Police question driving habits
By KELLI DOWNEYkelli@gladstoneobserver.com.au
WHAT is so wrong?
Local police are asking that very question about a stretch of the Bruce Highway near Mount Larcom which has been the scene of four motor vehicle accidents within the past 10 days.
Police are almost at a loss to ex- plain the concerning spate, now pointing the finger at driver hab- its and behaviour.
Since November 19, a fatality, a two-vehicle collision which result- ed in a man having his leg ampu- tated and two single vehicle acci- dents have occurred in a 34- kilometre stretch north and south of Mount Larcom.
Three of the four accidents are believed to be the result of driver behaviour.
On November 21, Sarina wom- an Priscilla Kristy Lapworth was killed after careering into oncom- ing traffic 17 kilometres south of the township.
The 26-year-old died instantly when the car she and her 24-year- old sister Jeanine were travelling in and another vehicle collided af- ter the sisters hit a kangaroo.
Two days earlier a 38-year-old man sustained severe leg injuries in a sickening two-vehicle acci- dent 15 kilometres north of the township.
The man was airlifted to Rock- hampton Hospital and later flown to Brisbane where his leg was am-putated. Only yesterday a Sunshine Coast woman and her male com- panion sustained injuries in a sin- gle-vehicle accident seven kilo- metres south of the town.
Mount Larcom Police Senior Constable Alistair Mearns said he had not seen a spate of accidents in so few days in his six years sta- tioned at the township.
Snr Const Mearns said the acci- dents had to be driver-related or attributed to a driver problem.
"I can't see anything wrong with this stretch of road,'' Snr Const Mearns said.
A Mount Larcom Traveller's Rest spokesperson supported Snr Const Mearns' views, admitting the highway was in good condi- tion and had numerous overtak- ing lanes.
The spokesperson said while many motorists stopped for a spell, it still seemed some motor-ists were obviously driving tired or not concentrating on the road conditions.
However, the recent release of the Australian Road Assessment Program (Aus RAP) has rated the Bruce Highway in the Gladstone region as medium-to-high risk.
The rating was for the highway stretch between Miriam Vale and Rockhampton.
Judgment was based on the number of crashes on a road dur-ing a given length of time and the casualty crashes per vehicle per kilometre travelled.