MORLEY GOT IT RIGHT

Rick Walker, via email

Great article by David Morley in the March mag regarding that ridiculous NSW commercial suggesting the driver marginally over the speed limit is in the wrong rather than the driver who ignored the Stop sign.

This is symptomatic of a clear decline in general driving skills in NSW over the past two decades. I now regularly see drivers approach slightly unusual intersections and have no idea who has right of way. People regularly pull up in ‘No Stopping’ zones and are ignorant to the hazard they create for other drivers. And don’t get me started on lane merging skills and the ability to keep left unless overtaking.

The government clearly prefers to allow driving skills to wane – and road tolls increase – and cash in through overzealous traffic fines rather than address the fundamental issue with driving skills.

My mother is from Finland where you need to be trained by properly qualified driving instructors for many hours before you’re let loose on the road. Compare that to the ridiculous ease with which you can get behind the wheel and obtain your licence in NSW. My Finnish relatives always say it’s a privilege, not a right to have a licence in their country – it should be the same here.

Sadly improving driver skills appears in the ‘too hard’ basket for Australia and we’ll continue to suffer the consequences on our roads – if not via the road toll then simply the frustration of trying to navigate around the uneducated and unskilled drivers all around us.

Your only chance to train a driver is before you hand them a licence – once they have it, it’s too late to change behaviours that they’ll carry with them onto the road for the rest of their life. My kids will be among the lucky ones as I’ll be paying for them to learn just how dangerous a car can be and how to drive one properly by giving them lessons with proper instructors when they get their Ls. Whatever the cost (in time and dollars) it’ll be worth it to me.

As a side note, in the ‘Nine Nicest Arses’ your first example was the Merc AMG GT. Yet the Hot Source negative comments for the same car note it has “weird rear styling”. So which is it?

You’re preaching to the converted here, Rick, however we don’t hold out much hope that the system will change in the near future. As for the AMG? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.