I was sitting at traffic lights the other day making my way to a gig in the Hunter Valley. It was lashing rain and the weather was terrible – you could barely see the road up ahead let alone the other traffic.
As I waited for the lights to change, a car pulled up alongside me. Glancing briefly to the left I saw the familiar P plate on the window screen. The car was a six-cylinder and the young driver at the steering wheel seemed far too eager to put each cylinder to use.
“Alright buddy”, I grumbled as I heard the intermittent and very familiar revving of his car, “hold your horses”. The lights changed and the young driver shot off like a bullet.
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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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