Father speaks out: How road tragedy still impacts family
A TWO-year-old boy doesn't understand why, almost 12 months on, his father has not come home.
Every time a motorbike passes the family's house, Noah yells "Daddy", eagerly awaiting the return of his father Shaun Reina.
But tragically, Shaun isn't coming home.
The Gatton husband and father-of-three was killed in a motorbike accident on July 12 last year, at the intersection of Gatton-Laidley Rd and Eastern Drive.
His commute from work at Barden's Produce to his home should have taken only minutes.
Instead, his family misses their kind-hearted, caring Shaun.
Shaun's father Michael Reina says the loss of his son is still tough on the whole family, and continues to push the I See U campaign, set up in his son's honour.
Ahead of this week's Fatality Free Friday, Michael is pleading for drivers to take care on the roads, and "look twice for bikes".
Despite traffic considerably reduced in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic, data from Transport and Main Roads revealed a worrying rise in fatalities compared to the same time last year.
Nine more people have died on Queensland roads this year in the past 12 months, compared to 2019.
The scary statistic brought home sad memories for Michael.
He said the pain of losing a loved one on the roads never ended.
"It's really traumatising … A day doesn't do by where you don't think about it," Michael said.
"The loss to families - it never goes away."
Shaun was called "the granny" for the way he rode his motorcycle - always safe, never risky.
Following his death, the Reina family has focused their energy to campaign for motorcycle safety, founding the I See U campaign.
Michael said one of the biggest dangers to motorcycle riders was SMIDSY crashes, or "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" - something he wants every road user to change.
"People aren't looking for a motorbike - they're looking for a car or truck," he said.
He said one of the key ways to help increase rider safety was to always actively look twice for motorcycles on the roads.
He also encouraged parents to have children count motorcycles on the roads during car trips - so the children recognise them when they themselves start driving.
But he also called for motorcyclists to take responsibility and ride safely every time they got on the roads.
"I'm more hyper-vigilant when I see motorcycle riders do something stupid now," Michael said.
With Fatality Free Friday on this week, Laidley Police acting senior sergeant Michelle McTaggart warned motorists should be vigilant every time they the were on the road.
"It's not just their own safety, but the safety of everyone else that's using the road," Sen-Sgt McTaggart said.
"We all need to be vigilant and be mindful of the way that we drive."
She said police would be out patrolling the region as they normally would, particularly as more travellers returned to the roads with students back in school and lockdown restrictions easing.
"We're aware of our trouble spots … and we will maintain a visible police presence along the major highways and problem areas," she said.
Fatality Free Friday began in 2007, and is an Australian annual road safety event on the last Friday every May.