SLOW DOWN: Stanthorpe Police officer Dan O'Dea has urged residents to slow down and concentrate on their driving.
SLOW DOWN: Stanthorpe Police officer Dan O'Dea has urged residents to slow down and concentrate on their driving.

Don’t be a statistic: Police plea for road vigilance

THE memory of a road fatality is something that never goes away.

Stanthorpe road policing officer Sergeant Dan O'Dea said the impact of a death on the road not only devastated a family, but lived long in the minds of officers tasked with investigating them.

"It certainly leaves a lasting impression,' Sgt O'Dea said.

"I've been to quite a few fatalities myself as an investigator.

"You find police will be left with post traumatic stress disorder, not just from a single incident, but an accrual of these incidents time and again.

"It eventually affects your mental health," he said.

Sgt O'Dea's comments come ahead of Fatality Free Friday this week.

Police, ambulance and fireys are urging drivers to take the pledge and remember the effects of the fatal five.

"We urge drivers to be vigilant.

"There has been an increase in speeding incidents across the state anecdotally because there's a belief police aren't out there but we still are," he said.

While police are challenged by enforcing COVID-19 restrictions and watching over the borders, they're still undertaking their day to day duties.

"There's been an increase in fatalities on the same time last year, which is interesting because there's less cars around.

"My view is people are misbehaving more than they should be. They're under the impression police are tied up elsewhere.

"But we will be out and about," he said.

Stanthorpe and Warwick driving instructor, Melinda Gale, from AG Licensing said not paying attention was the biggest killer.

"We teach people to always be aware of situations ahead. Look two to five kilometres ahead and see what problems there might be," Ms Gale said.

"Definitely don't be distracted by phones. Even simple things like mucking around with controls on the stereo can be deadly."

Ms Gale has taught her own seven children not to distract the driver.

"I've always taught the kids that when we come into high traffic areas they need to be quiet.

"No matter the situation when you're driving, you're driving the car and you are in charge."

Eased COVID-19 restrictions mean Ms Gale's driving school is back up and running.

She has resumed lessons from today.

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