Parents call for action on roads

Stuart Spalding
Stuart Spalding

Parents called for action to be taken to prevent more deaths on   Mundoolun Connection Road at the Young Driver Education Night held in Canungra last month.

In a room packed with young drivers, several concerned parents questioned Senior Constable Tony Fishburn about the safety of the road, calling for traffic lights at the intersection and improved safety measures.

Toby Hall asked why the government hadn’t introduced measures to disable mobile phones when in a vehicle.

Canungra Law

According to Queensland Government data website, there have been three fatal crashes on Mundoolun Connection Road in the past four years, with many more incidents requiring hospitalisation.

Marissa Phillips carried a photograph of her son Kai with her when she spoke to the room full of young drivers.

Kai was killed in a car crash on Mundoolun Connection Road in July 2022.

He had only had his P plates for three weeks.

Marissa Phillips holds a photograph of her son, Kai.

Marissa said her son was a safe, cautious driver.

Originally from the United Kingdom, she said the number of road deaths in Australia was extremely high in comparison to the UK.

“Young drivers are twice as likely to die here as they are in the UK,” she said.

Kai’s best friend and his girlfriend attended the Young Driver Education Night and Marissa said the two 17 year olds had spoken as Kai’s funeral.

“My life will never be the same.  I will never be carefree again.  Even when I’m happy it will always be there,” she said.

The week before Kai was killed he had been worried after being tailgated by another vehicle on his way home.

Snr Constable Fishburn said in most accidents, speed and distraction were the most common causes.

“The average text take the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds.  In that time anything can happen,” he said.

Norm Graham lost his son, Jared in a car crash.

Canungra Fire Captain, Stuart Spalding addressed the group, asking the young people to be mindful of the volume their music is played at while driving.

“Often in an emergency we can’t get past because people can’t hear the sirens.  They eventually they see the lights and pull over suddenly.  We would much prefer you slow down 10 to 15 kilometres and hour, pull over slightly to the left and let us overtake,” he said.

Former Canungra firefighter and parent of Jared Graham who was killed in a car crash, Norm Graham, said it is important for the community to be heard on this issue.

“We need people to lobby the government about this, to bring changes, to change the legislation and to make the roads safer,” said Norm.

“It’s been 19 years since I lost Jared and I still get up every morning with a tear in my eye.”

About Keer Moriarty 289 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Senior Constable Fishburn,
    Whilst I applaud your sudden desire for road safety in the local area, I feel taking a proactive approach would be more beneficial for the causes you claim to prioritise.
    Your time speaking to learner drivers in Canungra was appreciated by those who attended. I am sure those same people would have appreciated to be told that the roads that they travel have had changes made recently and they would be enforced to the letter of the law effective immediately.
    Example in point in the new addition of the stop sign at Mundoolan Connection Road and Beenleigh- Beaudesert Road. You proudly informed me as you texted me my ticket that on the 6th of January the signs were changed to make a difference. The only difference made is to the pockets of motorists who have travelled that road for years and caught out by your technology. Why place a car to film the intersection for you, in your unmarked bike, to nab up the road? Why not sit there with red and blues flashing to highlight the change and warn motorists that changes had been made and that a stop sign 8 metres to the left of, and 3 metres behind the marked line means stop when turning right. Why not place a stop sign on the median island as on many medians in the area?
    If you are genuine in your purpose of improving safety in that intersection why not light it up with cars, not hide in your bomber jacket 4 kilometres away and nab motorists who have engaged in the same, safe behaviour for 16 or more years. It’s hard to argue that it’s not revenue raising when the signs change without warning, police from neighbouring jurisdictions proudly run, and boast about, traps with secret filming to catch motorists and no warnings are given or media released about said changes.
    As the proud dad of a current serving QPS officer, much could be learned by the terms proactive policing and focussing on issues that are a priority for the community. Come to my school, speak to my students, attend something that tells children that you are here to protect them, not inflict more suffering on them and their families.
    I will pay my fine, learn my lesson, and, do your job and, inform my community. I will ask that you consider that if you are genuinely here to protect the life of road users and the public, why hide in/on unmarked vehicles and not be proud of your role. One set of red and blues slows traffic for kilometres – one hidden car/bike slows no one, even with the flashing form fellow citizens but raises revenue. Be a presence not a revenue stream.
    Very happy to discuss further – as you told me you have my name and number!

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