Jun 1, 2012

Road toll rant.

Just near where we live, is one of Australia 's worst black spots. A black spot, for those of you who don't know this term, is a stretch of road where there are a lot of road accidents and deaths. It is part of the Pacific Highway and in this spot the road is quite bendy and  is two single lanes with no barrier in between.  Once a week as I drive on this part of the highway I am reminded of all the people who have died on this stretch of road as white crosses are placed on the roadside. 


Recently there was a horrific accident where a ute hit a truck and the truck went into a house and two people were killed and  seven injured while they sept. It was awful and when these things happen in our patch of the world it is again a horrible wake up call to all of us that live here. This stretch of road is scheduled to upgraded, actually completely bypassed, as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade. 


When this tragedy occured there was immediate outrage from the community. Protest organised and letters written to the local member all immediately blaming this dangerous stretch of road. The speed limit was immediately changed from 60km/h to 50km/h but then later it transpired that the driver who caused the accident was 3 times over the legal limit. Basically very drunk.


How can we blame "the road" for accidents when they are all too often caused by people driving drunk, speeding or just basically driving like dickheads! 


Every week at work I see people who have had multiple drink driving offenses. I have been at pubs and parties and seen people leave who have been intoxicated and I know they are going to drive. I know that everyday there are people driving around our small town intoxicated. This is not always about the road, yes the road can be dangerous when it is slippery and raining or there are unexpected bends and twists but isn't it ultimately about human behaviour?  About being responsible and driving to the conditions? 


 So what do you do? what is the answer? Would love to know your thoughts on this... 



14 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be great it people took responsibility for themselves & for others around them. I have travelled in a car when the driver took out her phone & started texting whilst driving... I asked her if she could stop (either driving or texting) as I would like to get home alive.. she said I was over-reacting!

    AND as I write this, I have a friend in the ICU fighting for her life - she was hit by a another car.. I don't know what caused the other drive to 'wander' into oncoming traffic, all I know is that my friend is on deaths door and "I'm sorry" from the driver who caused the accident just ain't gunna cut it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's awful, isn't it? I'm afraid it's the lesser side of human nature. Even my brother in law, who was a passenger in a car accident as a teenager and almost died, recently lost his licence for drink driving and speeding. Of all the people who should know better, all that he has been through, months in a coma, a brain injury, having to learn how to walk and read again, months of physio and then to drink drive and speed. The mind boggles. I really have no answer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Totally with you on this. It's like when people want large trees and stobie poles removed from beside roads because they're 'dangerous'... hmm... jumping out at cars?
    I don't know the answer but I always thought the 'friends don't let friends drink and drive' road safety message was a good one and could bear repeating.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I grew up in a small country town and have also seen first hand the tragedy of my sister losing her best friend in a car that she nearly got into herself.

    I don't think there's an easy answer but maybe attacking the problem on multiple fronts, starting with what Jane said and maybe putting more pressure on hotels to monitor patrons as they leave and influence their decision. It's shocking how many tragic stories there are and it is a community safety concern.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I grew up in a small country town and have also seen first hand the tragedy of my sister losing her best friend in a car that she nearly got into herself.

    I don't think there's an easy answer but maybe attacking the problem on multiple fronts, starting with what Jane said and maybe putting more pressure on hotels to monitor patrons as they leave and influence their decision. It's shocking how many tragic stories there are and it is a community safety concern.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is a horrible patch.. my brother used to drive it every day into work in coffs. My ears would certainly prick up every time I heard of an accident :(

    ReplyDelete
  7. A drunk driver crashed in to our house and wrote off our car just last week - I just blogged about it. It was horrible. Our baby is due in 3 weeks! We live in a suburban area and the speed limit is 70. The driver was too drunk to say sorry, or to even notice what he had done, more likely. Because his insurance agency is taking him to court, we aren't allowed any contact with him. I feel the need to tell him, personally, how his stupid actions have affected us, but I am not allowed to. If he can't see the effects of his behaviour on a personal level, and only has to pay a monetary fine, I can't believe he won't drink and drive again.
    I don't know the answer. It scares me, the number of lunatics on the road. Doing my head in, I am so jumpy now!
    Belly rubs to you and your safe little passenger. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Have the same problem in our small town. I think they have killed any brain cells that they had from too much drinking. Would be easy pickings for the cops if they ever came here...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hear you.

    I have talked a few friends for me to give them a lift home or they get a taxi but many have left assuring me they are fine (NOT). ARGH.

    In the paper today there were these gadgets attached to your car which you have to breath in for it to start. If reading above limit it immobilises your car.

    I recon they should be fitted in ALL cars. Well at this stage they are talking about offenders - repeated offenders. I think it should be on first offence and the cost they pay for as well...

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is a terrible problem here too. In our state, the pub or bar can be held responsible if they knowingly serve some one who is intoxicated and they drive causing an accident. When I was a bartender I would often talk people into taxis.

    We also give rides to friends all the time, or take taxis if we have been out drinking. I will fight with friends who think they are ok to drive and get their keys from them. I had a friend who was killed by a drunk driver, and I was seriously injured by a drunk driver (I was sitting in the passenger seat in a parked car in a parking lot and got hit!) so I'm very sensitive to this issue.

    I'm not sure what the solution is, because unfortunately it happens all too often.

    ReplyDelete
  11. hey! visit and followed you here now already. will you visit and follow mine too? it was so pleasure for me. thank you there :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. please just remember you are talking about someone's loved one here...

    imagine how you would feel if it was your husband who made a bad decision one night and people were referring to him as a drunk dickhead? and he was now dead...

    how that would make you feel? that people referred to him like that based on one bad decision... it literally may have been a one off as well...

    i am totally against drunk driving and speeding, but people are human and they made mistakes...
    the world isn't black and white

    of course there are repeat offenders, of course there are situations where people are driving like crazy people... but unless you know all the circumstances of an accident, it is being very disrespectful to talk in those terms...

    just recently you had friend's killed... imagine someone like you made awful comments when they didn't know the specific circumstances about their accident... it would hurt you immensely and be very disrepectful..

    just think about it

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't get it - it is something malignant in australian culture - to right oneself off, to drink to oblivion.

    Where is the alcohol education in families.??..apparently there is recent 'study' that says that introducing kids to alcohol in the home breeds alcoholics..or some such and now they want to make introducing alcohol to kids in the home illegal.

    No wine with dinner then when they hit a certain reasonable age?

    I haven't read the studies, but I can't reconcile the logic with what I know of in European culture.

    The more they have alcohol programms, RSA etc...we still have problems.

    I can't help but think there is a cultural shift required...but to do that you potentially would have to breed everyones inner yobbo out of australian culture.

    And that is not going to happen

    ReplyDelete
  14. The messages just don't seem to get through to people, no matter what! Don't they see that one day a horrific accident like the one you describe might be their fault?? I don't know why they can't see that.

    Stopping the naming of so-called 'black spots' might elp a bit. Blaming the roads does no good. A safe, careful driver can drive in any sort of conditions. Better driver's education might help too. An 'extreme' drivers' course should be mandatory for anyone on the road. Most people can't drive well, sadly.

    x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by. X