Fatal car accidents make assistant commissioner speak out

Date: May 07, 2012

Fatal car accidents make assistant commissioner speak out

Four serious collisions over the last month have caused assistant commissioner of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command at the NSW Police Force John Hartley to issue a notice to the state's motorists.

An accident involving a bus in Beecroft claimed the life of a 38-year-old woman on May 2, while a crash on May 3 in Caringbah saw a six-year-old boy sustain serious injuries that have resulted in him being placed in an induced coma.

A third collision in Willoughby on May 6 has resulted in a 19-year-old woman requiring hospitalisation after a car shattered her legs.

The fourth crash on May 6 took place in Mount Druitt, where a fatal car accident involving a Toyota Rav4 resulted in the death of a 76-year-old woman.

Initial reports indicate the compact four-wheel drive was reversing from a parking space when it collided with the pedestrian, who was rushed to Westmead Hospital shortly after the collision at 12:00 but later died of her injuries.

While inquiries are continuing on all fronts, assistant commissioner Hartley took the opportunity to ask for increased vigilance from all road users – including drivers, riders, passengers, pillions and pedestrians.

"This is a timely reminder for all drivers and pedestrians to obey the road rules, pay attention and be aware of the dangers while driving on or crossing roads," said the prominent officer.

"The simple fact is that a life cannot be replaced but by driving to the speed limit and remaining focused on the road you can reduce the risk to yourself and other road users."

The assistant commissioner also took the opportunity to remind both drivers and pedestrians of the danger associated with acting on impulse when dealing with other road users, saying that "impatience … can have serious consequences" for all concerned.

Another factor highlighted by MR Hartley was the distracting nature of music players and handheld devices, which he said had the capacity to make their users "oblivious" to their surroundings.

"When using a mobile phone or MP3 player while driving your attention is taken off the road and it is these momentary distractions that can result in you running a red light, crashing into the car in front of you or worst still, hitting a pedestrian."

While car accident compensation can help to cover some of the costs of medical treatments incurred as a result of a collision, the assistant commissioner warned that it was a far better idea to simply pay extra attention when using the state's roads.

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