Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hoons need to wake up, says policeman

A Cobram policeman has labelled hoon driving as a slap in the face to victims of road trauma.

JESSICA GRIMBLE November 15, 2012 5:00am

Sergeant Gerard Warrin and the team at Cobram police have stressed the importance of road safety.

A Cobram policeman has labelled hoon driving as a slap in the face to victims of road trauma.

Senior Sergeant Garry Barton said people who ignored the laws and drove recklessly needed to realise having a licence came with a responsibility — to themselves and other road users.

‘‘(Hoons) are flouting the road laws in our faces, by doing a burn-out on the road leaving their mark,’’ Sen Sgt Barton said.

‘‘This mark identifies that for that minute or two, they did not care about the laws, the others on the road and shows an irresponsibility that none of them will get until one day they are affected by road trauma.’’

Sen Sgt Barton said no-one was immune from being involved or injured in a crash.

‘‘We, as people, have to recognise that cars are not impenetrable — in fact, they crumple like a cardboard box,’’ he said.

‘‘We are at the mercy of the gods in our cars and must drive like something could go wrong.

‘‘We must look out for others doing the wrong thing and we must ensure we are not distracted, not fatigued and not affected by substance.’’

Sen Sgt Barton said the effects of a crash could be devastating and far-reaching.

He used a personal example to highlight the issue.

Sen Sgt Barton’s friend was involved in a serious accident at Bundalong this month and after spending a weekend fighting for his life, he remains in a stable condition and is on the road to recovery.

‘‘The impact, though, was the first rescue team on site knew him personally and his mother, the first fire brigade on scene knew him personally and his family, the police on scene knew he was related to a policeman and the community of Yarrawonga and Bundalong were greatly affected by this,’’ Sen Sgt Barton said.

‘‘As a friend, I am sending update texts to near on 100 people. There are another 200 (people) who knew the boy and are affected by his crash.

‘‘The witness to the crash saw first-hand the effects of fatigue and agonisingly had to follow him for 50km trying to get his attention before he veered off the road into a tree.’’

Sen Sgt Barton said Cobram police continued to target hoons and encouraged people to report dangerous drivers.

People can phone 1800333000 to report hoon behaviour.

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