DEATHS on our roads can be prevented, and motorists must take responsibility for their actions, local police say, after attending 17 fatal crashes in the region throughout 2017.
Barossa Chief Inspector Alby Quinn said the road toll for the local service area increased by 11 from the previous year’s tally of six, while the state recorded 101 road deaths, up from 86 the year before.
“People need to stop and think about the 17 lives we lost in the Barossa, and the over 100 statewide, and consider…the manner in which they drive and the impact that the loss of persons on our roads has,” Chief Inspector Quinn said.
“A lot of people aren’t paying attention on the road to the ‘fatal five’.”
The latest fatal accident in the region occurred on Thursday, December 21, in which a 66-year-old Williamstown woman sustained injuries when the car she was travelling in, as a passenger, hit a tree on Balmoral Road, Kalbeeba.
The woman was flown to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment, but, sadly, passed away last Saturday.
Chief Inspector Quinn said the investigation into the cause of the accident is yet to be complete, however it is a timely reminder of the significant impact that any death on our roads has on not only the family, but also the wider community.
“Police will have to go back and revisit the family, which is the husband and her extended family, and that, in itself, is traumatic,” he said.
“It’s traumatic for police, and for the family, who have to relive what has happened.
“At the time (of the woman’s death), the family were going into a new year and they are now going to have to bury a family member as a result of a car accident.
“Many of these accidents are preventable, it is only a very few that are not.”
The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) has also used the start of the new year to remind the community that “every life lost is one too many”.
“We are coming off a bad year on our roads, and we need to do everything we can to reduce the number of wasted lives,” MAC road safety communications manager Matt Hanton said.
“In most cases, the behaviour that is attributable to those fatal crashes generally involves a party that is acting reckless, breaking the law, and not having the complete regard for safety of other people around them.
“By having the community think of every life that is lost as being a life, and not just a number, then we can change that attitude and change the way that people behave, to, ultimately, drive the number of crashes down.”