The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Jan 2010
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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20 Northern Territory News, Saturday, January 23, 2010 www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 3 -J A N -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 2 0 C O L O R : K Whenbuckling up can NT fatalities by causal and compounding factor LOST CONTROL: A car that lost control and knocked over a light post on Berrimah Rd, Darwin, in December last year Crews have faced distressing scenes ByNADJAHAINKE NT fatalities broken down by various factors NT serious injuries by causal and compounding factor NT serious injuries broken down by various factors Perhaps attendingsome of the crash scenes faced by fire and rescue crews where people are thrown metres from vehicles might change a few attitudes TRAINING:Members of St John and volunteers at Arunga Park for a mock car crash to assist in their training for a real event LEFT ROAD: A car that left an unpaved road and crashed into an old vehicle wreck on the side of the road at Berry Springs R OB Trewartha cannot count the number of road fatalities he has come across. The NT fire and rescue district officer has seen the blood and has heard the screams of the survivors he and his team cut out the victims from their wrecked vehicles. He has been in the job for 32 years. Our crews have faced a number of disturbing scenes in recent times, including children thrown from vehicles, innocent children who rely on adults to ensure their safety in the vehicle, he said. Perhaps attending some of the crash scenes faced by fire and rescue crews where people are thrown metres from vehicles might change a few attitudes. NT Infrastructure Department statistics, requested by the Northern Territory News, show nearly 300 people have died in the past five years this is a yearly average of 53.2 deaths. Almost 3000 people were seriously injured in a horror crash in the same period. Alcohol, speed and fatigue have been the most common contributors to the crashes throughout the entire period. Not last year. While it was the year of the lowest road toll in Territory history with 31 deaths, nonwearing of seat belt related fatalities have risen rapidly. The statistics show every third fatality failed to buckle up. The victims are mainly men of all ages, driving in the rural parts of the NT. Half of them were indigenous motorists. Modern vehicles are designed to encapsulate drivers and passengers in a collision and seat belts keep you within the capsule, Mr Trewartha said. For babies and small children, correct capsules should be fitted for them and used correctly. But many crash cars were found unroadworthy and the seats were often not enough to cater for the amount of passengers. Another all too common NT occurrence is the overcrowding of vehicles whereby there simply isnt enough seat belts to go round, Mr Trewartha said. Next time you are about to get into an overcrowded vehicle with no available seat belt, take a good look at yourself, imagine the scene following a serious car crash, imagine what you might look like then, and ask yourself if it is worth it.