‘Ripple effect’: Impact of road trauma hits home

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On the final Friday of May all around Australia, people pledged to remain vigilant on the roads.

Rockhampton councillors and other locals gathered on Fatality Free Friday to sign a blow-up car and enjoy the first Driver Reviver coffees at the tourist information centre.

The Morning Bulletin asked Colin Edmonston, manager of Central Queensland’s road safety, whether the presence of the blow-up vinyl car would likely have an impact on drivers prone to reckless behaviours such as speeding and driving under the influence.

Rockhampton's Fatality Free Friday campaign 2021

Rockhampton’s Fatality Free Friday campaign 2021

“Marketing and media awareness campaigns are just one arm of our approach to reducing the road toll and significant injuries,” he said.

“We also have an enforcement role such as our school crossing guards and inspectors who check truck logbooks.

“Then there’s also the engineering aspect, influencing council and government on road upgrades and signage.”

Mr Edmonston said the education campaigns were aimed at the broader public, “95 per cent” of whom aimed to get it right, and just needed a reminder to put on their seatbelt and turn off their phone.

As for the other five per cent, the recidivist traffic offenders who continue to drive dangerously, often under the influence of alcohol and other drugs?

“We’ve just got to hope the court system deals with them,” he said.

There is also the prospect of enhanced technological solutions, such as point-to-point speeding fines along our worst roads instead of a fixed-point camera.

Fatality Free Day Rockhampton 2021

Fatality Free Day Rockhampton 2021

Mr Edmonston said the outcome of traffic crashes had a particularly tough impact in rural and remote areas where people knew each other more.

“Our first responders either know the people involved or know someone who knows them so the trauma of road accidents has a ripple effect throughout the entire community,” he said.

“Everyone gets affected and that’s why we have to throw everything at getting people to pay attention and drive to conditions.”



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