EVERY time another life is lost on our roads, the lives of countless families, friends and colleagues are forever changed.
But to the decision-makers, these lives ? such as that tragically lost on Sunday evening ? are just another road toll statistic.
More than five years after the section of the Pacific Highway between Repton and Lyons Road was earmarked for an upgrade, the road toll continues to grow while the government remains inactive.
At 6.30pm on Sunday, a Holden Commodore sedan and a Ford Laser collided head-on along the Pacific Highway, between the two petrol stations at Bonville, an 80km/h speed zone.
The driver of the Ford, a 21-year-old Coffs Harbour woman, whose name has not been released upon request from her family, died at the scene.
Two women and a man in their 20s travelling in the Ford Laser, all of Coffs Harbour, as well as the 17-year-old Tyringham driver of the Holden, were taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital.
The two women remain at the hospital in a stable condition.
This accident comes just eight weeks after four people were killed when their vehicle collided with a bus along the same stretch of road, on which 13 people have died since 2002.
But there is still no date for the works to start on the Bonville deviation.
The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) says it has invited registration of interest for the design and construction of the deviation.
This will be used to short list contractors, who will then be invited to submit tenders for the project.
"Once a tender has been awarded, a date for start of construction will be finalised," an RTA spokes-person said.
The Pacific Highway was closed in both directions for several hours, while emergency services investigated the scene.
Investigations into the cause of the accident continue, and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.