Stop the killer called attitude
Motor sport boss wants road fines redirected, writes Stuart Innes
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).