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Drivers abuse the system

Suzanne inspects the damage to her three week old car after the person who hit it took off leaving false details.
Suzanne inspects the damage to her three week old car after the person who hit it took off leaving false details.

By MEL MARTIN

SUZANNE (who did not want to be identified) couldn't believe anyone could be so brazen as to take off from the scene of an accident, leaving false details.

"I was just driving along Moonee Street on Monday around 10.30am, when this car did a U-turn and ran straight into me," she said.

The driver admitted fault straight away, writing down his details on the back of an envelope from a local car dealer.

But when someone requested his car to be moved so they could get theirs out of a car space he drove around the corner, not to be seen again.

"I tried to ring the number he gave me, but it was not connected. My partner and I then drove to the address he gave me, but a young girl lived there and knew nothing of him," Suzanne said.

And when she went to the police, Suzanne was told no one by that name lived in the area.

"I'm insured, but now I'll lose my no-claim bonus and have to pay a $450 excess. Not to mention my three-week-old car!"

The offending car is believed to have been a maroon 2000 or 2001 Falcon AU with pinstripes and yellow NSW licence plates.

The driver was described as being around 70 years of age, 173 centimtres, with a full head of grey hair, and glasses.

Suzanne would like anyone who have any information to come forward.

"The front bumper was hanging off almost to the ground, and there was possible radiator damage, so he'll need to get it repaired," she said.

"I just don't know why he would do this, maybe because he was uninsured, but it really took me by surprise."

But it seems Suzanne is not alone.

A new survey has found many Australians are bad-mannered, self-centred drivers, often abusing disabled and parent-only car parks, stealing each other's car spots, abusing emergency-stopping lanes, and damaging parked cars without taking responsibility.

The findings are based on a survey of almost 2400 Australian drivers conducted by Sweeney Research for insurer AAMI.

It found that 67 per cent of NSW motorists have had their cars damaged while parked and the majority had not found contact details from the person who damaged their car.

One in six admitted that if they damaged a vehicle in a car park unseen they would consider not leaving their details.

More than half of drivers have witnessed another driver using the emergency-stopping lane on freeways to overtake, while 58 per cent say they have had a car space stolen by another driver when they were clearly waiting for it.

"It is also disturbing how often disabled car parks are used by people who don't have the correct permit and would not even qualify for one," AAMI corporate affairs manager Selina O'Connor said.

"Most NSW drivers (79 per cent) say they have witnessed other drivers using disabled car parks without a disabled driver permit."

If you have any information that could help Suzanne, please call Coffs Harbour Police on 6652 0299.



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