Concern: Bill Swindells is concerned about driver safety on West Gladstone's roads.
Concern: Bill Swindells is concerned about driver safety on West Gladstone's roads. Kara Irving

Motorists must blame themselves

WITH 57 years driving experience under his belt, Gladstone's Bill Swindells has a simple message for drivers: "Just obey the rules".

Turning 80 this year, the former truck and bus driver admits he's seen it all on the roads. From a learner driver doing 20kmh over the speed limit to people driving through stop signs, Mr Swindells said something needed to be done.

"People should stop blaming the road and start blaming themselves," he said.

Mr Swindells said he had only been in four crashes during his driving career-all at the other driver's fault.

In one instance Mr Swindells was hit after a semi trailer carrying metal pylons pushed two cars into him. Mr Swindells first got his licence in 1962 and can drive anything from a motorcycle to a B-double.

Residing in Gladstone, Mr Swindells often notices drivers obeying the road rules from his front window.

"I live off a main road with a stop sign and on one occasion, only two out of 20 cars failed to stop," he said.

"People need to get their acts together. It's the young ones that worry me the most."

But with many drivers and pedestrians choosing to ignore the road rules, Mr Swindells said at times it can be every driver for themselves.

"I've been taught to look after myself on the road and that's the best we can do to be responsible drivers."


Pedestrian Safety Public Education Campaign

  • State Government launched campaign in February 1998.
  • Advises motorists to exercise caution when driving in areas pedestrians are walking.
  • Encourages pedestrians to cross at controlled crossings or the safest point on the road.
  • Raise awareness of the consequences of unsafe pedestrian activities.
  • First Australian safety campaign to educate people about "drink walking".
  • Police teach program in schools, with promotional items including stickers, pencil cases and road safety themed comic books.
  • Road safety brochures are available in Queensland newsagents.

SOURCE: Transport and Main Roads.