Police’s warning to drivers follows several close calls
FOLLOWING one driver’s extremely lucky escape on Barkers Creek Rd Tuesday afternoon, South Burnett Police are urging motorists to make better decisions on the roads to ensure the region does not experience the same number of fatalities seen in 2019.
A mid-year report has revealed an eight per cent increase in the number of fatal traffic crashes across Queensland.
A total of 91 lives have been lost on Queensland roads in the first five months of 2020, up from 84 at the same time last year.
Motorcyclists were highly represented in the figures, with one in four of all fatalities either motorcycle riders or passengers.
Road Policing Command Superintendent David Johnson said police were very concerned with trends in road trauma for the year so far.
“Despite less travel occurring on our roads so far this year due to COVID-19, we are seeing more trauma and that is a troubling.
“Importantly, many of the fatal traffic crashes which have occurred could have been prevented.
“Day-in and day-out, we are seeing road users make poor decisions on our roads and tragically, these decisions are having devastating consequences.
“Just because there is less traffic, does not give anyone a green light to reach ridiculously high speeds or get behind the wheel intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.”
Superintendent Johnson said 23 motorcycle riders and passengers had already lost their lives this year with many cases involving high speeds.
“The reality is motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury than drivers and passengers in any other motor vehicle on our roads.
“Excess speed and loss of control are contributing factors in many traffic crashes involving motorcycles, so we really need riders to take responsibility and ride at speeds relative to the conditions and the posted speed limit.”
Officer in charge of Kingaroy Police Station, Senior Sergeant Dave Tierney said by this time last year the Kingaroy division had five fatal traffic incidents, which saw a total of 10 lives lost, including four children.
“Two of these incidents have been since classified out of scope – which means they are no longer consider a traffic incident for example, they may have been caused by a criminal intent, attempt to take life or the driver suffered a medical episode,” he said.
“This year we have had three such incidents that have seen four lives lost.
“One of these will probably be ruled out of scope as the driver has probably had a medical episode. The other two were entirely preventable and are purely due to driver inattention or error.
“Given some of the major speeds we have had detected on our roads this year – such as 144 in a 100 zone as well as drink driving readings as high as 0.270 per cent – it is only by good luck this year’s road fatalities haven’t exceeded last year’s total.”
Snr Sgt Tierney warned South Burnett drivers that as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be eased police will continue to ensure drivers are within the allocated distances, but will also be stepping up other core functions, including road safety.
“This will see a greater focus on the fatal five to ensure the entire South Burnett public can travel further afield on roads without having to worry about the idiots that have no consideration for others safety, never mind their own.”
The South Burnett Times remembers the lives lost on our roads in 2020:
On March 17 at 3.45pm the South Burnett lost a father, grandfather and mate to many.
74-year-old Terry Hardiker was the proud father of two daughters and grandfather of five.
His daughters Tina Muir and Jane Ferguson both say despite the terrible tragedy and great loss their father died doing what he loved: riding his motorbike out on the open road.
Everyone knew them as the happy adventurous Wondai couple who loved their family and making memories together.
Sadly, the South Burnett has had to say farewell to Beryl and John Seymour after the beloved couple tragically died in a car crash on Sunday, March 22.
The family and friends of a 26-year-old Kingaroy man who passed away following a motorbike crash are still coming to terms with their sudden loss.
Steve Hankin was pronounced dead at Kingaroy Hospital after being transported from the crash site at Taabinga on Sunday, May 3.