Headlights on for safer driving

ROAD trauma survivor John Gale is asking drivers to turn on their lights while driving in the peak holiday season.

He prays his plea will begin a movement to save lives and lower the expected tragedy on NSW roads during the Christmas/New Year driving period.

“Turning on your headlights during daylight driving will help to raise road user consciousness and lower road accident frequency,” he urged.

“This is a small step in the overall scheme of things and one that costs nothing.

“It is easy and simple to do and can have great benefits for all.”

John had his own brush with becoming a fatal statistic when he was pulled out of a twisted wreck in November 2009 and continues to be appalled at the continuing carnage on the roads.

“While good road conditions are paramount, roads don’t kill people ... inappropriate driving does,” he maintains.

“A proven method to help lower the hideously high occurrence of accidents is to always drive with your headlights on.

“It’s simple – do a Google search if you need to – it’s in the literature – scientifically acknowledged – it works.

“Driving with headlights on will increase the visibility of your vehicle, will show other road users that you accept a level of responsibility and are willing to do something about it and that you encourage others to do the same.

“That is, to share and use the road with courtesy and according to the conditions, be they weather, road surface, other users, time of day, congestion, etc.”

A cursory calculation of the cost of John’s particular incident was more than $1 million dollars.

Two vehicles written off, five people seriously injured, five ambulances tied up with police, SES and RFS personnel in attendance, along with ICU and hospitalisation.

After blocking Waterfall Way for more than five hours, there were court cases, rehabilitation costs, insurance and compensation and the physical, emotional and mental trauma imposed upon five victims and their families for life.

“And who pays?” John asks.

“You pay ... everyone pays – by increased taxes, registrations, insurance, time and inconvenience.

“In the past, now or future, someone you know will be impacted upon by a car accident.

“Driving is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do today so don’t pass the buck.

“Take responsibility and turn on your lights.

“Let’s reduce the disastrous road carnage that currently fills the news, hospital beds and cemeteries.”

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