Mackay Police crime prevention co-ordinator Sergeant Nigel Dalton wants to raise awareness of driver safety for Fatality Free Friday on May 29. Photo: Zizi Averill
Mackay Police crime prevention co-ordinator Sergeant Nigel Dalton wants to raise awareness of driver safety for Fatality Free Friday on May 29. Photo: Zizi Averill

Pledge to stop horror on Mackay’s roads

SERGEANT Nigel Dalton watched at the edge of a triple fatality crash as the three men's loved ones took in the horror.

"The jungle drums of information passed by word of mouth and the families started coming to the scene," the Mackay Police crime prevention co-ordinator said.

"I had the raw emotion all day of people coming to see the scene where their family and friends died."

It was this memory that haunts Sgt Dalton as he marks Fatality Free Friday today.

He and fellow officers are calling on every motorist to think about their safety after a destructive five months on Mackay's roads.

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FATAL DECISION: A difference between life and death

Mackay Police crime prevention co-ordinator Sergeant Nigel Dalton said fatalities had increased horrifically in Mackay compared to last year. Photo: Zizi Averill
Mackay Police crime prevention co-ordinator Sergeant Nigel Dalton said fatalities had increased horrifically in Mackay compared to last year. Photo: Zizi Averill

"At this point last year we had three fatalities. This year we have had 12," he said.

"Many Australians still are complacent about their safety when getting behind the wheel."

And driver behaviour has only gotten worse during the lockdown, with increased speeds and higher rates of dangerous or intoxicated drivers, Sgt Dalton said.

"Why? You'll have to ask a psychologist that," he said.

Drivers should always be aware of the fatal five: speeding, drink and drug driving, not wearing seatbelts, fatigue, and distraction, he said.

By staying focused on the road, scanning ahead, keeping your distance, driving to conditions and always being fit to drive, Sgt Dalton said, would mean "we'll be a lot further forward in preventing fatalities on the road".

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But coronavirus has pulled the brakes on the annual driver safety day, Sgt Dalton said.

Usually the event would feature community engagement events and visits to local schools, but this year the campaign has moved online, he said.

He encouraged residents to share the road safety pledge and the hashtag #FatalityFreeFriday

 

 


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