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Double-digit road toll for ACT in 2014

By Canfan - 2 January 2015 12

While the ACT road toll continues to sit below the 10-year average, the double-digit toll stands as a solemn reminder to that there is work still to do.

“Any fatality on our roads is one too many and, as a community, we should always strive to be fatality free,” ACT Policing Acting Officer in Charge Traffic Operations Station Sergeant Tracey Duck said.

“These ten fatalities are not just a number; they are lives tragically lost and families devastated. For the family and friends, for the survivors left seriously injured, and for the emergency responders, the toll is much higher than a simple number.”

The ACT has seen an average of 13 road fatalities and 700 injuries per year over the past 10 years.

“We’ve seen the ACT road toll fluctuate as low as 6 and as high as 26 over the past decade. However, there is still work to do as a community to see a fatality free ACT,” Sergeant Duck said.

“So many factors have contributed to a lower than average road toll this year. This includes driver awareness, our joint work with the ACT Government on road safety campaigns, the expansion of the Road Safety Operations team, and the outstanding work that our ambulance services do at the scene of road collisions.”

“We’ll continue to work with the ACT Government in 2015 to improve road safety. It’s also up to individual drivers to make a personal commitment to drive safely so that we can reduce road trauma in the ACT.”

Sergeant Duck said police would continue to be out in force during the holiday season detecting and removing drivers engaging in risky behaviour such as speeding, drink and drug driving, ignoring traffic controls, driving fatigued or distracted, and not wearing seatbelts.

Double demerits have been in effect since Wednesday, December 24, 2014 and will continue until midnight Sunday, January 4, 2015.

act-road-toll-2014

(ACT Policing Media Release)

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12 Responses to
Double-digit road toll for ACT in 2014
A_Cog 12:50 pm 07 Jan 15

Tooks said :

Yeah police put in no effort, which is why offenders are caught every day, the courts are full, and the AMC is full. Lucky they’re not really trying though.

You’re just another “I don’t see police so they don’t exist”, “I don’t see RBTs, so they don’t exist”. It’s an absolutely ridiculous mentality.

Good work Tooks, you’ve combined an ad hominem with an ad absurdum, and also missed my point. Offenders are caught every day because there are so many of them, like SEVEN-time repeat DUI (and how many actual times would they have driven whilst drunk?). The courts are full of repeat offenders because of inadequate sentencing for the second offence (let alone the third, fourth, fifth, sixth…). The jail is full because the ACT Government chose the smaller (cheaper) option.

I’m not ONLY blaming ACT Police, but that is where the rot starts.

Tooks 4:04 pm 06 Jan 15

A_Cog said :

Reprobate said :

…Ultimately, no amount of policing, “safety” cameras or even airbags and ABS brakes are going to stop every possibility of a fatal car accident happening … local sociopaths behind the wheel like Justin Monfries or Mully… .

Sure, ‘no amount’ of policing will get it to zero, but I’d appreciate ACT Police putting in some effort. I cannot shake the opinion that ACT Police are near-invisible, and the ACT Courts near-useless. I often drive in the evenings and 99% of the time I do not see any patrol vehicles. I’ve never seen an RBT in Canberra on a Friday/Saturday! And I’ve read scores of court decisions re driving offences which were howlingly insufficient.

Rubbish policing and rubbish judges are deeply interconnected: if there are barely any police around to catch offenders, these repeat-DUI offenders you read about ALL THE TIME are probably only being caught once in 20 or 50 times. The judge does not give a custodial, and that offender is released and then goes on to commit another 20 or 50 offences but only get caught once. It’s luck there are not more fatalities here.

Yeah police put in no effort, which is why offenders are caught every day, the courts are full, and the AMC is full. Lucky they’re not really trying though.

You’re just another “I don’t see police so they don’t exist”, “I don’t see RBTs, so they don’t exist”. It’s an absolutely ridiculous mentality.

A_Cog 1:25 pm 06 Jan 15

Reprobate said :

…Ultimately, no amount of policing, “safety” cameras or even airbags and ABS brakes are going to stop every possibility of a fatal car accident happening … local sociopaths behind the wheel like Justin Monfries or Mully… .

