Trav­ellers, ac­com­mo­da­tion providers say back­pack­ers are ‘no worse’

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

BACK­PACK­ERS and Childers ac­com­mo­da­tion providers have weighed in on the heated de­bate on the com­pe­tency of back­pack­ers driv­ing on our roads.

Last week Gre­gory MP Vaughan John­son de­liv­ered two at­tacks on for­eign and city driv­ers in 24 hours, par­tic­u­larly sin­gling out Asian driv­ers, and was forced to apol­o­gise for his com­ments.

He had ear­lier spo­ken on 4BC ra­dio about how Asian peo­ple had no com­pre­hen­sion of the road rules, and for­eign driv­ers

Rod Worth I don’t think we can la­bel all back­pack­ers as bad driv­ers.

should be forced to have train­ing be­fore be­ing let loose on Queens­land roads.

Last week Childers farmer Tony Russo called for a law change to make it manda­tory for in­ter­na­tional back­pack­ers to sit a driv­ing test be­fore driv­ing on Queens­land roads.

Mr Russo’s call came two days after two Her­vey Bay men were killed in a head-on col­li­sion in­volv­ing two Asian back­pack­ers.

But Su­garbowl Car­a­van Park and Tourist Cen­tre lessee Rod Worth said most back­pack­ers he had met had been fine driv­ers.

“I don’t think we can la­bel all back­pack­ers as bad driv­ers. It is far too much of a gen­er­al­i­sa­tion,” he said.

“Maybe among them there are some bad ap­ples, but you get that in ev­ery walk of life,” he said.

“I have seen no ev­i­dence that they are any worse than any other driv­ers that we have around the area.”

Childers Ecolodge owner Vanessa Kum­merow sug­gested car rental com­pa­nies could run through the road rules with for­eign­ers who rented a car through them.

“Maybe that could be a pos­i­tive ini­tia­tive with­out go­ing to the reg­u­la­tion stage,” Ms Kum­merow said.

French back­packer Remi Moreau has been in Aus­tralia for nine months and said he would not mind sit­ting a driv­ing test prior to driv­ing on Aus­tralian roads.

“Be­fore I came here, I went on­line and read about the road rules in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“There are law dif­fer­ences but in my ex­pe­ri­ence you get used to it pretty quickly. I think you have bad Aus­tralian driv­ers and bad French driv­ers.”

Po­lice Min­is­ter Jack Dempsey said all driv­ers needed to take more care to re­duce the num­ber of traf­fic crashes and tragedies on our roads.

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