Mildura Weekly : Friday January 5 Vol 12 No 9
NEWS 3 FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU POLICE from the NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol and Victori- an Road Policing commands have expressed anger with motorists for not heeding road safety warn- ings, highlighting the more than 600 lives lost across both States in 2017. “We are past the point of be- ing disappointed, we are now angry that drivers are not listen- ing to our warnings,” NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said. Police from both States this week vowed to stand together to combat road trauma, especially on country roads, with country and/or regional areas overrepre- sented in road trauma statistics in Victoria and NSW when com- pared with metropolitan areas. In NSW, 285 people died in 2017 on regional roads compared with 103 in metropolitan areas, while in Victoria, 151 people died on country roads compared with 104 in metropolitan areas. Tragically, most of the lives lost on NSW and Victorian roads in 2017 were attributed to poor decisions by drivers, namely speeding, drink-driving and driv- ing tired. Assistant Commissioner Cor- boy said to stem the loss of life, drivers and riders had to take re- sponsibility for their actions. “Speeding, drink-driving and driving tired are by far the three biggest contributors to fatal crash- es, especially in country or region- al areas, and a combination of any two of these factors is a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. “Tragically, when a bad deci- sion is made by a driver or rider, it is not only that person that is put at risk, they are usually put- ting their own passengers and all other road users at risk of getting involved in a fatal crash. “We are past the point of be- ing disappointed, we are now an- gry that drivers are not listening to our warnings.” Victoria Police Road Policing Command Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said drivers must re- alise there are risks when driving on country roads and acknowl- edge that they “have a role to play” in making sure they get to their destinations safely. “Speed, concentration, pre- paredness and tiredness should all be considerations when taking to our country roads,” he said. “Long stretches of road, com- fortable cars and cruise control can lead to complacency, motor- ists and riders must not only be mindful of their actions on the road, but be aware and ready to react in response to other road- user’s mistakes. “Take a break, plan your jour- ney and drive to the conditions, and if you’ve been out late the night before your trip or been out drinking, don’t leave early. “The fastest route plugged into the GPS is not always the best or safest road either. “There must be an onus on an individual driver to take re- sponsibility for their own actions, and on our country roads, where 100km/h is not forgiving, there’s simply no room for error.” Mildura police Leading Senior Constable Mark Baumann said local members would continue to urge motorists to reflect on their driving habits in 2018. “Already one person in Victo- ria has lost their life this year after a single vehicle crash in Illawarra just before 6am on Monday, Janu- ary 1,” he said. “A woman aged in her 50s from New South Wales died at the scene. “There were three other oc- cupants in the car – one was air- lifted to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and two oth- ers received minor injuries. “Although this is not in the Sunraysia area, this is a tragic way to start the year. “Please take the time to reflect on your own driving habits, and try to become a better driver to help keep our roads safe. “We are not asking for much. Maybe you just need to slow down that little bit or not be tempted to use your phone while driving. “Whatever you can do to make yourself that better driver would be greatly appreciated.” • DIRE WARNINGS: NSW and Victoria Police have expressed anger at motorists for not heeding road trauma warnings in 2017, especially in country areas. This single vehicle accident in Merbein early in 2017, where thankfully no one was seriously hurt, is an example of the dangers attributed to poor decisions by drivers, including not driving to conditions. Police from both States are urging motorists to take responsibility for their driving habits in 2018. 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Friday December 22 Vol 12 No 8
Friday January 12 Vol 12 No 10