Sure, ‘no amount’ of policing will get it to zero, but I’d appreciate ACT Police putting in some effort. I cannot shake the opinion that ACT Police are near-invisible, and the ACT Courts near-useless. I often drive in the evenings and 99% of the time I do not see any patrol vehicles. I’ve never seen an RBT in Canberra on a Friday/Saturday! And I’ve read scores of court decisions re driving offences which were howlingly insufficient.

Rubbish policing and rubbish judges are deeply interconnected: if there are barely any police around to catch offenders, these repeat-DUI offenders you read about ALL THE TIME are probably only being caught once in 20 or 50 times. The judge does not give a custodial, and that offender is released and then goes on to commit another 20 or 50 offences but only get caught once. It’s luck there are not more fatalities here.

Tooks 8:35 am 06 Jan 15

bobzed57 said :

I wonder how many of these are single vehicle accidents that occurred in unusual circumstances. I understand a number of these types of accidents may be classified as suicides. Notwithstanding, tragedies whatever the circumstances.

Wouldn’t be many and the ones that are suicide would be hard to determine.

bobzed57 7:08 pm 05 Jan 15

I wonder how many of these are single vehicle accidents that occurred in unusual circumstances. I understand a number of these types of accidents may be classified as suicides. Notwithstanding, tragedies whatever the circumstances.

Reprobate 2:15 pm 05 Jan 15

Whenever I see “aspirational” goals like zero road fatalities in a year, I think of this article from just a couple of years ago:
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/runaway-car-and-horse-add-to-territorys-bizarre-road-deaths-20121124-2a0le.html

Ultimately, no amount of policing, “safety” cameras or even airbags and ABS brakes are going to stop every possibility of a fatal car accident happening while human frailty is involved. Sometimes – sadly – you are going to have a rare, odd or even bizarre circumstance arise on the roads like in the article which leads to an unpreventable death. Or local sociopaths behind the wheel like Justin Monfries or Mully, who don’t give a stuff about the law or the safety of others.

And while every road death is a tragedy for the families affected, when you consider how many millions of kilometres and thousands of hours are travelled by the population of Canberra of the course of a year, the road toll is astoundingly low.

Southmouth 1:40 pm 05 Jan 15

How are Blackspots handled these day? I remember it used to be that if two seperate fatalities happened in the same spot in a 12 month period then that would make remedial road works eligible for federal blackspot funding (should someone bother to apply)
Twice this year on the way back from the snow i came across very serious accidents at the intersection of the Monaro Hwy and Old Cooma Rd. At least one had a fatality. The increasing number of residents out there and with Googong coming along, something is going to have to be done there.

JC 11:50 am 05 Jan 15

watto23 said :

The rule on giving way is to vehicles on the roundabout regardless of the lane they are in. That is the national road law as far as I can see and definitely the law in Canberra. There is nothing in the law that says a car may enter a roundabout if another car on the roundabout is in the other lane. Its black and white and says give way to vehicles on the roundabout. Give way means you can enter after the car has passed you and is also a judgement call because I see people not entering a roundabout because a car on the other side of the roundabout entered (although this is where indicating is useful!). Give way means you give right of way to the vehicle and enter when its safe to do so, which typically means once it has passed you waiting at the intersection.

I knew this would be you answer, and of course your are indeed 100% right the law is give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout as I mentioned in my post.

But to understand why I say your wrong in the case of two lanes and two vehicles entering from the same direction in separate lanes, you need to look at the definition of giving way, again refer to your national road rules.

Giveway means: the driver must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision.

So in the case that we are describing if both vehicles are doing the right thing then where is there a chance of collision with the the other vehicle? This is what I believe you are suggesting. I cannot see where there would be any chance of collision, again assuming everyone is doing the right thing. You mention reduced visibility to the right for a vehicle in the left lane as one reason to stop, though really that all depends. Don’t know about you but I look at what is happening on a roundabout on approach so have a fair idea and of course if I cannot see I do stop, but that is not stopping to avoid collision with the vehicle in the adjacent other lane it is for my own preservation. So really two lanes, two vehicles coming the same way no need to give way or stop for the other vehicle.

I know you are probably going to have a go over my statement of assuming people are doing the right thing, but on a roundabout and indeed in any situation on the road assuming everyone is doing the right thing is the only thing we can do. But of course having situation awareness to take action if that assumption turns out to be wrong is an essential road craft.

