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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
12 December 2010 / January 2011 In our community Street-smart Opinion Rod Scoles We asked : Do you think road safety education should be compulsory in Tasmanian high schools? Yes I do, because it would probably help the younger people to get their licence. I’d probably have my licence if I’d done it in high school. Nicole Herewini Bellerive Yeah, I reckon it definitely should be compulsory for everyone. You can’t really have people go through high school not knowing the basic road rules. Ryan Doyle Blackmans Bay Ithink so, it would teach the young people. A lot of motor accidents are young ones. We’ve got pretty good roads in Tasmania, it’s driver inattention that is the problem. Colin Kelly Wynyard Yeah, definitely. It might stop half of the crashes that are due to young people. Natasha Reeve Queensland Yes, it would be a good thing. I don’t think young people are ver y well-prepared here. In other states they have comprehensive driver courses and you do actually lear n things that you put into practice, especially the practical side of driv ing. Lee Rickard Wynyard It wouldn’t hur t them, would it? It might get a bit of common sense into them! George Howard Hellyer This is a story about how a weekend drive in the country with my two young sons nearly turned deadly – because of roadside visual distractions. It was a typical Tasmanian country road on a sunny day. I was listening to the chatter of the littlies in their car seats, when suddenly Jai, my three-year old, chipped in excitedly: “Look, pink elephants!” We all looked for them. And there they were, three pink elephants, well away from the road in a paddock, set up for motorists to see. They were made from sheet roofing metal and painted a bright eye-catching colour. Just then my other son Brodie yelled “Look a panda bear!” This made us all start to search for more hidden animals and for the next couple of hundred metres, we were all engaged in a ‘seek out the animal’ game. We spotted a cow, panda, some red foxes and the silhouette of a ship. Then my heart skipped a beat when the blur of a car coming the other way zoomed past us, a little too close for my comfort. Maybe I had accidentally steered a little toward the middle of the road while my attention was temporarily diverted to the paddocks in search of more strange objects. Or perhaps the driver of the other car may have been temporarily distracted in the same way! After we reached our destination, as I watched my sons playing in the park I had time to recall this near miss. I realised the danger of this seemingly-innocent, arty roadside display. It seemed to me that they are there to engage the attention of people in passing vehicles, to get them involved in a game of ‘I spy’ and to draw them into the nearby shop. The downside is that they can also take drivers’ eyes away from the road ahead and the oncoming traffic – and of course, any time with eyes off the road can only increase the potential for a crash.
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011