Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

PM PUNTS OUR ROAD SAFETY BID Grieving Parents Denied Road Safety Bid

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

PM PUNTS OUR ROAD SAFETY BID Grieving Parents Denied Road Safety Bid

Article excerpt

A WOOMBYE family's courageous bid to turn tragedy into a national day to remember road victims has been rejected by the Federal Government. The parents of twin girls Grace and Jessica Hornby, who died with their grandmother and another driver in a two-car crash near their home last year, said they had been "gutted" by a letter from the Prime Minister answering their request.

They had been seeking advice on making last year's Sunshine Coast tribute an Australia-wide event.

MICHAEL and Kelly Hornby want their daughters' birthday on September 12 to be a day of remembrance for all who have lost their lives on Australian roads, and a day of awareness for others.

Thousands of Sunshine Coast residents adorned their homes, cars, shopfronts and even their clothing with pink and purple ribbons for the first Grace and Jessica's Road Smart Day last year.

The Hornbys wrote a letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a former Sunshine Coast resident, several weeks ago asking that he play a part in making the road smart day a national event.

"We could not be there to protect them (Grace and Jessica) from this awful event on May 8, 2009, but we can try to make our roads safer for our two surviving children, Kaitlin and Alice, and also the families of Australia," the Hornbys said.

They said the police could use Grace and Jessica's Road Smart Day as an opportunity for double demerit points and double fines for driving infringements on that day.

The family received a written response from the Australian Government saying "there are no current plans to declare a remembrance day for road trauma".

The letter commended the couple on their efforts to educate and encourage safer driving habits.

"Generally, national days have evolved without government involvement where there is a groundswell of support in the wider community," the letter said.

The Daily contacted the Prime Minister's office yesterday and received a short and pointed response.

"The Commonwealth does not declare special days, that is a matter for states and territories, but the Prime Minister welcomes community moves to reduce road trauma," a spokesman said. …

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