Fatality Free Friday campaign urges drivers to be cautious

Driver safety: Tanika Pintos and her mother, Michelle Sligar Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS

Driver safety: Tanika Pintos and her mother, Michelle Sligar Photo: DAVID FITZSIMONS

The family of a young man who was tragically killed in a fatigue related car crash near Trangie in 2016 have urged motorists to be vigilant on the roads this Fatality Free Friday.

Todd Sligar and two of his friends were killed on April 23, 2016, when their car crashed into a tree near while they were returning to Orange after a hunting trip.

His sister Tanika Pintos hopes to bring awareness to other motorists about the importance of resting when tired, not being on your phone and not speeding for Fatality Free Friday on May 29.

"The more lives that we can save on the roads, the better," Ms Pintos said.

"People need to slow down, have a nap, and not be on the phone when driving, (if that happened) we'd save more lives on the road."

Since its inception in 2007, the Fatality Free Friday message has resonated with communities across the country and is now recognised as Australia's only national community based road safety program.

Todd Sligar, 23, Mitchell Horroway, 21, and Ethan Herslet, 17, were returning from the hunting trip when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The car they were in hit a tree 10 kilometres from Trangie, killing all three men.

Ms Pintos said if motorists are feeling tired they should pull over, have a break or walk around.

"Even if you put your windows down when feeling tired, or putting the music up, doesn't work. The best thing to do if you are feeling tired is to just pull over....," Ms Pintos explained.

"There is a big probability that you won't make it to your destination if you keep going."


Inspector Ben Macfarlane from the Western Region Traffic Tactician said all motorists need to take ownership of their behaviour on the road and that it was equally important for passengers to ensure drivers are alert and focused.

"Police expect motorists to continue to obey posted speed limits, take regular breaks, and stay focused on the job at hand - which is driving safely and to the road conditions," he said.

Insp Macfarlane said the NSW Police Force supports all road safety campaigns whether initiated by police, government or community groups.

"We are all aiming to reduce fatalities and injuries on our roads," he said.

Ms Pintos said losing Todd has been really hard, but the family are taking it day by day.

They have since founded Driver Fatigue Awareness Day, held annually on April 23, to help change the way people drive and hope to have it recognised nationally by 2021.

Its slogan 'Be a champ, stop for a camp', aims to resonate with drivers everywhere.

"Even though we've gone through such a tragedy with losing Todd, we know we're saving lives and doing a good thing," Ms Pintos said.

If you would like to find out more about Fatality Free Friday please visit arsf.com.au

For further information on Driver Fatigue Awareness Day head to www.gopetition.com

This story Family pleas for drivers to be vigilant on roads this Fatality Free Friday first appeared on Western Magazine.