And whilst I don’t disagree with the overall sentiment of what your saying, the bulk of what you are saying is all about judgement (a word you have used yourself) and courtesy, neither of which are legislated in the road rules and I will bet you can find no specific rule related to the scenario mentioned, except give way to all vehicles already on the roundabout but as mentioned refer to the definition of give way.

watto23 10:48 am 05 Jan 15

JC said :

watto23 said :

Don’t get me wrong, but is it really possible to get the road toll to 0. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who do not do the right thing and there will always be accidents and bad situations.

We focus too much on speeding in Australia and less on bad driving, because speed cameras are easy and cheap to deploy and make money. There are never police around when you see an idiot on the road driving dangerously.

Also road rules change and people either learnt before the rule changed or never understood the rule in the first place. Half the people on the road don’t understand giving way to any vehicle on the roundabout… yes including vehicles in the other lane! Getting into the other lane ahead of another car means that driver has to now make even more decisions on what you are doing and potentially avoid you when they shouldn’t have to!

Agree with most of your points, including many who don’t know how to give way at roundabouts. But if I am reading your post correct you would seem to be one of them.

Let me get this right you are saying that if two vehicles are approaching the same roundabout in two separate lanes, that because one vehicle gets into the roundabout first the other vehicle needs to give way. Now whilst of course the law is give way to all vehicles on the roundabout, in the situation you have described there is no requirement for the 2nd vehicle to give way because both vehicles have their own lanes and if doing the right thing both can complete their manoeuvre without getting in the way, and hence needing to give way to the other vehicle. I am also not sure what your on about having to second guess the other vehicle, again if people are doing what they are meant to there is no need to guess, just get on with what you are doing.

If for example the first vehicle was in the left hand lane then they should complete their complete manoeuvre in the left hand lane. A vehicle in the right hand lane will complete their manoeuvre in the centre lane of the roundabout and never the twain should cross. So it doesn’t matter who made it first in this case as both have their own separate lanes so no need to give way to the other vehicle. There is also nothing stopping ‘overtaking’ in the roundabout either which I know is a pet hate of many on here. Some roundabouts (the smaller ones for example) I think it is a bit rude, because invariably at the exit there will be a merge just beyond resulting in one car racing to get in front of the other. (Majura Road and Gundaroo Road being prime examples of where this happens). But larger roundabouts, like those on Parkes way I cannot see the issue what so ever.

The rule on giving way is to vehicles on the roundabout regardless of the lane they are in. That is the national road law as far as I can see and definitely the law in Canberra. There is nothing in the law that says a car may enter a roundabout if another car on the roundabout is in the other lane. Its black and white and says give way to vehicles on the roundabout. Give way means you can enter after the car has passed you and is also a judgement call because I see people not entering a roundabout because a car on the other side of the roundabout entered (although this is where indicating is useful!). Give way means you give right of way to the vehicle and enter when its safe to do so, which typically means once it has passed you waiting at the intersection.

One of the reasons why this law is the way it is is because its not illegal to change lanes on a roundabout, although in practise I’d only ever see this as being possible and useful if for example turning right and needed to do a left turn just after exiting the roundabout, it is legal to exit into the left lane, even though you turned from the right lane. You could technically change lanes when exiting going straight, but normally if you knew you had to make a left or right turn after going straight through a roundabout, majority of 4 way roundabouts allow for you to proceed straight in either lane.

Entering the roundabout together in separate lanes is not a give way rule as there is no vehicle on the roundabout. Also the general rule is left or straight from the left lane and straight or right from the right lane thus entering together should not cause issues, but both drivers need to be aware of each other and aware of any merge after exiting the roundabout. However if you can’t see the traffic on the roundabout because the vehicle in the right lane blocks your view, I’d label it as unwise or poor driving to enter a roundabout because the car to your right is (and thus must be safe!). You are relying on someone else’s judgement.

I have noticed lately they’ve started to mark roundabouts differently. Erindale drive and Sternberg crescent has 2 lanes across the roundabout along Erindale drive, but only one now on Sternberg drive, to force drivers to give way to right turning traffic, rather than racing them across the intersection to a merge on either side. There are some others in Tuggeranong which are three way roundabouts and drivers just zoom through without looking assuming they have right of way because they are going straight on a T intersection roundabout.

