ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: 240 people were killed in Queensland in 2017.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: 240 people were killed in Queensland in 2017. Arthur Gorrie

Tragedy doesn't take holidays

2017 IS DONE and dusted and it's time to start thinking about getting on with the business of the New Year.

Christmas, likewise, is over and so in dribs and drabs we will get back into our routines over the next few days and weeks and back to our normal lives.

Well, those of us who thankfully survived the Christmas period.

I've looked back at the road toll figures for 2017 and am thankful to see there has been a small fall in the road toll from last year.

That's a reversal of an alarming trend where the road toll had started slowly rising since 2014.

Still, 240 people killed in Queensland.

240 is still too many in my book and something we all need to take seriously every single day of any single year.

Let's hope we can all do our bit and drag it down.

I had to do a fair bit of driving over the Christmas period and was very often appalled at the speeds and risks I saw other drivers taking on our highways.

I thought it was just me noticing but I was just talking to a truck driving mate of mine, who is out on the road in North Queensland heading back home, and he's shaking his head too.

It begs the question, what else do authorities need to do to drive the message home to us as road users?

Why aren't people getting the message?

One thing I know for certain is that sadly, the police will never be out of work.

Maybe people think that motor vehicle accidents just happen to other people and other families and think they won't happen to me or mine.

In my experience they happen to anyone and everyone and the thing they have in common is that they happen to people.

Humans, just like you and me.

Tragedy doesn't take holidays.

I remember one Christmas afternoon in the early 1990s where I was tasked to advise a father that his son had died that morning in a motor vehicle accident. I arrived at his non-descript house in the Brisbane suburbs and knocked on the door.

I could hear and smell the sounds of Christmas festivities inside. As soon as the father opened the door and saw me, he knew what I was going to tell him.

Sadly for that family, the mystery of why there was a vacant spot at the his Christmas table was now solved.

He argued with me at first that I was just a mate of his son who was making up some type of elaborate joke.

I had to convince him that it was all true.

I think he was hoping against hope right up until the time we showed him his deceased son on the cold morgue slab as he went through the process of identification.

That afternoon will stay with me forever.

I have long forgotten the names of those involved or the address where they lived.

One thing I know is that they will never forget either and there will always be a space at their table for the son that never came home.



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