the Shire.”
Working with the Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (MDFVGA), Council is asking growers to pass the wristbands on to international workers in a bid to improve road safety in the Shire.
“Through our partnership with MDFVGA, we can take a targeted approach to increase our chances of reducing the likelihood of these horrific events in the future.” Cr Gilmore said.
Joe Moro, President MDFVGA supports this initiative. “We value working holiday visa holders or backpackers as they help us get crops to market. It is important that we support them and educate them in road safety,” Mr Moro said.
In addition to this wristband initiative Council is working in conjunction with Main Roads to put in place additional signage and road markings at key points to remind road users to keep left.