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    Senior Sergeant Brendan Broadbent.

Police: Stay alert on roads

By Michael Scalzo

Police have again highlighted the need for drivers to remain alert and focused while driving on Wimmera roads this summer.

Wimmera Senior Sergeant Brendan Broadbent said driver fatigue and complacency continued to be major problems for police.

He pleaded with drivers to ‘focus 100 percent’ when driving, particularly over long distances.

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“When you get behind the wheel of a car your focus should be on your driving and nothing else,” he said. 

Sen Sgt Broadbent said while people often assumed most accidents occurred on tight and winding stretches of road, wide-open sections of straight road more often caused complacency, distraction and fatigue as people started to ‘zone out’. 

“When you have been travelling at 100kmh for a long time it begins to feel like 20kmh as you get used to the speed,” he said.

“People don’t realise how fast they are going or how quickly you can end up on the other side of the road, and at that speed things coming the other way appear very fast.”

A fatal collision on the Western Highway south-east of Horsham during the Christmas break again prompted police to remind people how disastrous these accidents could be when speed, distraction and fatigue combined.  

Sen Sgt Broadbent said he hoped people could be patient on the roads as holiday traffic and heavy transport traffic increased with the reopening of state borders. 

“I hope people think carefully about trying to save a couple of minutes while on the roads, because surely at the end of the day those few minutes are not as important as their life,” he said. 

“We urge people to just show a bit of patience on the road as people head back to work or on holiday.”

Asked if there were specific roads of concern that motorists needed to be aware of, Sen Sgt Broadbent said analysis of fatal collisions showed there was no ‘black spot’ or specific stretch of road that was the problem.

“Often it has simply been driver fatigue or distraction, often on a big open stretch of road,” he said. 

The entire January 12, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!