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Reducing the road toll

  • Memsahib
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10 years 8 months ago #1 by Memsahib
Reducing the road toll was created by Memsahib
I have just read this article "Holiday road toll hits 50". It's really quite depressing.

Why do so many people drive like fools? I'm sure we all know that driving for long periods, or late at night, or an inappropriate speed is dangerous. Do people think it can't happen to them?

When Sozz and I went on a recent trip to Queensland, we saw some truly crazy drivers. One incident that comes to mind occurred near Cessnock during a deluge. We were doing about 70 because it was almost impossible to see the road ahead and because of the risk of aquaplaning due to water on the road. Someone decided that wasn't fast enough and overtook us.

I often see some bizzarre driving around the ACT. People become extremely impatient. Believe me, good roads are not necessarily the answer, because the ACT has a good road system, but I consider some of the drivers here to be among the worst I have encountered. There are also a significant number of very nasty accidents on the dual carriageway on the Hume Highway.

I don't know if education is the answer either, as one has to really go through the mill to even get a licence to be on the road.

Perhaps we should make everyone see videos of the results of poor driving every time they have to renew their licence, and see the effects on peoples' family and friends.

What do you think? I'm at a total loss.

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10 years 8 months ago #2 by Tushy
Replied by Tushy on topic Reducing the road toll
I think the education is already out there Mems - unfortunately this time of year, everyone is too busy enjoying themselves that they forget the rules -- dont drink and drive - plus there are way more cars on the roads heading off on their holidays

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10 years 8 months ago #3 by Memsahib
Replied by Memsahib on topic Reducing the road toll
I agree that there's a lot of education out there, but it doesn't seem to be effective. It's not only the time of year and the drink driving, or the speeding. i'm wondering if it's a combination of the "it can't happen to me attitude", lack of a sense of community and pure selfishness.

Perhaps, as well as fines and point systems, people who are consistently breaking road rules should have to do some community service with people who have suffered because of road accidents. It becomes a part of someone's real life experience as opposed to the "unreal" world of television.

Actually, the problem, to me, is probably a deep seated one. Whether it's a part of human nature to be irresponsible or whether it's a symptom of fracturing of the fabric of our society, I'm not sure.

I'm about to seem to go off topic, but bear with me, as this is relevant.

On Friday, I was talking with a work mate from the African continent. He was describing his family life in his homeland. It sounded fascinating and refreshing. He is one of 17 children in his family. They all live in the same compound, mostly in the one house. (His father has three wives). He said that the responsibility for raising children does not lie with one small family unit (ie parents and 2 kids as per our"typical" Australian family) but with the entire extended family. For example, if an adult member of the family heard some of the kids playing up downstairs, they would call out to them and bring them into line. He said that the parents would be thankful that someone had set some boundaries for the children. His impression of Australia is that you would at the least get verbally abused for pulling someone else's kids into line.

Whether or not we agree with the type of lifestyle espoused by my workmate's family, or his impression of Australia, it makes one think about the way we have developed as a culture, and the boundaries (or limits and rules) , or perhaps lack of boundaries, that are set for our children as they grow. This is reflected in all areas of life, including on the roads. A lack of boundaries (for the purposes of this tipic) is reflected in the consistent breaking of road rules and lack of respect for the rules and laws of the land.

Perhaps we need to look at ways of re-establishing boundaries and limits from an early age. This would include more training in schools and at home - and this could be an entire topic on its own. For now I'm going to restrict it to road rules/driver training. I think the idea of the extended provisional driver system espoused in NSW is a good start. In addition, I think all young people should have to see first hand the results of alcohol on driving skills (no I don't mean they should drive when drunk), and that this should be reinforced regularly over a long period. People should also have to see how an inflated sense of one's skills, often evinced in reckless disregard of the road rules, can have a devastating effect on a lot of people, including one's own nearest and dearest. I am particularly concerned that the penalties go beyond punishment in the token sense (ie fines and points), especially for repeat offenders.

What ideas do you have for new or extended ways of training drivers? How could we change the enforcement of road rules so that repeat offenders are made to understand the potential harm to themeselves and others, and that it can happen to them? I don't think that what we are currently doing is enough.

I'd love to hear lots of ideas and suggestions. I may even take it further if we can come up with some really constructive suggestions.

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10 years 8 months ago #4 by Tushy
Replied by Tushy on topic Reducing the road toll
Regarding your co workers and family pulling up kids etc - I have said that all along, that people arent pro-active enough (oh that word again lol) and they dont involve themselves - as kids we were always pulled up and asked what we were doing here
I do it if I see something that I dont think is right -- they are kids

I really dont know the answers but I was reading an article this morning that said most people speed and they dont see anything wrong with it -- but when something happens, they are out screaming

yes I agree that they think it will never happen to them..

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