I heard recently on the wireless a news story about the increasing road-fatality numbers throughout the nation. Sadly, Queensland received a dishonorable mention.
Even worse, one of the really bad areas was Bribie through to Monto which, of course, covers this area. Driver fatigue was one of the worst and most-common causes – particularly in rural areas. I guess that isn’t surprising, and nor is the fact that since they have taken away Driver Reviver stops, incidents have gone up.
I listened to all this intently as a road safety expert rattled off the numbers and, I must say, I was surprised about a few things that weren’t mentioned. I see them on my daily commute, particularly in the morning.
Young girls in Hyundai XLs and the like with coffee cup in one hand and phone in the other or between their legs, who refuse to let you merge – not mentioned.
Then there are the young men in tricked-up four-wheel-drives who believe indicating is optional at best and changing lanes is a rite of passage. They weren’t mentioned, either. It’s not all about young people: there are the old codgers who sit in the right lane and do 20km under the speed limit, creating havoc without having any idea what is going on or caring, which is worse on a single carriageway. Hook a caravan or a boat behind them and multiply the problem. Did I mention caravans loaded incorrectly that sway all over the road like a drunken sailor?
I was quite surprised that carparks in shopping centres didn’t get a mention, but I suppose they usually aren’t going fast enough to hurt each other. But I do wonder about the numbers on raised blood pressure and possible stroke from the angst caused by inconsiderate drivers. A prime example is The Fruit Shed car park at Warana: that is deadset like being in a dodgem car every time you enter or exit.
Don’t get me started on motorbike riders. If they don’t run you off the road, they try and blind you with smokes thrown out the window into your face. Awesome.
None of this is a joking matter. Maybe if we rest when we need to rest, be patient no matter what twit is in front of us, and pay attention to the job at hand with two hands, numbers will improve. And remember: each number is a member of someone’s family.