Road safety message not getting through

Traffic winding its way along our roadsides this week: police and authorities urge drivers to act responsibly in these busy holiday times.
Traffic winding its way along our roadsides this week: police and authorities urge drivers to act responsibly in these busy holiday times.

STOP Revive Survive, has become what seems like an adage. 

But the safety message is simply not getting through, says Hastings State Emergency Services Community Driver Reviver Centre coordinator Gordon Toms.

"The way the highway is going people don't want to stop anymore," Mr Toms said.

"They just fly past here. But the ones that do stop really appreciate it."

Over 26 days 530 volunteers will be on hand for a total of 580 hours. 

Although the local centre on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Fernbank Creek road is expecting some 15,000 travellers these holidays – more motorists could benefit from taking a break, Mr Toms said.

"We hope each year that we're going to get more come through," he said.

“When your driving along a lonely highway and you come to a place with a nice big shed and a cup of tea and some light and company - it can make a big difference."

Acting general manager of the Centre for Road Safety, Margaret Prendergast, said Driver Reviver had been helping to save lives during peak holiday periods for the past 26 years and about half a million people stop at Driver Reviver sites in NSW each year.

"Driver fatigue remains a significant cause of death and serious injury on NSW roads. I strongly encourage motorists to plan their trip, allow additional travel time and to stop and take a break."

Don’t ignore what you know you should do before hitting the road over the next few days. 


* Have your tyres checked by a professional – they’re the only thing holding you to the face of the earth. Correct pressure and tread depth is essential.

* Allow more time to arrive at your destination  and don’t try to beat your record from the last trip.

* Turn off your phone and check you messages during your rest breaks. Likewise with the sat-nav, you don’t need to be checking it every couple of minutes.

* The NRMA recommends positioning portable sat-nav units in the very lowest corner of the driver’s side of the windscreen to minimise obstruction. If it’s out of reach in that position, that’s good because ideally you should never touch it while moving.

* Unless you work nightshift, forget driving when you’re normally in bed.

* At least one passenger should stay awake. I’ve never interviewed a passenger in a car where the driver has fallen asleep and the passenger has been awake. If all the passengers are asleep it’s more likely for the driver to do the same.

* Don’t ever use cruise control on wet roads – ever. And drive slower on wet roads, so simple but so often ignored.

* Make allowances for the extra weight in the car when going on holidays. The car will corner and brake differently than on the daily commute when it’s empty.

* Drive with your headlights on during the day. There’s no logical reason not to warn those drowsy or less attentive oncoming drivers of your approach.

* Secure loose objects in the car and have a cargo barrier if you have a station wagon. Should you be unlucky enough to be involved in a crash, the back seat occupants can be crushed by the weight of the cargo pushing the back seats forward.

* If you can afford it, catch a plane. The most dangerous part of airline travel is the portion of the journey between your driveway and the front door of the airport terminal.

Source: Jason Bentley, Senior Constable 

Crash Investigation Unit.


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