Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Just How Are We Going to Stop This Carnage? 12 Deaths in 72 Days Shows Extent of the Problem

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Just How Are We Going to Stop This Carnage? 12 Deaths in 72 Days Shows Extent of the Problem

Article excerpt

Byline: Blythe Seinor blythe.seinor@scnews.com.au

IT was 5am on Friday, and Sunshine Coast police superintendent Ben Hanbidge was asleep.

Asleep, that is, until his phone rang.

The call that startled him was the kind he always dreads receiving.

"You always know that calls in the middle of the night or early hours will never bring good news," Supt Hanbidge, pictured left, said.

"The first thing I thought was dismay that we had seen another double fatality."

A police officer had called Supt Hanbidge to tell him about the most recent deadly crash on a Sunshine Coast road, which claimed the life of a 25-year-old from Rochedale and a 23-year-old from Springwood.

Both were killed instantly when their car ran off Nambour Connection Road at Woombye about 3am.

Their deaths brought the Sunshine Coast road toll to 12 this year, a figure almost double that at the same time last year when there had been seven deaths on our roads.

Supt Hanbidge said he clearly remembered the circumstances of each fatal accident in the past two and a half months.

"They're pretty well etched in my mind," he said.

"Every morning I get my briefing and fatalities have featured in quite a few of them, which is something that has become very frustrating, to say the least."

The number of deaths on Sunshine Coast roads this year has exceeded the number of deaths in the Metropolitan South and Metropolitan North regions, despite the fact the Brisbane-based regions have larger populations.

So have police been able to pinpoint why we have seen so many deaths on Sunshine Coast roads this year?

"We closely scrutinise each fatal road crash, commencing with a thorough investigation by the forensic crash unit," Supt Hanbidge said.

"The majority (of crashes) come down to poor driver decisions because, in many instances, the road has been good and the conditions have been good. …

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