Steer clear of the hazards

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Comment - PAUL POTTINGER CARSGUIDE ED­I­TOR paul.pottinger@carsguide.com.au

WE AT Carsguide sin­cerely hope you don’t kill your­self or any­one else on the roads next week (or in any cir­cum­stances for that mat­ter). Not many do much to save them­selves.

That Aus­tralians are the worst driv­ers in the First World is not news to those of us who spend much of the year in coun­tries where a li­cence is a hard-won priv­i­lege. Note “priv­i­lege” as op­posed to the right of a tex­ting brat who, if the log­book has not been cooked, has spent 100 hours be­ing taught to pump the brake pedal and how not to hold the wheel.

Af­ford­able cars have be­come as fa­tal­ity proof as it’s pos­si­ble for any sanely op­er­ated ma­chine to be. Driv­ers, how­ever, have be­come dum­ber. In any state or ter­ri­tory a li­cence demon­strates you are al­most com­pe­tent to re­verse park and can more or less dis­tin­guish red lights from green. Gov­ern­ments uni­formly es­chew road safety mea­sures that cost money to im­ple­ment yet em­brace in a frenzy those that rake in rev­enue, all the while hold­ing forth pi­ously on sav­ing lives. Yet you’ll see no mean­ing­ful strides to­wards teach­ing driv­ers to drive.

So do it your­self. There are sev­eral ad­vanced cour­ses run by mo­tor­ing groups such as the NRMA and ed­u­ca­tors such as Ian Luff. Do one. Do sev­eral. It’s the smartest Christ­mas present a driver can buy. HOLDEN DIN THE sun rose. Com­mer­cial TV was un­watch­able, com­mer­cial ra­dio un­lis­ten­able. Zom­bies sat in the over­tak­ing lane. Fines were sent to in­fring­ing driv­ers be­cause get­ting a let­ter weeks af­ter the fact is the way to en­force road safety. Ap­par­ently. The sun set.

Detroit had called time on Holden yet life con­tin­ued. Some de­murred, but few. One reader was em­bit­tered his fel­low cit­i­zens will no longer sub­sidise his choice of sedan. Another felt he was owed some form of gong for loy­ally buy­ing Hold­ens.

Oddly enough, the bloke who we once gen­tly cor­rected when he claimed to be fairly dinkumer than thou for buy­ing a Cap­tiva had noth­ing to add.

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