Look up and live

Circular Head Community Road Safety Partnership members Sergeant Lee-Anne Walters, Deb Mainwaring and Noelene O’Halloran are hoping the display of a car wreckage near Smithton’s main entrance forces people to think about the consequences of inattention whilst driving. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Driving. Circular Head’s Community Road Safety Partnership has a new weapon to tackle inattention whilst driving, and it hits hard.

Easy to spot at the head of Smithton’s eastern Bass Highway entrance, the crashed vehicle sits next to Tasmanian Dairy Products at eye-level in an effort to remind local drivers of the realistic consequences of taking risks while behind the wheel.

An initiative from the neighbouring Burnie CRSP program, Circular Head’s road safety committee jumped at the opportunity to host the vehicle for the next four weeks.

“It’s just really to highlight the risks and what the possible effects could be,” Smithton Police Sergeant Lee-Anne Walters said.

“We looked at a couple of sites that didn’t distract drivers, and you see it as you come in to town. You can’t miss it.”

The vehicle is the result of an actual car crash, and while Sergeant Walters said the incident wasn’t fatal, the occupants were lucky to escape serious injury.

Department of State Growth invited students from nearby Hellyer College and Marist Regional College to help with the car’s marketing campaign, choosing the slogan ‘text and you may be next’ chosen to appear on a banner alongside the vehicle.

The display has travelled from Burnie to Somerset before reaching Circular Head, and will continue to visit a number of other local councils to promote the message.

CRSP member Deb Mainwaring said texting was not the only risk factor for drivers, with speed and alcohol also major influences in contributing to inattention.

“It’s quite confronting to see that,” she said of the wreckage.

“Having young people involved with coming up with the idea, that’s quite powerful as well.”

Police statistics dating up to November 2014 show a total of 121 speeding offences in the area, alongside 22 seat-belt related infringements and 15 cases of mobile phone use whilst driving.

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