EDITORIAL | Easter brings trauma warning
The approach of another Easter long weekend has many people planning for and anticipating the last ‘real’ holiday before we enter the nose-to-the-grindstone winter months.
And this year the Wimmera is abuzz in expectation of all sorts of festivals, carnivals, celebrations, gatherings and performances. It is as big an Easter celebration as the region has experienced for some time.
The weekend is primed to provide people from across the vast Wimmera, Mallee and southern Grampians and regional visitors with great opportunities to mix, mingle, catch up with family and friends and experience something new and exciting.
Yet, for some of us, particularly people working in the media and emergency services, the arrival of Easter also brings a sense of trepidation and anxiety. Some of us can’t help but hold our breath.
The Easter break is a notorious time on our roads and we have our fingers, toes and whatever else we have crossed in hope that we can get through the break without having to experience any serious road trauma.
Easter is a long enough break to encourage people to plan extensive road trips, but not long enough for many to complete some journeys comfortably. That means people, desperate to make good time, can spend many hours at the wheel, which brings on fatigue and which in turn can become deadly.
This Easter we join the broad and annual appeal for people to drive as defensively and safely as they can to complete their road trips, both to and from their destinations.
Don’t speed, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and always remember that average family cars rate among the most dangerous things on the planet.
Don’t engage in nonsensical cat-and-mouse games with other road users and if you find yourself in awkward traffic situations back off, pull over to the side of the road and have a breather. We remind drivers that some roads, even some of our highways and especially short-cut routes, are in a far from ideal state.
Be conscious of changeable weather conditions at this time of the year and beware of deteriorating road shoulders, the occasional pothole and don’t be distracted by passengers, the passing scenery, music or mobile phones.
Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility and no one wants to be responsible for killing a family, let alone themselves.
Incidents can be terribly life changing, not only for victims but also extended families and emergency-service workers.
Police Senior Sergeant Dianne Thomson from Wimmera and Northern Grampians Highway Patrol perhaps summed it up best in a media statement warning of a huge police effort on the roads between Easter and Anzac Day.
“The only ‘smashing’ we hope to hear about this Easter is that of Easter eggs,” she said.
We whole-heartedly echo her sentiments. Please, drive safely and happy Easter.
The entire April 12, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
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Posted on Apr 12 2017