To quote the iconic Australian movie – The Castle – My name’s Colin Edmonston, TMR’s Road Safety Manager for Central Region, and this is my story.
Born and bred in rural Central Queensland, I experienced the tragedy and despair of road trauma first-hand, accepting it as part of growing up in the bush.
Very rarely did a week go by without our local paper reporting on yet another local being killed or seriously injured in a crash. I personally walked away from a triple rollover in 1998 relatively unscathed but others haven’t been so lucky.
Blokes I’ve played footy with, worked beside, shared a beer and a laugh with, now gone – mates I thought I’d have for life.
Driven by a desire to better understand the underlying causes of road crashes and ways to reduce the carnage, I joined the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) in the year 2000 and worked on several applied research projects related to rural and remote road safety.
In 2009, I joined TMR because I wanted to make a real difference.
In my current position, I am lucky to be part of a multi-disciplinary team with the core goal of saving lives. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Road safety is at the heart of everything we do. From the Customer Service officer who tests learner drivers to ensure they know the road rules, to the driving examiner who makes sure novice drivers competent to drive solo. From the designer and engineer who plan and build safe roads, and work to improve existing ones, to the transport inspector who ensures heavy vehicle drivers are managing their fatigue. The list goes on.
Through our many and varied roles, collectively we are striving for drivers, safer vehicles and safer roads and roadsides.
Despite this, the sad fact remains that road user behaviour is a factor in about 90 percent of crashes. This means many are preventable.
So, the ongoing task for TMR, QPS, local government and communities throughout our great state is to challenge each and every road user to accept responsibility for making our roads safe.
You can do this by buckling up, travelling at safe speeds, avoiding distractions, taking breaks when tired and not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Safe choices equals safe trips – in many cases, it’s that simple!
Today is Fatality Free Friday, and across Queensland, TMR and our road safety partners have been out and about talking to people about road safety.
Giant inflatable car keys have been travelling around Queensland to various locations and events, helping spread the message that road safety is in the hands of every road user.
Through signing the giant key, people are pledging to make safe choices all year round.
In our region alone, the giant key has been to the One Government Roadshow in Barcaldine, several popular rest areas for both heavy vehicles and grey nomads, the Rockhampton cinema, the Emerald Tourist Information Centre and today it travels around Mackay as part of a Classic Car Tour.
At the Barcaldine event, the entire Isisford School (all 7 students) were licensed as safe passengers and bike riders for always remembering to wear their seatbelts and helmets!
I urge everyone to take the Fatality Free Friday pledge online at www.fatalityfreefriday.com.
Manager (Road Safety) Central