ionary drivers fromdriving between 11pm-5 am must be implementedForm: letter to the editorTo the editor,In June 2000, my brother was involved in a tragic car accident.
Whiledriving home from speech night, he was hit by a careless motorist, his carcrashing into a nearby tree. My brother escaped alive, though to be foreverconfined to a wheelchair. The passengers of the hoon car however, were notso lucky. Their alcohol induced euphoria and their ignorant actionsresulted in their wasteful deaths.
The detrimental harm caused byirresponsible young drivers must be stopped. The proposed curfew to banfirst year probationary drivers from driving between 11pm and 5 am must beimplemented to decrease the deaths of young Victorian drivers. Young drivers are more susceptible to driving accidents at night. Statistics presented by the TAC show that 24% of drivers killed in 2003were between the ages of 18-25, an age group that represents merely 14% ofVictorian licence holders. 79% of these accidents were single vehicleaccidents, while 56% of these deaths occurred at night, from 8pm-6am, hourswhere the number of vehicles on roads is minimal. It is clearly evidentfrom these abhorrent figures that it is inherently hazardous for youngdrivers to be driving during late hours, as seen in ‘muck up day’ where thepresence of alcohol and a foolish decision have resulted in the tragicdeath of a young man.
Isn’t this what we should be stopping?One must also recognise that the majority of these accidents are not meremisfortunes, but the imminent outcomes of reckless risk-taking behaviours. While realising certain risks of their actions, over-confidence anddrunkenness often compels young drivers to neglect this sense of danger. This leads to aggressive driving behaviours and displays of terrifyingspeeding in high performance vehicles. Senior Sergeant Burbige correctlystates: “Young drivers, particularly young male drivers, seem to think thatthey are invincible in these kinds of cars,” This is all too clear in thefilm, where the idea of speed and making sharp turns dominate the minds ofRyan and his friends. News of young drivers suffering fatal crashes intheir ‘powerful weapons’ at night are heard of all too often.
Can we allowthese deplorable tragedies to continue? I should think not. Furthermore, a recent study by the Australian Drug Foundation has exposedalarming levels of binge drinking among teenagers, which can be related todriving accidents. These shocking findings are mirrored in drink driving inyoung drivers. From 2000-2001, 2247 P-plate drivers were caught with ablood alcohol reading. The abominable drug, alcohol, has detrimentaleffects on the mental state of a person, impairing vision and rationalthinking. Being intoxicated with such a substance surely impairsadolescents’ ability to judge the risks and consequences of their actions.
As stated by Ryan’s friend, after drinking alcohol, while knowing the risksinvolved, he would still drive. We must enforce a curfew to inject harshconsequences into the minds of the drivers, compelling them to take seriousthought in their self-destructive behaviours. Some may argue that the curfew, like the drink driving campaigns, will notresolve the problem. Let’s use common sense. The curfew can reduce thesuffering and the amount of deaths occurring on our roads.
This willundoubtedly save the lives of countless young Victorians. Opposition to thecurfew demonstrates an obvious lack of concern for the personal safety ofyoung drivers. The harsh consequences which may lead from breaking of thecurfew will insert a fear into the minds of adolescents, the fear thatwhile they may escape an accident with their ‘skilful driving abilities ‘,they may be caught with a $2000 dollar fine, or even jail. Faced with suchconsequences, would not young drivers put more serious thought into theiractions?The current appalling statistics of probationary driver death on Victorianroads is outrageous. It is destroying potential young Victorians, whileinflicting lamentable harm upon their families and communities. Theproposed curfew to prohibit probational drivers from driving at night,along with its severe consequences, must be implemented to put an end tothese atrocities.Yours faithfullyRoger TaoConcerned Probationary Driver