Road Safety Week wraps up on Coast
FOR emergency service workers, this Road Safety Week has been about opening the community's eyes to the car crashes and dangerous driving they deal with almost every day.
As the 2016 road toll reflects a grim year on Fraser Coast roads, with eight people dying in seven fatal crashes, police have turned to shock tactics in the hopes of stopping the road death numbers from climbing.
At some of this year's Road Safety Week events, cars involved in crashes in the Wide Bay region were put on display, for the public to see first-hand what a collision, even a non-fatal one, really looks like.
At Thursday's Maryborough markets, the crumpled remains of a blue sedan shocked the people walking past.
District Crime Prevention Officer Senior Sergeant Mel Ryan said the ugly sight had created much-needed discussion.
"So this car was actually involved in a three-vehicle crash near Bundaberg,” Snr Const Ryan said.
"It definitely shocked people; they've been stopping and asking questions.
"It's a stark reminder that road safety affects everyone.”
Forensic Crash Unit Sergeant Steve Webb is all too familiar with the harsh realities of dangerous driving.
Despite attending about 500 fatal crashes throughout his career, he said a number of incidents would always stick out in his mind.
"There was one [fatal] near Howard a few years ago where five people were killed; a whole family,” Sgt Webb said.
"It was two generations, they were older, just gone like that.”
He said every crash took a toll on the officers who attended it, and the community.
The sergeant said the Fatal Five; speeding, driver inattention, drug and drink driving, fatigue and not wearing a seatbelt, were responsible for the majority of crashes in Queensland.
He said on the Fraser Coast, fatigue was a big issue.
"Because we're three hours from Brisbane and four hours from Rockhampton, we're right in that fatigue zone,” he said.
"There have been a number of crashes on the highway in that area that we cover that can be attributed to fatigue.
"Drivers need to be stopping every two hours for a rest.
"It's better to be 20 minutes late than to not arrive at all.”