Stop the killer called at­ti­tude

Mo­tor sport boss wants road fines redi­rected, writes Stu­art Innes

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

MONEY from road-of­fence fines should be al­lo­cated to prac­ti­cal com­pul­sory driver train­ing, CAMS pres­i­dent An­drew Pa­padopou­los says.

He says the na­tional gov­ern­ing body of motorsport, the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralian Mo­tor Sport, has 430 af­fil­i­ated car clubs, many in re­gional ar­eas, and 52,000 mem­bers who could help in driver train­ing.

Pa­padopou­los is dis­mayed that fines for traf­fic of­fences such as speed­ing are go­ing up, speed lim­its are com­ing down, cars are now much safer and roads are said to be in bet­ter con­di­tion— yet the road toll na­tion­ally is in­creas­ing.

‘‘That leaves the driver as the only other fac­tor,’’ he says.

He says driv­ers’ at­ti­tudes and car-con­trol skills could be im­proved by driver-train­ing cour­ses — some­thing that was not al­ways achieved through spend­ing money on road-safety cam­paigns and ad­ver­tis­ing.

Pa­padopou­los was speak­ing af­ter giv­ing the re­sults of a sur­vey of 2000 CAMS mem­bers on what they be­lieve is the main cause of road crashes.

More than 60 per cent say ‘‘ speed ex­ces­sive for the con­di­tions’’. Then there is a big gap to the 10.5 per cent who cited fa­tigue, 9.9 per cent who blame al­co­hol, and 9.2 per cent who blame road con­di­tions.

Pa­padopou­los says ‘‘ go­ing too fast for the con­di­tions’’ in­cludes driv­ers not adapt­ing their cars for wet roads or not hav­ing con­trol on wet roads.

‘‘All Aus­tralian mo­torists, re­gard­less of their age, need to be ed­u­cated on how to adapt their driv­ing to the con­di­tions,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s our firm be­lief that com­pul­sory driver ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses will have the great­est im­pact on the road toll.

‘‘Know­ing how to drive in wet weather is an es­sen­tial les­son for all driv­ers.

‘‘More fo­cus needs to be placed on ed­u­ca­tion, and this could eas­ily be funded by di­rect­ing funds from fines into ed­u­ca­tion.’’

He says in­di­vid­ual car clubs are do­ing driver train­ing of young peo­ple off the road. His car club in NSW has been do­ing it since he taught chil­dren as 12-year-olds on a skid­pan 20 years ago.

CAMS has be­gun its Ig­ni­tion pro­gram to help young novice driv­ers, but driver train­ing needs to be done na­tion­ally, and that re­quires dol­lars, Pa­padopou­los says.

Teach them how: An­drew Pa­padopou­los (above) has called for speed-cam­era rev­enue to go to driver train­ing (left).

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