Time for pollies to put lives first

IF politicians and sundry lawmakers had ticker, the obscenity of death, blood and destruction of family units taking place on Australian roads would be slashed dramatically.

Those in power can stem the tide by attacking the root cause of tragedy ... the selfish, narcissistic, anti-social attitude of far too many drivers.

But they chicken out when courage is needed to remove knuckle-dragging rednecks in their souped-up hoon mobiles, drunks behind the wheel, repeat speeders and incompetent drivers, from public thoroughfares.

Enforce zero blood alcohol levels, no leeway for ignoring speed limits and harshest penalties for seat belt offences, hooning, creating public nuisances – anything to get bad drivers off the roads.

Problem is the hoons and cretins have the same vote as those who obey the law.

Politicians know this and know they’d be inclined to take it out on them at the ballot box at the cost of commonsense road safety.

So, the cycle of gutlessness perpetuates itself.

We’ll see never-ending huffing and puffing until the Coalition gets power, then suddenly spy the boot on the other foot of what’s left of the Labor rabble as they do similar bleating ... with the wheel needlessly spinning as more travellers are scraped off tar and their mangled remains get prised out of wrecks and spooned into body bags.

Every death sees more grandstanding, more finger-pointing at scapegoats for base political gain when these people know only courageous action will tip the balance.

The Pacific Highway either side of Coffs Harbour is appalling, but no amount of warnings to drive to the conditions is working.

We saw the proof of this with an outpouring of justified community anger at the latest smash-up derby involving a truck at the Englands Road roundabout.

On the south side, there’s a sign indicating a 60km/h zone, but how many people do you see ignoring that sign?

How many more deaths will it take in the 80km/h zone south of Urunga until it finally sinks in that the speed limit applies to everybody and putting lives at risk by ignoring it, morally relieves that person from the right to hold a licence?

If not for their own protection, but for the innocent as well.

After a death this week I was disturbed at the number of irate motorists objecting to the placement of an undercover speed trap near the site.

Don’t these people get it – that this is a necessary response to their ignorant attitude to the rights of their fellow man and woman to safety?

Every time there are multiple fatalities – during school holidays in particular – we see some senior traffic policeman on TV making statements like: “I don’t know what we have to do anymore to get through to these people.”

Well, I know and so do the politicians and lawmakers.

Do what they did in the Scandinavian countries in the 1980s when road tolls became unacceptable.

Draconian measures of ‘absolute’ (for life) loss of licence for the worst repeat offenders and 10 years in the slammer for your third drink-drive offence has saved (literally) thousands of lives.

If politicians had guts they’d bravely risk losing votes and legislate to give the coppers carte blanche to remove those threats to the human race who hold a licence their behaviour doesn’t entitle them to.

Looking around at work mates, I can’t help thinking of the shared heartbreak if one of us lost a child, grandchild or close family member in a road incident – I refuse to use the word ‘accident’ anymore.

Write to greg.white@coffscoastadvocate.com.au to support our cause for those politicians to put their own jobs at risk from the voting hoons and show some spine.

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