As we embark on another busy holiday period on our roads, I’m reminded of a tragic story.
It was late at night. A car ran a red light and an innocent family was in trouble.
As a police officer, I was one of the first on the scene. The father had died on impact in the car. The mother – who was given CPR by ambulance officers – also died at the scene.
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This is not meant to sound heartless. The emotions surrounding the latest shocking spate of P-plate deaths are obviously still raw. And as the families and friends of those who have died work through their grief, it is understandable that they will sometimes lash out and look for external forces to blame as they deal with their loss.
But if kids are going to keep killing themselves at this rate - and kill or injure other people as a result of their reckless or incompetent driving - the time has come to stop molly-coddling these young people and their deluded friends.
The time has also come to stop offering the parents of reckless P-plate drivers nothing other than uncritical sympathy, as in many cases they too have played a role in allowing their children to behave in a way which endangered them and other people.
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Next Wednesday the National Road Safety Council will have its inaugural meeting in Parliament House. This initiative from Australia’s Transport Ministers is an attempt to get expert advice from around the nation to make practical suggestions aimed at reducing our road toll.
The meeting will have a sombre tone.
Sadly, the heart-wrenching grief caused by road deaths visited more families last year than the year before. The road toll in 2009 was up by almost 5 per cent to 1,509 deaths, albeit still the second lowest figure in almost 60 years and less than half the average recorded during the peak of the 1970’s (3798).
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A strange thing happened when I became a parent. I started to get upset when I saw stories like the one of the five young men who were killed in a motor crash at the weekend.
I’ve also found myself saying ‘in my day’ or worse, ‘when I was young’. I’ve already made decisions about a computer in my child’s room and whether she will have a mobile phone.
Sometimes when the entrepreneurial gene comes out, I wonder if I could get a mobile phone made that simply dials home and does nothing else. I would market it as not having a camera or video function, wouldn’t be able to surf the net and it wouldn’t rack up bills of many hundreds of dollars. (That’s where the entrepreneurial gene fails me.)
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Hey @Boyadee. Serious question. What are the other two terrible things in your top three? Thx for sharing your thoughts BTW. Peace
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