Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Road carnage

The powers that be seem to herald a drop in the number of persons killed each year on our roads and yet it doesn't quite tell the whole story. After yet another spate of fatal accidents over the holiday weekend and cyclists being 'doored' (is this a new word in the dictionary?) and pushed into passing trucks it seems that we just ain't getting anywhere. Our roads are more crowded and our public transport system is going backwards and no new train/tram lines are being built. Things are only going to get worse. But that's another story.

Whenever I read that there has been another fatal accident I always think about the number of passengers who may have been seriously hurt but are never mentioned in any official figures. It would seem to me that including those in the list may - just may - make people take a little more care on the roads. Of course many believe they are invincible and take the attitude that it's 'not going to happen to me'. Well hopefully it isn't but we are often in the hands of those on the roads who take that view.  
A reminder along the way

But what to do about it? Well I think South Australia (my home state) goes someway to addressing the issue. When driving in the countryside you often pass a clump of posts. Red posts are for those injured in an accident and black posts are for those who died. What always amazes me is that they are often out in the open road, no bends in the road, no dangerous crossings, no visual reasons for what has happened and changed the lives of those involved and their families and friends forever. This is what you will find throughout the state.
They tell a pretty graphic story
Crash markers also operate in Tasmania (since 2002) where these standard roadside guideposts are placed adjacent to where a fatal or serious injury crash has occurred. I was pleased to read that the South Australian Government did a backflip on its decision to remove roadside crash marker posts from roads in 2014. I was interested to see that Google even publishes a map of the crash markers in SA. See link here

I think they are so much better and safer and less distracting than many that we pass on the roads.
I guess it's easy for me to say - they are not my family (portpirierecorder.com.au)
A long straight road - and just that one tree... (bordermail.com)
To be reminded while we drive is a good thing. But to be reminded of those who received serious injuries is why I am in favour of the red and black markers. What do you think?

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