Our highway killer is back

DRIVE SAFELY: Gympie ambulance officer Wayne Sachs, Fire and Rescue Stiion oficer.... and Gympie police head Jon Lewis are urging motorists to plan their trrips to stay alive. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
DRIVE SAFELY: Gympie ambulance officer Wayne Sachs, Fire and Rescue Stiion oficer.... and Gympie police head Jon Lewis are urging motorists to plan their trrips to stay alive. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

THE worst is yet to come on road deaths along Gympie's southern Bruce Hwy link.

That is the sad reality, Gympie ambulance chief Wayne Sachs said yesterday.

He and other emergency service leaders gathered beside the highway to talk about the cruel serial killer that haunts all our lives - the road toll.

And it is not just the people who die, said Gympie police patrol inspector Jon Lewis.

For every death there are also those who are paralysed, maimed, disfigured or intellectually disabled.

"And there are the families," he said. "The impact on society is immeasurable."

And in every case, he says, there is a deliberate decision, made by someone, to drive when they should not, or to look away from the road.

"There are no accidents," he said, "only the consequences of decisions people make."

"We've been here for 10 minutes," agreed Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Gympie station officer Merv Bonnel, "Have you seen anyone obeying the 40kmh limit before the roadworks?"

As we stood near the entrance to the Glanmire industrial estate and the Roadcraft Driver Education facility, the answer was no.

Nor were many vehicles even the legally required two-second distance from the car in front, let alone the three-second distance (and more in wet weather), recommended by Roadcraft.

"I thought the days of us doing this were over," Mr Sachs said, recalling the many fatal crashes and subsequent roadside interviews that brought on a huge and successful The Gympie Times and community campaign to upgrade the highway.

"There's so much congestion on this road," Mr Sachs said. "And the comments from (Gympie MP) David Gibson were frightening."

Mr Gibson said the upcoming Section C upgrade from Traveston turn-off to Gympie would dump high speed traffic right in the area where two people died in four days last week.

"He's right," Mr Sachs said. "They need to do Section D (past Gympie to Curra) at the same time. I just avoid the area," he said. "And I tell my family to do the same."

Gympie Times

Topics:  bruce highway queensland fire and emergency service road safety

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