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Canberras disgraceful drink drivers contribute less to the road toll

By 2 January 2009 32

The ABC brings word that road deaths in the ACT were stable in 2008 and drug and booze related deaths are particularly passe.

    “Fourteen people died on ACT roads in 2008, the same number as in 2007.

    While drug and alcohol related fatalities dropped in 2008, the number of elderly drivers killed on Canberra roads increased dramatically.

    Nearly half of the 14 deaths were people 75-years-old or over.”

This despite senior police and politicians fulminating all Christmas about how “disgraceful” the drink driving rate has been?

It’s also worth noting with the wrinklies that they’re much less likely to get in an accident, but much more likely to die when they do get in a crash. The NSW approach of taking their licences away is particularly cruel because it forces them into cars as passengers with drivers at the wheel who are more likely to crash (thereby killing them).

There comes a point when a person is on so many drugs to maintain life that blaming their fatality on a road accident is a bit silly.

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32 Responses to Canberras disgraceful drink drivers contribute less to the road toll
#1
Danman10:03 am, 02 Jan 09

Just clarify, if you will, that last line JB

Reason I ask is that I am a fully licensed and fairly sedate driver.

At the same time, I take 6 prescribed pills nightly to maintain my life.

I can not see the link.

#2
ant10:14 am, 02 Jan 09

There’s a story in the SMH today (Heckler) about an oldie being deprived of his licence after the compulsory test. The writer is pretty angry about it. I must say, I see them puddling about on the road and feel they’re much easier to cope with than the road-raging idiots (male and female) that are increasingly in evidence. I’d much rather they leave the confused oldies on the road and get a LOT tougher with aggrssive drivers. It doesn’t take einstein to work out who is the real problem on the roads.

#3
TAD10:18 am, 02 Jan 09

In some way you are correct but mostly JB you are talking out of your arse.

I think you will find that the elderly are more likely to have an accident per km of driving but the stats are skewed by the far less distances that the elderly do drive. I remember some research a few years ago that had the elderly something like 4 or 7 times more likely to have an accident per km of driving than the general population. (Forgive me for not being able to recall the exact specifics or provide a link.)

Due to my role (which JB can email me to clarify but I won’t post here) I am very familiar with the road fatalities this year. I think age did play a factor in the deaths but not in the way you are saying. (eg it wouldn’t have taken much for them to die do to age related poor health). The injuries were definately life threatening to anybody of any age, but I believe the age was more a factor in each accident occuring in the first place. (not giving way and being t-boned, a few were pedestrians walking into traffic etc)

Having said that the stats don’t reflect the few who should of died but didn’t for reasons of good health care, luck and good previous health which all combined to give them the best shot of surviving.

Previous high years have been mainly thanks to the motorcyle community. I guess the Joel Mason’s of the world have been lucky or fewer this year.

#4
TAD10:25 am, 02 Jan 09

I couldn’t find the link still but p9 of this report has a graph which shows that per Km driver the over 75s are only second to the under 24s for crashes.

http://casr.adelaide.edu.au/publications/researchreports/CASR015.pdf

2.3.5 Summary
The preceding sections have shown that older drivers (aged over 64) were involved in
relatively few crashes compared with younger drivers (aged under 65), and also had lower
crash rates than younger drivers after adjusting for differences between the specified age
groups in terms of population, and the number of licence holders. After adjusting for
differences in the amount of driving done by each of the age groups, it was found that crash
rates were reasonably constant for those aged between 25 and 74. Higher crash rates were
found only for those drivers under the age of 25 and over the age of 74. When crash rates
per licensed driver were analysed in terms of crash injury severity, it was found that older
drivers were over-represented in crashes resulting in fatal injuries.

#5
ant10:33 am, 02 Jan 09

Does that mean they’re having more crashes, or taht they are more frail so any crashes they have injure them more severely (killing them)? Oldies, I mean.

#6
johnboy11:05 am, 02 Jan 09

I’m not sure km driven is the best stat to use when, as a group, they’re driving very low kms.

That the oldies are in less crashes than other groups while leading the table for deaths in crashes says to me their frail health is tipping the scales against them.

Having said that bad backs makes head checks infrequent (if done at all), in turn that does make them very dangerous to others.

#7
sepi12:34 pm, 02 Jan 09

Maybe we should make them wear O plates, for Oldies, so we can watch out for them failing to give way.

#8
ant1:46 pm, 02 Jan 09

Those convex mirrors stuck on the side mirrors can help with seeing more stuff beside you, and I wonder if a curved rear vision inside mirror might help as well?

#9
Lenient2:01 pm, 02 Jan 09

AMP would have solved this problem of the older driver. They had wonderful policies for getting grey off the road.

#10
astrojax2:09 pm, 02 Jan 09

sounds like natural selection in action – bless ol’ darwin, eh?

#11
TAD7:49 pm, 02 Jan 09

“Natural selection” Astrojax?

Yes without those pesky crashes, they would all be having more babies.

#12
Aeek12:36 am, 03 Jan 09

Collateral damage rather than natural selection.
They’re going to die soon enough, its who they happen to take out first.

#13
Ozi2:11 am, 03 Jan 09

TAD: don’t use logic against the poor fool. And who knows, over 75y/o ovaries still work, right?

