Driving the point home

Michael Brantz

With another month down, Christmas is now just around the corner. As usual, we are preparing for a busy Christmas / New Year in town, with extra police officers calling Rainbow Beach home for the week-long operation, which kicks off on Boxing Day.

Hopefully the weather and crowds are kind to Rainbow Beach and everyone can enjoy the festive season without incident.

Christmas is traditionally a time of the year when we are busier in all aspects of our lives. We rush from place to place, desperately trying to fit everything in – often speeding to get there in time.

Road safety research has shown that a speed-related crash is four times more likely to result in a fatality than a non-speed related crash. It’s just common sense; the faster you go, the harder you will hit.

Increasing your speed will also increase your vehicle’s stopping distance and leave you less time to react to unexpected variables, such as changes in road conditions, or the actions of other drivers – and given some of the driving behaviour I’ve witnessed last month, you may want to give yourself a bit of extra reaction time!

Imagine you are wetting a line at the beach, relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day.  The next minute a four-wheel-drive travelling at 60 km/h has slammed into the back of your car, which is parked on the beach a short distance away.

You’re probably thinking the driver was drunk – or the parked car was in a bad spot – but no, the driver was simply too busy looking around that he didn’t notice a big white four-wheel-drive on the sand right in front of him.

For the record this happened last month over on Teewah Beach and it was just lucky that he hit an unoccupied car instead of the four fisherman standing nearby.

Or maybe you might come across the drink driver who’s lost his licence 17 times and is currently disqualified from driving until 2020. That hasn’t stopped him driving – far from it – he’s now in a hurry to get back to Bundaberg by 9pm so he doesn’t breach his parole.

When I tried to stop him, this bloke sped off clocking 138 km/h in a Hyundai Excel before turning onto Freshwater Road – taking the corner sideways – and heading straight into the bush.

Then there was the local lad who thought it was a good idea to drive home after a night in town where he had ‘been everywhere’ and drunk ‘a lot’.

When I asked him how his car managed to end up in the backyard of someone’s house (well off the road) he said, “I don’t remember much. I was flying. I came around the roundabout and boom!”

Too bad if you were coming the other way – fortunately the only thing he killed that night was a fence and a tree.

One month and three examples of terrible driving behaviour and attitudes. Safety on our roads will be a priority for police as we approach the Christmas school holidays.

So, if you are travelling over this period, please do your part. Be patient, drive safely and stay alert – it could save your life!!