Grim toll makes case for punitive response

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

YET another weekend has passed in the Hunter with tragic news of a young life lost in a road accident.
Nanjing Night Net

This time it was a 33-year-old motorcyclist who,police believe,failed to negotiate a bendat Catherine Hill Bay and collided with a car.

The man’s death brings the yearly regional road toll to 30and follows closely the death of two other men on the region’s roads last weekend, athird man at Bobs Farm on Thursday morningand an 18-year-old woman on Friday. Five local lives lost in a week – with two of theaccidents in thesmall rural village of East Gresford.

The Herald reported last weekthe concern of senior police about theregion’s high road toll and their frustration that many of the accidents seemedpreventable.

“We need to stop using the word accident when there is a reason why so many of these crashes occur, a reason that can be taken out with responsible driving,’’Northern Region traffic tactician Chief InspectorTrent Le-Merton said, pinpointing speed and driver impairment as critical factors in the recent horror stretch.

It is a commonsense message, but getting individual drivers to take heed and consciously assess their behaviour behind the wheel is a constant battle for governments and law enforcers.

Many tactics have been tried, from the shock effect oftelevisionadvertisements showing road accidents unfolding in graphic detail, to the belittling approach of the Newcastle-set“pinkie advertisements” of 2009 that cast aspersions on the manhood of drivers who deliberately speed.

All seem to have a temporary impact, but finding a strategy that leads to long-term change is a worldwide challenge.

The punitive approach is to increase regulation, one theNSW government has adopted for P-plate drivers with its announcement over the weekend that it will ban probationary drivers from using mobile phones, including speaker and hands-free devices. Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the measure was a response to the “heartbreaking”rise in road deaths of young people, with new P-platers dying at twice the rate of all drivers.

Thecrackdown mayelicit cries of a nanny state from those who considerregulatory intervention as draconian, but in the face of such grim accident statistics one can understandwhy authorities opt for enforcement of driver responsibilityover encouragement.

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