Frustration over drivers taking repeated risks on our roads

A file photo of wet roads.
A file photo of wet roads.

The weekend offered a dangerous mix with poor weather and the start of the silly season.

At this time of the year, emergency services and the media can begin to sound like a broken record. Unfortunately, the same message is repeated constantly because it just isn’t sinking in.

On Friday, a couple of drivers increased their speed to overtake cars who were travelling the 80km/h speed limit. The stretch of road was just before the roadworks at Breadalbane. 

The signs on the side of the road showed the right lane was ending and to merge left.

It didn’t stop a couple of cars risking increased speed on a wet road to ensure they were one or two cars ahead, before using the brakes to avoid hitting the cars in front who had started to slow down ready for the 60km/h zone.

This happened about 500 metres up from a crash that emergency services were currently attending. 

Over the weekend, other cars were seen driving around without headlights on and there were many complaints about tailgating. 

Now throw in the stress of the end of school, Christmas preparation and work functions and the risk on roads increases significantly.

The number of near misses and examples of risky behaviour is concerning and at times frightening.

The media doesn’t enjoy writing about crashes. Like the emergency services, the crashes stay with reporters and photographers for many, many years. They are covered because there is a belief by road safety experts and studies that media reports can help change behaviours on the roads.

That a crash report can make people slow down, check their tyres or not risk driving after a drink with mates.

On the weekend, Northern Tasmania experienced about 50mm of rain in some places. Pyengana recorded 102mm on Saturday. 

Some roads experienced flash flooding. Other stretches of road had not been wet in weeks. 

But did this change everyone’s driving behaviour? Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. This is frustrating for everyone who uses our roads.

When will the message sink in? Or, what will it take?

Because for some road users, the behaviour isn’t changing despite repeated messages.