Let safe driving be our goal

March 07, 2018

In the space of a single day yesterday, three car accidents occurred across the region.

At the time of going to print, one man was dead, another fighting for life and a woman was taken to hospital for observation.

The conditions of those involved in a third accident at Congupna were unknown.

All crashes occurred on rural roads with high speed limits and two-way lanes — a story us country folk are not unaccustomed to hearing.

The first happened on Heathcote-Rochester Rd at Bonn just before 7am; the second mid-morning in Central Kialla Rd; and the third on Goulburn Valley Hwy near Congupna.

While many of the occupants of the cars escaped relatively unscathed, the crashes brought the road toll for the year to date to 40 — three more than compared with this time last year.

After years of campaigning and consistent process around reducing death and serious injury on our roads, it seems as though reductions in the road toll are plateauing.

Our own road fatalities increased by 7.5 per cent in 2016, and the number of fatalities per 100000 population rose by six per cent.

Although 2017 wasn’t as severe when the count came around again, it was only a minor improvement.

Road trauma is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.

Drug and drink driving, distraction and inattention, failure to wear a seatbelt, speeding and fatigue have all been targeted in these campaigns, but when people continue to die on our roads, it’s sometimes difficult to believe that the message is getting through.

Have we as a society become immune to the horrors of road trauma? Can we not step into a car without constant distraction or speed?

Because at the end of it all, the consequence is not worth it.

It is estimated that the impact of those hurt on our roads costs our economy about $28billion each year. Aside from the significant trauma and loss bestowed upon families, friends and communities, the issue places unwarranted pressure on our hospitals and emergency services, and strain on Medicare, Centrelink and the PBS.

There is a flow-on effect to every Australian.

We as a community do not have to accept road deaths as a part of life, we as a community have a responsibility, every time we buckle up, to change our behaviour.

Think about this the next time you get in a car.

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