Friday, October 2, 2009

Road Rules/Law

Australia has road rules for a reason, many people choose not to abide by these rules, which are in fact law. They complain when they are fined, they complain when they lose their license and then continue to drive whilst unlicensed, justifying this action with “But I NEED to drive to get to work” This doesn’t wash. You should have thought of that before you committed the offence(s).

I am sure many of you reading this are nodding your head, but at the same time think that the police are too hard. You can’t have it both ways, either you have a license or you don’t. A license is a privilege not a right of passage when you turn 18.

My biggest bug-bear and the reason for writing this article is that I can travel upwards of 600-700km per week. I am not a sales rep, I am not a professional driver, this is just normal driving hours as far as I am concerned. I get extremely upset and frustrated when people on a dual lane highway think it is their god given right to travel in the right hand lane and then cut across lanes of traffic to access the off ramp. The most upsetting thing about this is that on the two occasions it has occurred this week both of the drivers were ‘P’ platers. It wasn’t that long ago that they sat for the driving test and managed to pass, what has happened in the intervening 12-18 months? Have they decided to adjust the rules to suit themselves?

It’s not just the young drivers that are at fault – I know of a case where a driver was pulled over for driving too slow in a 100km zone. The drivers response was “it’s safer for me to drive at 50kpm than to speed.” The sergeant that had pulled him up said “you had 7 cars behind you, they were unable to pass because of the road conditions, you may have caused an accident if they attempted to pass you”

This is a true story – now the fact at hand which the above did not convey. The driver had not secured the load properly, the trailer was slightly overloaded, the driver needs glasses, and refuses to get them because he is too vain to get them.

The sergeant in this instance let the male driver off with a warning. This is not the first time that this driver has been pulled over for driving too slow and yet the police haven’t acted. I am aware I sound harsh, but imagine this scenario – you are driving behind said driver and you go to pass, the road ahead is clear, until a ‘P’ plater pulls out of a driveway in front of you and you have nowhere to go.

Who is at fault? – The slow driver?, You? Or the ‘P’ plater?

I can tell you right now – it is not the slow driver, even though he ‘caused’ the accident, it will not be the ‘P’ plater because no matter which direction he was travelling, he has done nothing more than pull onto a road fit for public use, possibly he mis-judged the distance, but that is not the problem.

The problem is YOU – YOU failed to assess the situation correctly, YOU failed to pass safely, YOU were probably on the wrong side of the road.

For this you will probably lose your license, have to attend a court session and possibly be seriously injured in the process and that is JUST YOU, what about the P-Plater? What about the slow driver? All because of YOU, these people may also be injured, they may also be dead.

The same scenario can be adjusted to fit the not staying in the left lane scenario unless overtaking, the same theory can be applied to drink driving, it may not be your actions that are wrong, but because of choices you made – you are made to be the culprit.

Road rules/laws are there to protect everyone and yet everyone complains when they are applied and then people expect the police to be everywhere and enforce the law.

You have to be responsible for your own actions – failure to do this whilst driving and in every other aspect of your life may result in death. Plain and simple.

In some instances - Rules are NOT made for breaking, there are there to protect everyone.

Please follow the laws of the road, the laws of life and even the laws of common decency and the roads might just be a little safer.

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