25 May 2022

Police plea to drivers following horror fatalities: "nobody wants a loved one to die"

| Claire Fenwicke
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Crashed car

A man was killed in this single-vehicle crash in Belconnen on 20 May. Photo: ACT Policing.

Three people were killed on our roads in less than three days this month: this is the horrific reality of Canberra’s death toll.

ACT Policing Commander Linda Champion said all three deaths were completely avoidable.

“These people are someone’s child, parent, partner, best friend, neighbour,” she said.

“Their families won’t see them again and their friends will never talk with them again.”

Commander Champion urged all Canberrans to look at their own driving behaviour and that of their friends to make our community safer.

“No one wants to open the door and find us standing there with that awful, tragic news. News that is avoidable,” she said.

“If you know someone who pushes the boundaries on the road, who drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or just drives dangerously, please help us and have a discussion with those people.

“We don’t want to lose any more of our Canberra community.”

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She believed the spate of road deaths was the Territory’s “worst string of accidents in such a short space of time” and said reducing the road toll came down to both enforcement and driver behaviour.

“We can be out there … enforcing the rules, giving out tickets, doing breath tests, but we can’t be everywhere for everyone,” Commander Champion said.

“We need others to help us … nobody wants a loved one to die.”

Transport Minister Chris Steel called the recent road deaths “absolutely tragic” and said he would investigate whether infrastructure upgrades were needed to prevent more fatalities.

“However, it’s pretty difficult to stop people through interventions on our roads such as network and infrastructure investment if you’re going to deliberately break the law,” he said.

The ACT’s current road death toll stands at nine.

A 53-year-old motorcyclist died in Gowrie on Saturday (21 May) after failing to negotiate a bend and hitting a bus stop signpost, while a man died in a single car crash in Belconnen on Friday (20 May).

Twenty-year-old Matt McLuckie was killed driving home from work when a car travelling on the wrong side of Hindmarsh Drive smashed into his vehicle on 19 May. It’s believed the car on the wrong side of the road was in a street race.

Matthew McLuckie was described as a “beautiful, gentle, compassionate young man” by his grieving family. Photo: ACT Policing.

“Please, please, please understand there are massive consequences to the wilful recklessness of your racing and speeding,” the family of Mr McLuckie said in a statement on Tuesday (24 May).

“It may all seem like a bit of fun, a great thrill, a good laugh and something to do with your mates, but your actions have consequences.

Officers also recently impounded the car of a P-plater who admitted he was trying to race a marked police car, while two motorcyclists were fined for going more than 45 km/h over the speed limit in Florey.

Police caught the pair in the 80 km/h zone on Southern Cross Drive at about 10:25 pm on Saturday (21 May).

One of the riders had an ACT learner rider licence while the other had a full NSW rider licence.

Police said when the pair were spoken with, one was aware of Canberra’s road fatality the night before.

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