HORRIFIC: Retired traffic officer James Breeze reflects on a career dealing with fatal accidents.
HORRIFIC: Retired traffic officer James Breeze reflects on a career dealing with fatal accidents. John Mccutcheon

Crash trauma finally broke traffic cop

AFTER 25 years of enduring the sights, sounds and smells of fatal car crashes, former New South Wales police officer James Breeze could not stand it any longer.

He left the force six years ago and moved to the Sunshine Coast.

"The more seasoned you get as a police officer, the more frightening it is to go to a crash scene because you know what to expect," Mr Breeze said.

"I know the screams, the sounds and the ultimate tragedy of knocking on someone's door in the middle of the night to tell people their loved one is dead.

"Sometimes you don't even need to say it, they just know, it's absolutely horrific.

"Ultimately investigating crashes led to me breaking down.

Mr Breeze has shared his experiences during Road Safety Week, which heads into day four today.

The Queensland Police Service campaign aims to lower the road toll, reduce the number of crashes with injuries and raise awareness of responsible driving habits.

Mr Breeze has joined with Road Trauma Services Queensland, established by former Coast police officer Garry Church to educate drivers and support victims of crashes.

"These crashes are just so preventable,'' Mr Breeze said.

"People need to remember they are driving two and a half tonnes of steel and glass under their feet and they are in control of a deadly weapon.

"Collisions are so preventable and the flow-on effects, financially and emotionally, to the families, the offenders, and to the community, are horrific."


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