As for the original post, there are some good points but mainly it misses the point. There will be a record number of drink driving offences detected this year, and that may in fact have assisted the drop in drug and alcohol fatalities. The Remove All Impaired Drivers (RAID) campaign does work, and does it’s job well.

ACT Policing removed an awful lot of impaired drivers through drink driving detection this year, and like TAD I have some personal knowledge of this. However, all those drivers who would otherwise have driven home pissed ended up going to a station, being summonsed/charged, and getting home some other way. And all the other people who saw Police conducting various blitzes on drink drivers hopefully thought twice before the next time they thought about getting in a car pissed.

~Ozi.

#14
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_7:35 am, 03 Jan 09

I think the highly visible nature of the blitzes is what really works. When you drive around and SEE the cops doing their thing, I think you’re more likely to say “hey they’re everywhere, need to be really careful”.

And FWIW, I think removing impaired drivers is a top idea.

#15
shauno4:11 pm, 03 Jan 09

Well anyway 14 deaths isnt much so lets just get over this obsession with the road toll. How many people died of natural causes in 2008?

#16
Pesty5:07 pm, 03 Jan 09

ant said :

Those convex mirrors stuck on the side mirrors can help with seeing more stuff beside you, and I wonder if a curved rear vision inside mirror might help as well?

indeed, the retro-fitted convex mirrors are excellent! I have fitted them on my van and have eliminated the blind spots, they take a bit of getting used too, but make lane changes etc much safer. I drive a Mitsubishi Express van, not the most well equiped vehicle on the road, indeed I think door mirrors were an optional extra along with wipers and headlamps!

#17
Felix the Cat9:18 pm, 03 Jan 09

sepi said :

Maybe we should make them wear O plates, for Oldies, so we can watch out for them failing to give way.

There was talk of that a few months ago (in NSW I think) but the idea seems to have died (no pun intended) after outrage from the older drivers. Where do you stop with O plates, P plates, L plates etc? What’s next I plates for Indian (or Italian) drivers or PMT plates for females?

#18
ant10:12 pm, 03 Jan 09

Felix the Cat said :

Where do you stop with O plates, P plates, L plates etc? What’s next I plates for Indian (or Italian) drivers or PMT plates for females?

Well, there is those frangipanis, and they’re voluntary!

#19
Granny10:35 pm, 03 Jan 09

Maybe premenstrually challenged people could just hang a red flag out the window?

#20
Thumper10:53 pm, 03 Jan 09

Frangipani drivers need to be tortured cruelly by being forced to listen to Bjork’s greatest hits.

#21
Granny11:15 pm, 03 Jan 09

Frangipani drivers could also benefit from being instantly defected at random vehicle inspections.

#22
Overheard12:04 am, 04 Jan 09

Aeek said :

Collateral damage rather than natural selection.
They’re going to die soon enough, its who they happen to take out first.

That’s my concern. I’ve lost count of the number of senior citizens who’ve pulled out in front of me from arterial roads with not even the slightest thought to the concept of ‘oncoming traffic’. My dear old dad drove right up to two months before his death (age 78) and I really do feel for anyone who was on the road within a km radius of him for the preceding 20 years or so.

#23
farnarkler3:14 am, 04 Jan 09

some oldies certainly are more problem than solution. My father is amongst them. If you see a white 1989 Toyota Camry wagon with a little white haired man driving from Kaleen into Civic be aware he’s never driven above 60km/h.

In the early 80′s when driving down the King’s Hwy to Batemans Bay I had to duck out of sight whenever someone overtook us for fear of seeing a schoolmate in that car.

#24
Overheard6:23 am, 04 Jan 09

I feel your pain, farnarkler. I think there’s a support group in this!

#25
ant9:03 am, 04 Jan 09

I still reckon Yesterday’s Heroes in Hats (/Peter Brock) are less of a menace on the roads than the Frangipani fraternity (aggressive and devoid of driving skill) and anything with a P plate on.

#26
farnarkler10:03 am, 04 Jan 09

If so Overheard please give me their number!! At least he doesn’t try to drive 3cm from the car in front’s boot lid.

#27
farnarkler10:07 am, 04 Jan 09

If P platers are that much of a menace, why not pressure the relevant minister into restricting them to driving 1 litre automatic Nissan Micras or slower.

#28
Felix the Cat2:10 pm, 04 Jan 09

Granny said :

Frangipani drivers could also benefit from being instantly defected at random vehicle inspections.

Perhaps you could put one of these on your car, Granny!

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/NO-MORE-FRANGIPANI-PLUMERIA-FLOWER-CAR-STICKER-NEW_W0QQitemZ370111380818QQihZ024QQcategoryZ36606QQcmdZViewItem

#29
Felix the Cat2:22 pm, 04 Jan 09
#30
Granny2:28 pm, 04 Jan 09

Thanks, Felix the Cat! I jolly well shall!!

I do prefer the more expensive ebay option, but thank goodness for the freebie. However, by the time I buy the sticker paper to print on, I wonder if it would be cheaper to ebay it?

Hmmmmmm … I can feel my infamous ebay addiction resurfacing!!

*heh heh heh*

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