Police reveal emotional impact of crashes
SADDLED with a heavy heart and an emotional message, Bundaberg Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry offered a plea for the community to take road safety seriously.
In the past seven days, four people have been killed in traffic crashes on Bundaberg roads, and Sen Sgt McGarry said he's had enough.
He said people need to put their brains into gear before their cars because the trauma is horrific.
On Sunday morning three people lost their lives and another two where hospitalised, including a 65-year-old man who remains in a critical condition after being flown to Brisbane on Sunday night, in a horrendous three-vehicle crash at South Bingera.
"Last year, the whole of last year, we lost two people on our roads in the Bundaberg area, so far this year we've lost six," he said.
"We can't take any more of this and neither can the community.
"Fatals rip the heart out of a community and we're making a plea to road users with some key messages - please slow down, please don't take a risk - if you take a risk, you may take a life and it might be your own.
"Please check your vehicle, that it's safe and please take a rest if you're fatigued."
There have been 16 people die on Queensland roads the past week and Sen Sgt McGarry said a lot of them could have been prevented with sensible driving.
"Every time a fatal occurs in my area I get a message, either a phone call or a text message to say that it's occurred, no matter if I'm on a day off or working," he said.
"And I always think is this the last fatal that my staff can attend without it becoming too much.
"You can imagine the scenes that emergency service personnel have to attend, they are horrific, they are emotional, but they go about it in a professional manner.
"But it affects them in a significant way and I worry for our emergency service workers."
Sen Sgt McGarry said he was concerned and frustrated that the message isn't getting through to road users.
"We've had enough because frankly our hearts can't take it any more," he said.
"We lose people out of the community and they cannot be replaced.
"So please talk about road safety at the dinner table, talk about it at work, talk about it with friends and realise that when you get into a vehicle it is one of the most deadliest things to be in control of.
"But we don't think of it like that, we just think we're getting in a car to do our everyday tasks for life, whether it be shopping, dropping the kids off at school, picking them up, visiting friends or family."
Sen Sgt McGarry said he has no words for the the trauma on the region's roads in the past week.
"We can only do so much, I can't put police on every road in our area 24 hours a day to prevent deaths, I can't do it.
"The responsibility lies with road users."
Sen Sgt McGarry said some of his officers had to attend both the fatality on Bachelors Rd and Childers Rd.
"They are human, they have family, they've got friends, they've got lives outside this job, to think that it doesn't impact them psychologically is myth."
"Whether it's being confronted with trauma at the scene or having to deliver a death message to family and loved ones, they're parts of this job that don't get any easier, in fact they probably get harder.
"I really worry for the welfare of my staff and equally for the community that we just can't take any more people dying on our roads."
"So is it worth overtaking over taking that truck in a short distance? Is it worth going 5/10km over the speed limit just because you're in a rush? Is it worth going through that stop sign?
"I can tell you it's not. It's not worth it if you end up in a traffic crash where someone is significantly injured or worse case scenario they die.
"We have had these same messages out for such a long time now, we make no apologies for enforcing the road rules through various strategies and methods and we will continue our high visibility work on our local roads and the highways
"But I cannot have a car on every road 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
He said it's time for the community to take this more seriously.
Investigations into Sunday's crash are ongoing.