Queensland government urges drivers to stay safe this summer

Posted by: Cal on 7/01/2014

Category: General

A streamlined vehicle permit process has been introduced in Queensland's National Parks in a bid to increase recreational opportunities in the area.

Steve Dickson, minister for national parks, recreation, sport and racing, says the former Labor government under-utilised the parks. He believes more people than ever will now have access to them, providing an easy and fun holiday option for Queenslanders and those travelling from out of state.

Mr Dickson highlights beaches in particular as fantastic places to visit, saying "I want as many Queensland families as possible to create some great memories by visiting one of our beautiful beach parks these holidays".

However, the government is warning motorists to stick to the speed limit and be extra vigilant when it comes to driving in the parks. Mr Dickson is quick to remind drivers that road rules apply on the beach, just as the do on the road, so it's vital to stick to the speed limit, wear seatbelts and refrain from drinking and driving.

Motorists should also take care to check their car tyre pressure before and after driving on sand. Tyre pressure should be reduced to ensure a stable ride, allowing tyres to roll over top of sand rather than dig in to it. It's important to remember to reinflate tyres to their regular pressure as soon as you return to the tarmac.

Driving on sand requires constant momentum to keep the car travelling safely and in a stable manner. If sand is soft, press the accelerator harder to avoid digging into or stalling on the sand, but take care not to create a wheelspin that will have a similar effect.

Turn in wide arcs and try to use existing wheel tracks where possible, as the sand will be condensed and allow for a firmer grip. Avoid any sudden movements with the steering wheel, and ensure your vehicle isn't top heavy, as this can increase your risk of crashing or rolling over.

Mr Dickson recommends anyone feeling unsure about driving on sand get advice before venturing into the parks, and take their time to get used to the new driving conditions. He mentions locations like Byfield, Fraser Island, Cooloola and Moreton Island can be tricky to navigate for those not used to beach driving, but are filled with fantastic fishing and camping opportunities.