by Tobi Loftus
IF DRIVERS were more courteous to other road-users, our roads would be a safer place.
Murgon Police Senior Sergeant Lance Guteridge said it was important to respect other road-users.
"People that drive aggressively, tailgating, that behaviour can be curbed by people being more disciplined,” Sgt Guteridge said.
"When you get aggressive drivers, they force other people to drive in a way they're not used to either.
"If you have a slower driver who's got someone sitting up their tail, that's totally inappropriate, it's not good for the road.”
Sgt Guteridge said drivers needed to be aware that there were people of a wide variety of driving capabilities on the roads.
"You have people on Ls, people on Ps, elderly people that drive slower as they aren't confident of their own ability,” he said.
"Courtesy is a good thing and something that catches - let people in when you see an overtaking lane going to run out. It's going to make the road a better place.
"People tend to be aggressive and want to overtake when they shouldn't. When someone lets you in, acknowledge their good driving, all that contributes to a better road.”
Sgt Guteridge said it was hard for emergency services attending fatal car crashes.
"Human emotions are such it upsets you when you see people suffer, when you have to tell people one of their family members has passed on,” he said.
"It is hard and it doesn't get easier as you get older. Sometimes more traumatic than the actual scene is the helplessness of explaining to someone their loved one's not going to come home.
"It is quite traumatic for all emergency services, the SES, fire officers, ambulance officers and police.”
Sgt Guteridge said police had specific targets.
"The big things that really affect people on the roads are people driving when tired, speed, alcohol, and drugs is also a big problem we're encountering now,” he said. "Previously we had a bigger focus on alcohol, but we're now focussing on drug drivers as well.
"People using electronic devices while driving also increase the likelihood of an accident - not just mobile phones, but people on tablets as well.”
He said police were trying to educate people that "driving on a road is the most dangerous thing you'll do as a person”.
"You greatly increase the risk of being injured or even killed when you don't wear your seatbelt, where you drive tired, drunk, not concentrating on the job of driving the vehicle.
"It's dangerous not only to driver and occupant, but dangerous to other road-users, be that pedestrians or other motorists.”