Senior Constable calls for locals to stop speeding on Mid North Coast roads

MID North Coast-based Senior Constable Wallace Brooks said he is happy to see a decline in the overall road toll over the last 20 years, but is dismayed that speeding continues to be a leading contributor to road trauma.

“I’ve been working as a traffic and highway patrol officer for 25 years, but you never get used to visiting a crash site or hearing the jobs over the radio,” Senior Constable Brooks said.

“Visiting family members to tell them their loved one has been involved in a fatal crash is a devastating part of my job.”

In the five years to 2020, at least two-thirds of speed-related deaths and serious injuries occurred when a driver or rider was travelling no more than 10km/h over the speed limit.

There were 90 people killed in Northern NSW in 2021, and 37 people have died in the region so far this year.

Tara McCarthy, Deputy Secretary of Safety, Environment and Regulation at Transport for NSW, said speeding is the leading contributor to fatal crashes on NSW roads – contributing to around 40 percent of deaths each year.

“Going ‘just a bit over’ can be the difference between being able to stop in time or not at all,” Ms McCarthy said.

“Travelling at the 65km/h in a 60km/h speed zone doubles the risk of a casualty crash.

“Any extra speed means extra impact force – and the human body can only tolerate so much before death, or serious injury is all but inevitable.”

Senior Constable Brooks said it is disappointing to see motorists being so casual about speeding when people are dying on our roads because of it.

“There is absolutely no reason to be speeding,” Senior Constable Brooks said.

“When I am called to a crash in Coffs Harbour, there’s a good chance that I know the people involved, which is scary.”

Twenty years ago, half of the people killed in speeding-related crashes on country roads were locals to where the crash occurred.

This is still the case today, with about 52 percent of people killed on NSW country roads between 2016 and 2020 being locals killed close to home.

Ms McCarthy said the NSW Government is committed to driving the road toll toward zero.

“We’re working hard to make our regional roads safer.”

Through our ‘Every K Counts’ campaign, we are trying to educate motorists about the serious consequences of casual speeding,” Ms McCarthy said.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility – please stay under the speed limit and always drive to the conditions.”

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