Ahead of a busy festive season on WA roads, Minister for Police and Road Safety, Michelle Roberts along with the Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner yesterday launched a new campaign, reminding drivers that a momentary lapse in concentration behind the wheel can change your life forever.
The campaign, entitled ‘The Life Toll’, features the stories of Ben Carter and Paul Freeman who both sustained life-altering injuries due to making a simple mistake on the road.
“The stories from Ben and Paul in the Life Toll campaign are real and they are brave,” said Minister Roberts.
"I hope it might make people pause for a moment and be that little more patient, tolerant and courteous to other road users.”
Ben, who was injured in 2008, was on his way to work when a momentary lapse in concentration saw his car collide and go underneath a semi-trailer truck. He sustained a number of serious injuries including an aquired brain injury and permanent vision impairment.
“The toll that the crash has had on my life is not something you ever want to go through,” said Ben
Paul, who was in injured in 1991, was also on his way to work when he swerved to miss a cat and drove his car into lamp post. Paul was a shift worker and was driving fatigued. He sustained a number of severe head and facial injuries.
“The younger you are the longer you have to live with it,” said Paul.
“I wouldn’t wish the toll the crash has had on my life on anyone else.”
The launch of the campaign was held in conjunction with the official kick-off WA Police’s double demerit point traffic blitz, with the Minister reminding drivers that extra police will be out in force this holiday period.
“There will be a strong enforcement presence on our roads during this holiday season,” said Minister Roberts.
“We will have targeted police operations to get those people who are speeding, who are drink or drug driving or who are doing the wrong thing.
“Double demerit points act as a reminder for all road users to do the right thing – its double demerits not double the fines because this is about road safety,” she said.
Double demerits are in force from Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 inclusive.
The Life Toll campaign featuring the stories of Ben and Paul will run throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
The Road Safety Commission will continue the campaign with a number of new stories throughout 2021.
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We’re all familiar with the ROAD TOLL being a record of lives lost on our roads. But what about those who survive, and whose lives will never be the same again due to the injuries and trauma they have suffered? This is The Life Toll, a record of the consequences of serious road trauma.
The majority of serious crashes involve people of all ages making an error, momentarily lapsing in concentration, or misjudging a situation. When these crashes result in serious and permanent injury, it leaves poignant messages that resonate with the wider community – it could happen to me.
The Life Toll gives a voice to road trauma survivors. Their collective powerful storytelling leads us all to take personal responsibility to make decisions that lead to safer driving.