THE national road toll in 1981, the year before random breath testing was introduced, was 3321.
That was 3321 lives ended prematurely, 3321 lives ended unnecessarily, 3321 families left to grieve and wonder why.
Governments of the day recognised those deaths as a national disaster and took steps to remedy it.
RBT was the most high-profile change and that one simple measure has saved literally thousands of lives in the years since it first appeared.
But governments also poured millions of dollars into advertising and education campaigns.
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Young drivers were targeted, old drivers were targeted. Everyone who got behind the wheel - and every passenger - was at risk and so no expense was spared to effect real change.
In 2018, the national road toll was 1145 - still 1145 too many, but a long way from the 3321 deaths in 1982.
So it can be done.
Educations campaigns, driver programs and increased awareness - all backed by government spending - can change behaviour and bring results.
Which brings us to this week's tragic suicide figures handed down by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The terrible figures show that In 2018, 3046 Australians died by suicide.
That was 3046 lives ended prematurely, 3046 lives ended unnecessarily, 3046 families left to grieve and wonder why.
The number is eerily close to the 1982 road toll and demands the same intervention by government.
Politicians will say the government is doing all it can to tackle the country's suicide crisis and will point to increased spending on mental health in recent years.
That funding is welcome, but it simply isn't enough.
Governments at all levels are too quick to wash their hands of responsibility in this area, happy to rely on non-government organisations such as Lifeline Central West to take up the slack.
In the Central West, there are eight deaths by suicide every day.
Lifelines volunteers do a wonderful job working as telephone counsellors to lend a sympathetic ear to callers at their lowest ebb and they should be left alone to do just that.
Every hour a Lifeline volunteer or staff member spends worry about fundraising for the organisation is an hour that could have been spent saving lives.
Governments alone, through proper funding, can stop that happening.