Detectives from Canobolas Local Area Command at the scene of a fatal crash between Cowra and Gooloogong. Source: Western Advocate
By Chelsea Lucas
Drivers in the Central West are being urged to drive with caution after a series of serious accidents over the past month.
On Saturday 12th August, 19-year-old female passenger died in Ungarie, 40 kilometres from West Wyalong, became the third person to die in a string of on-road fatalities in the Central West last week.
Fatalities also occurred on Tuesday 8th August and Friday 11th August, involving a 49-year-old woman who died after a head-on collision between Bathurst and Orange, and a 29-year-old man in a single vehicle crash between Cowra and Gooloogong.
Some of the most at-risk drivers on the road are those on their Provisional 1 licence. From 2014 to 2015, fatal crashes involving P-platers increased from 34 to 50. The number of fatalities in metropolitan areas increased by 33%, while twice as many people lost their lives on regional roads in the same year.
Managing Director of Panorama Road Safety, Matthew Irvine says that drivers in the Central West face different risks to those in metropolitan areas like Sydney.
Matthew Irvine from Panorama Road Safety shares some risks that drivers in the Central West face.
Mr Irvine says that the last several months on a learner driver’s licence and the first several months on a Provisional 1 licence are the make or break times for safer driving. Drivers on their Leaner’s licence should focus on driving in routines they will have once they’ve successfully obtained their P-plates, and drivers who already have their P-plates should focus on safer driving.
Learner drivers who have completed 50 hours of driving are able to enrol in the Safer Drivers Course, an initiative put forward by the Roads & Maritime Services. Panorama Road Safety runs the course in conjunction with the Bathurst PCYC, those interested in completing the course can visit the RMS website to find a course provider.
MATT IRVINE’S TOP TIPS FOR LEARNERS TO P-PLATERS
- Practice with distractions: music, passengers, drive thru McDonald’s
- Complete as many hours as possible – don’t just stop at 120
- Drive like you’re a P-plater, pick up siblings from sport, drive Mum to do grocery shopping
- Understand alternate routes for locations you typically travel to
- Make sure you can think ahead; know how long it will take you to get from A to B