Shocking video footage of a careless driver performing a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on the Sturt Highway has drawn ire from police and the community.
In the video, captured by a dashboard-mounted camera and posted to the Wagga’s Worst Drivers Facebook page, a silver four-wheel-drive forces oncoming traffic to pull over onto the shoulder as it overtakes two cars.
The driver’s risky stunt flew in the face of the police’s Operation Safe Arrival, which was launched after a mammoth road toll on the state’s road this year.
Senior Sergeant Wayne McLachlan from Wagga Highway Patrol said it was definitely a dangerous manoeuvre and one police would look to enforce.
“It would appear from the video that the driver had insufficient room and luckily the oncoming traffic moved over,” Senior Sergeant McLachlan said.
“In Wagga alone we’ve issued 275 speeding tickets since the start of the operation 12 days ago – that’s 275 people who have not got the message that this is a critical period and people are losing their lives on the roads.
“We just plead with motorists to take their time, wear seatbelts and not to drink and drive.”
Many people flout laws against speeding when overtaking, which Griffith councillor and road safety advocate Simon Croce said was a sign there needed to be a rethink of the rules.
“If you come up to someone who’s driving a little slower, if you follow the letter of the law and don’t speed you’ll be hung out on the wrong side of the road for ages,” he said.
“Maybe we need to take a level-headed look and see if there are safer solutions.
“There’s always the need to balance speed and safety – if we all drove at 40km/h I’m sure the road toll would be close to zero – but it could be better.”
Wagga driving instructor Robert Buckley said safe overtaking was an important skill to learn, but one that was difficult to teach.
“To do it properly you need two cars, mum in one travelling at 60km/h and dad in the other with the student so they can practice overtaking,” Mr Buckley said.
“We don’t cover it but it’s something they need to learn, how the human brain perceives distances.”