Welcome to this week’s editorial, The number of lives lost on NSW Roads During Operation Safe Arrival currently stands at 21, since the start of the Operation Safe Arrival. So many shattered lives and shattered families.While accidents do happen there are always the other contributing factors that all too often come into play. Inattention, tiredness, compromised ability to name but a few. In the mass media today we are seeing headlines such as “Driver in fatal Princes Highway crash was heading home from methadone clinic” in regards to a recent tragedy. A headline designed to gather clicks, views and stir opinion. On Dec 19th in another crash that involved three cars on the Kings Highway that resulted in two women and teenage boy being hospitalised in a serious condition the police will allege in court the driver who allegedly caused the collision was under the influence of ‘ice’ (methylamphetamine) at the time of the crash. Madness. Just today we see the image of an impatient driver dangerously overtaking a van on the highway south near Bega. More madness. Everyday there are near misses, stories of madness on the road, of anger, rage, horns blowing, fists waved. And all the while our roads become busier and we seem to become time-poorer. With that seems to come a selfish urgency that everyone should get a wiggle on and keep out of our way as we have places to go, people to see and really don’t have time to dawdle. No doubt there will be a review of the laws around driving under the influence of drugs and there may, or may not, be an increase in penalties. The majority of us will most likely already have an opinion, fuelled by social media that slathers at stories that wrench at the heart, of what should be done to those who might drink/drug and drive. Of those under the influence who cause such loss and tragedy? Yes, they should be kept off the road for all of our sakes. Of concern though are the increasing numbers of others who should be off the road. We could start with the impatient, the weekend road warriors on the Kings Highway who tailgate and overtake with a lunacy. Then we could add the distracted; those who are on their mobiles, those with screaming fighting children in the back, those who are over tired from work and life, those who are over-dozed on prescription drugs that impair capacity, those too old to react and those who choose to drive without a licence in an unroadworthy, unregistered vehicle without any fear of being busted because they know that the system all but sets them free again. And then there are the totally crap drivers who shouldn’t have been allowed a licence in the first place—take care out there folks—it really is far more dangerous on the highway than you first imagined. Until next, lei Think twice before driving.
DID YOU KNOW: While country residents make up only one-third of the NSW population, two-thirds of all fatalities occur on country roads. There is a strong belief that locals are safer on the road than ‘city people’ or ‘tourists’, and that crashes won’t happen to them. However, more than 70 per cent of fatal crashes on country roads involve country residents. Quote from http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au