‘A life is something you can’t get back’
EMERGENCY services from across the region have joined forces with a powerful message to promote road safety.
With the launch of Road Safety Week today, LifeFlight, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and Queensland Ambulance Service crews met at the Bundaberg hangar urging the community to take road safety seriously.
Bundaberg Road Policing Unit Senior Constable Steve Moore said Road Safety Week highlighted the Fatal Five which occur on Queensland roads.
"This week in particular is a good chance to remind motorist of the fatal five offence and how they occur in the community and the impact that it has on the community and everyone involved in it," he said.
"The fatal five offences have always been drink and drug driving, fatigue - trying not to fall asleep while you're driving …
"Always wear a seatbelt, yourself and all of your passengers when you're driving in a car, and don't be distracted by such things as mobile phones."
Sen Const Moore said the region's statistics were slightly down on last year, however there had been eight fatal crashes in the Bundaberg area, a dozen in the Wide Bay district, so far this year.
"That's always concerning because we'd like to have none, because it creates a large problem in the community when there are fatal crashes and serious crashes," he said.
"I've attended a number of serious and fatal crashes during my career, I've been a fatal crash investigator and they're never a good thing to attend."
He said while there didn't appear to be a re-occurring fatal five issue in the local crashes there has been speed and fatigue-related crashes.
"They are generally the ones you have on the highway, people are just falling asleep, driving too long," he said.
"But there doesn't seem to be a particular fatal five that's standing out at the moment.
Sen Const Moore said fatal crash sites were difficult for family members, emergency services and the community; with a large impact on people's wellbeing and mental health.
"Some of the scenes that you can attend are quite horrific and they're things that do stay in your mind for quite a long time," he said.
Sen Const Moore urged motorists to remember exactly what they're doing when behind the wheel.
"It's something we do everyday, however, when something goes wrong it can have serious consequences," he said,
"A life is something you can't get back, a serious injury is something you can't get back."
The launch of Road Safety week comes after a spate of crashes in the region throughout the weekend, including one in which a 39-year-old man was killed.
Sen Const Moore said the incident was still under preliminary investigation and police urge anyone with dashcam footage or information regarding the crash to come forward.
"Because of the time of night, there's not a lot of traffic around, however if someone did have some dashcam footage or any sort of information which may assist us in finding what's happened in this particular circumstance it would be much appreciated if people could come forward," he said.
Motor vehicle accidents were the top mission type for the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter, throughout the last financial year (2019-2020), with crews being called to 44 crashes.
Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Pilot Franco Bertoli said when crews were called to crashes often there was "carnage".
Which is why he urged all road users to take responsibility for their actions and put safety first, every time they're behind the wheel.
"Please drive safely, drive to the conditions, look after yourselves and the people around you, keep situational awareness and your wits about you," Mr Bertoli said.
"It's not only yourself, you're also looking out for other drivers that might be doing silly things, so please be safe on the roads.
"We're all trying to work as one to save lives out on the roads, we've each got our own tasks to do to help the community."
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Bundaberg station senior firefighter Adrian Booth also stood among fellow emergency service crews today promoting road safety.
Mr Booth said the role of QFES crews when tasked to a crash could include rescuing people out of crashed vehicles.
He said some scenes could be confronting and took a toll on all emergency service and the community.
"Nobody likes to see crashes or lives ruined," he said.
Queensland Ambulance Service Wide Bay LASN acting senior operations supervisor Andrew Eason said fatal crashes had a ripple effect, impacting the call takers, the crews attending the scene and their families.
Mr Eason is urging all drivers to be considerate of the Fatal Five.
Road Safety Week runs from August 24 to 28.