While overtaking on roundabouts isn’t illegal either I’d think the insurance drivers would favour the vehicle on the roundabout first over the vehicle that entered second and tried to overtake…. there are cases where both vehicles are going straight and there is no merge after the roundabout that overtaking is generally safe, but I’d think its much safer to do the overtake after exiting the roundabout.

Its possible for traffic to flow while following road rules! Maybe if we managed roundabouts (merging too) better, we’d be able to handle faster speed limits on the major roads rather than these ridiculous 80 and 90 km/h zones on roads capable of 100+

JC 6:51 pm 04 Jan 15

watto23 said :

Don’t get me wrong, but is it really possible to get the road toll to 0. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who do not do the right thing and there will always be accidents and bad situations.

We focus too much on speeding in Australia and less on bad driving, because speed cameras are easy and cheap to deploy and make money. There are never police around when you see an idiot on the road driving dangerously.

Also road rules change and people either learnt before the rule changed or never understood the rule in the first place. Half the people on the road don’t understand giving way to any vehicle on the roundabout… yes including vehicles in the other lane! Getting into the other lane ahead of another car means that driver has to now make even more decisions on what you are doing and potentially avoid you when they shouldn’t have to!

Agree with most of your points, including many who don’t know how to give way at roundabouts. But if I am reading your post correct you would seem to be one of them.

Let me get this right you are saying that if two vehicles are approaching the same roundabout in two separate lanes, that because one vehicle gets into the roundabout first the other vehicle needs to give way. Now whilst of course the law is give way to all vehicles on the roundabout, in the situation you have described there is no requirement for the 2nd vehicle to give way because both vehicles have their own lanes and if doing the right thing both can complete their manoeuvre without getting in the way, and hence needing to give way to the other vehicle. I am also not sure what your on about having to second guess the other vehicle, again if people are doing what they are meant to there is no need to guess, just get on with what you are doing.

If for example the first vehicle was in the left hand lane then they should complete their complete manoeuvre in the left hand lane. A vehicle in the right hand lane will complete their manoeuvre in the centre lane of the roundabout and never the twain should cross. So it doesn’t matter who made it first in this case as both have their own separate lanes so no need to give way to the other vehicle. There is also nothing stopping ‘overtaking’ in the roundabout either which I know is a pet hate of many on here. Some roundabouts (the smaller ones for example) I think it is a bit rude, because invariably at the exit there will be a merge just beyond resulting in one car racing to get in front of the other. (Majura Road and Gundaroo Road being prime examples of where this happens). But larger roundabouts, like those on Parkes way I cannot see the issue what so ever.

Tooks 5:09 pm 04 Jan 15

watto23 said :

Don’t get me wrong, but is it really possible to get the road toll to 0. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who do not do the right thing and there will always be accidents and bad situations.

We focus too much on speeding in Australia and less on bad driving, because speed cameras are easy and cheap to deploy and make money. There are never police around when you see an idiot on the road driving dangerously.

Also road rules change and people either learnt before the rule changed or never understood the rule in the first place. Half the people on the road don’t understand giving way to any vehicle on the roundabout… yes including vehicles in the other lane! Getting into the other lane ahead of another car means that driver has to now make even more decisions on what you are doing and potentially avoid you when they shouldn’t have to!

I think a few years ago we went 9 or 10 months without a fatality (not in a calendar year though). But no, I don’t think 0 road toll will ever happen, unfortunately.

There will never be enough police to catch every bad driver, that’s just the way it is.

watto23 4:12 pm 04 Jan 15

Don’t get me wrong, but is it really possible to get the road toll to 0. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who do not do the right thing and there will always be accidents and bad situations.

We focus too much on speeding in Australia and less on bad driving, because speed cameras are easy and cheap to deploy and make money. There are never police around when you see an idiot on the road driving dangerously.

Also road rules change and people either learnt before the rule changed or never understood the rule in the first place. Half the people on the road don’t understand giving way to any vehicle on the roundabout… yes including vehicles in the other lane! Getting into the other lane ahead of another car means that driver has to now make even more decisions on what you are doing and potentially avoid you when they shouldn’t have to!

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