The Central Coast is on track for our worst year in recent memory when it comes to road fatalities, and it seems authorities are powerless to stop it.
In the wake of this week's double fatal on the M1 at Mooney Mooney Creek where a truck slammed into stationary cars, killing two men and sending 6 other people to hospital, NSW Police have again urged drivers to be more careful, slow down, keep off mobile phones, don't drink and drive etc etc etc. They are all highly valid points, yet many drivers will continue to ignore them.
17 people have now lost their lives on local roads in 2018. That's more than for all of 2017 and just 3 shy of the horror year that was 2016. 6 people died in July alone. 5 of the 17 dead were pedestrians. They were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends. Their loss will have on going ramifications for grieving loved ones, witnesses and emergency services.
Yes, cars are getting safer and the toll is nothing like those dark old days days, like when 68 people were killed on the Coast in 1981. 68! But those were the days when many people ignored the still relatively new seat belt laws. When child restraints and baby capsules weren't compulsory. When there was no such thing as an airbag, ABS, ESC, AEB, crumple zones and ANCAP testing.
But are roads are much better these days you say. Yes they are, but the volume of cars has increased exponentially. Driving on the M1 in peak hour is a scarier ride than any theme park. Bumper to bumper at 110 kays. So much for the 3 second rule. At these speeds it's going to be multi car carnage with the slightest contact.
A truck driver has now been charged over the Mooney Mooney Creek fatal and it'll be for the courts to decide his fate. It's not the first time a heavy vehicle has slammed into other vehicles resulting in deaths, and sadly it won't be the last. The pressures being placed on truckies by the industry only continue to grow. It has to stop.
I'm currently teaching my 16 year old to drive. It's a massive responsibility. I remind him every day driving is a privilege. That a car can be a deadly weapon. That you must expect the unexpected. That getting your P's doesn't mean you know everything. I pray it's enough.