Friday’s road safety forum is a must

IF your son or daughter is about to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time, then Friday night’s free community forum in Sale should not be missed.

In fact it should be on the ‘must do’ list of not only parents, but their teenage children as well.

The forum will feature the important element of driver education however guests will hear from those in our community who are first on the scene of an accident — police, SES volunteers and CFA volunteers.

Accident victim Lou Stewart from Heyfield, left a quadriplegic after a road accident, will also bravely tell her story.

The Talk the Toll Down campaign is an initiative of the Traffic Accident Commission and country newspapers, including the Gippsland Times.

As a journalist, I have reported on many road accidents over the years, some involving people I know but most, people I don’t know.

I have interviewed and cried with heartbroken family members trying to come to terms with their loss.

I have interviewed frustrated police who are doing their best to stop people from dying on our roads or from suffering horrific injuries.

As general manager of the Times, I have seen firsthand the devastated looks on people’s faces as they come in to our office to place death notices in the paper for their loved ones whose lives have been cut tragically short.

How do we stop this terrible waste of lives? If we had all the answers we would, but unfortunately we don’t.

However there are many in our community who will never give up trying, the Times included.

Friday’s free community forum will be held in the Sale Memorial Hall supper room from 6pm. A panel comprising Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan, Wellington Shire mayor Cr Peter Cleary and representatives from the police, CFA and SES will speak. There will then be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Please help us Talk the Toll Down for the sake of all of us on the roads.