Emergency workers at a mock accident scenario demonstrating their roles during the launch of the Driver Survivor campaign in Ballina yesterday.
Emergency workers at a mock accident scenario demonstrating their roles during the launch of the Driver Survivor campaign in Ballina yesterday. DAVID NIELSEN

Driver Survivor launched

FOUR hundred and sixty five pairs of shoes laid out around Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina yesterday poignantly brought home last year’s horrifying road toll.

The symbolic display was part of a community-based road safety initiative called Driver Survivor which was launched yesterday with the full support of the combined emergency services.

The NSW Police, the State Emergency Service, the NSW Fire Brigade, the NSW Ambulance Service and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter turned out for the launch demonstrating their life-saving skills in a road crash rescue demonstration.

The initiative is the brainchild of Lyndal Denny from Ballina, who simply got sick of dangerous drivers threatening her life and decided to do something about it.

“I had a repeat incident of being dangerously tailgated by a semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway last year,” she said.

“It was so close I could see the bugs on his grill.”

Ms Denny slowed down trying to get off the road but was almost nudged by the truck.

“I got so angry that I stopped in the middle of the highway, got out, slammed my door and I walked up to his truck – but he wouldn’t get out,” she said.

“I wrote a letter to The Northern Star asking if this had happened to anyone else and the floodgates opened.

“I thought, do I do something, or do I do nothing?

“So I set up a website called Coast to Coast 100 where people could record intimidating driver behaviour on the Pacific Highway.”

After hundreds of thousands of emails through the website Ms Denny realised the community overwhelming wanted safer roads and they were prepared to play an active role in it.

Coast to Coast 100 have developed a ten-point Driver Survivor plan and will lobby governments for funding to get the proposal up in time for the 2010 Christmas holiday break.

The centrepiece of the radical plan includes the creation of a Driver Survivor Hotline similar to Crime Stoppers to report dangerous driving.

Other initiatives include mandatory speed limiters fitted to vehicles caught driving 20kms over the limit; highway upgrades determined by black spots; the NSW Highway Patrol to be returned to it’s own chain of command; designating New Years Day as a national day of remembrance for road victims; more unmarked police vehicles; mandatory neuropsychological testing for young learner drivers; and heavier penalties for flashing headlights to warn of police presence



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