'I have never seen so many fatalities'
AFTER 11 years as a police officer in northern Queensland, Acting Senior Sergeant Daniel Goldburg, like many others in the Mackay region, is coming to terms with some confronting statistics. It's the first time he has experienced four traffic crash deaths in one week.
"I have never seen so many fatalities in a such a short period," he said.
Last week's shocking statistics were compounded by a further 15 driving-related offences in a four-hour period on Sunday - highlighting the dangerous reality that some motorists are not heeding police warnings.
"The poor families that are going to try to celebrate Christmas without their loved ones; the emergency services, it affects them, their loved ones also feel it, and the whole community - the people who first get there, the witnesses that try to assist," he said.
"One fatality affects a large group of the community."
Mackay police had increased their presence on the roads since the fatalities, but drivers were still "deliberately" breaking the law, Snr Sgt Goldburg said.
"It's been a disappointing result.
"An officer has just tried to get to Proserpine and … it's taken him over four hours.
"It's not people just creeping up over, it's people deliberately going well above the speed limit."
Of the 15 driving-related offences, one driver was allegedly clocked at 143km/h.
A month ago, Snr Sgt Goldburg clocked a motorist driving at 173km/h in an 80km/h zone.
"It's just speeds that you can't recover from," he said.
"Your brakes aren't capable, the roads aren't designed for people to travel at that speed and you're not just putting yourself at risk. At those sort of speeds you're putting every motorist on the road and the community (at risk)."
Snr Sgt Goldburg said it was important for everyone to remember to be careful, especially after the number of deaths on Mackay roads.
"No one plans for something like that to happen," he said. "Follow the Fatal Five issues that cause most of the fatalities and have a good Christmas," he said.
The Fatal Five - the five major factors that cause road trauma - are speeding, drink or drug-driving, fatigue, driver distraction and not wearing a seatbelt.