Instructor: All drivers must own every second
FORMER Gympie policeman Rod Frain saw some "horrific" things over 16 years in forensic crash investigation and traffic enforcement, and that's why he has remained committed to prioritising road safety.
The 37-year veteran of the force retired five years ago, but Mr Frain has since secured part-time work as an instructor at Roadcraft, educating drivers on the importance of taking responsibility while behind the wheel.
The 64-year-old said working with Roadcraft was a post-retirement avenue through which he could pass on "vital" knowledge to learners and experienced drivers alike.
"I still wanted to make a contribution after police work with the skills that I developed," he said.
"Education at Roadcraft provides the necessary information to young and all drivers and gives them the skills to survive.
"It helps drivers learn to prepare a plan, and constantly have that plan in place to compensate for unexpected situations.
"It is hands on education so drivers are able to understand the consequences."
Mr Frain said fundamental skills such as determining time and space, maintaining safe following distances, checking mirrors and identifying hazards were focal points in developing defensive driving strategies.
He said drivers must take ownership of every second they spend behind the wheel to limit the potential consequences of small mistakes.
"One extra second makes all the difference.
"One second means 28 metres when a car is going 100 km/h, and you own that one second.
"It only has to be a small distraction, or talking, or looking elsewhere that can cost you.
"One second, or one kilometre over the limit, can be the difference between life and death."
Roadcraft CEO Sharlene Makin reinforced the push for mandated driver education programs nationwide, calling on state and federal governments to prioritise the issue.
"I'm not aware of any other issue that kills 25 and seriously injures 700, every single week, at an estimated annual cost of $32 billion," Mrs Makin said.
"Of course it should be of top priority, especially when we already have the solution.
"These deaths and injuries are preventable, 94% of all crashes are caused by human error or choice, so it is obvious the human needs more effective education.
"We should never just accept that this is how it has to be."
Mrs Makin said the Roadcraft teaching model, which has received positive feedback from participants, should set the standard in future educational developments.
"There's no point showing a PowerPoint presentation and videos all based on why we should drive safe, if the course participants aren't then taught how to drive safe.
"We need to be providing ... a solution, and that's what we do at Roadcraft; we teach people how to drive safe ... and to want to drive safe.
"We have recently surveyed past Roadcraft participants and the responses provide quite tangible evidence that our teaching works."