Alarming statistics

For most people, Christmas is a time of joy, family, friends and celebration.
But for others, the festive season can be a reminder of tragic loss.
This year’s road toll is already 14% higher than last year’s figures, with motorbike deaths three times as frequent as last year and P-plate deaths four times higher.
These statistics are alarming and have prompted local police to plead with motorists to slow down, pay attention and arrive safely.
Many an accident is caused by driver errors, with speed, inattention and drink or drug driving playing major roles.
Regional roads are particularly high risk areas, with increased speed limits and winding roads meaning the slightest error can potentially have catastrophic results.
As we enter the Christmas period, there will be more visitors on Hills roads.
This might cause frustration for locals who will likely become stuck behind slower drivers who are doing their best to navigate unfamiliar roads.
But as demonstrated by dashcam footage of irresponsible motorists at Cudlee Creek, posted on The Courier’s Facebook page recently, impatient driving can easily put both the driver’s – and other innocent motorists’ – lives at risk.
Serious accidents leave a permanent scar on local communities and families at any time of the year.
But the tragedy is heightened at a time that is supposed to be centred around joy and celebration.
This Christmas, spare a thought for the police officers and volunteers who give up spending the holiday with their families in order to pull victims from crash scenes.
Irresponsible driving can have impacts that are far wider reaching than just the occupants of a single car.
So don’t be the person that permanently ruins Christmas for your family, friends, community and emergency volunteers.
Next time you’re tempted to shave a few minutes off your drive, overtake a slow driver across a double line, get behind the wheel after a couple too many beers or send a quick text to a mate on a quiet road, think again.
It might be convenient, but it’s not worth a life.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.