8 October 2008

Could this be a real solution to stop drink driving?

| harvyk1
Join the conversation
54

For anyone who listens to Hack on Triple J, they have just had a story about drink driving. One of the listeners has called in and suggested that they provide free transport not only from the venues, but to the venues as well.

Considering for the most part Canberra has one central area for night spots would be to run a free bus service to and from venues after say 6pm on Friday and Saturday nights which then run throughout the night be a good idea? They could even arrange it like a “dial a pickup” service.

The situation for me right now to get from the city back to my place I’m looking at minimum of $50 and it’s usually closer to $70 in taxi fares. This is potentially more than I’m spending on grog on a night. Alternatively I can risk driving home whilst drunk because chances are good I won’t be pulled over.

Making two ways means that I’m less likely to drive there in the first place, which means when I’m drunk I have no option but to use the service or take a taxi, also using buses means that they can wait until a bus is full. If they used their midi buses it would be putting them to good use rather than sitting around the depot. If a car crash really has the cost impact which the police and health services keep on claiming, wouldn’t a bit of preventative measures be better, especially as the current scare tactics don’t seem to be working, and we can tell they are not really working as people are still getting done for drink driving. It would also show the local government as serious about taking drunk drivers off the road, as it gives people a realistic option, rather than just been told “your really really naughty”.

What’s other peoples thoughts on such a service?

Join the conversation

54
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Hehehe I knew all the security at BMcG in 98 when I left CBR and they weren’t bad blokes at all. I agree some of the ones working back when BMcG first opened were quite neanderthal though. Peter McCoy did wonders for that place. If only he’d kept out of horseracing!!

I agree that cost of a taxi licence would cause cab owners to get a little animated when discussions of nightrider buses are mentioned. London has nightbuses and cabs and they co-exist quite happily. Perhaps bring back the good old 333 as a 24 hr service (From Thurs to Sat) so at least people could get to a town center affordably.

As for drunks being out and about, I thought it was illegal to serve someone alcohol who appears to be really smashed?

The dress code didn’t keep riff raff out of BMcG, it just made them dress up a bit. The security were still big thugs.

… I get your point though.

I think Wests in Jamison has a courtesy bus. Great idea I reckon…

I think most of the problem is because the late night drinking places are all the same areas. Take Gungahlin for example, the place must have 50k or so residents but no nightclubs. Why is that? Tuggeranong isn’t much better.

Is the Government at fault here because I find it hard to believe that no-one has thought of opening a nightclub/restaurant complex in the newer areas where there is no competition. It would be easy to keep the riff-raff out with a decent dress code (take Bobby McGees back in the 90’s as an example) and decent security (not just big thugs).

The crowds would take to it (anyone remember the labor club on a Friday night in the 90’s) and it wouldn’t cost the earth getting home by taxi.

Yep.

and what people Should do is quite different in reality from what they do.

I don’t think that some people quite get it. two things

1. Not everyone is taking responsibility for their actions people still go out and drink and get caught drink driving on the way home (or worse have an accident)

2. Rather than spending the money on health care after the fact, maybe the gov’t could spend this money on preventative measures rather than having to spend the money after an accident.

I haven’t got exact figures. I used to, I used to work for the TAC (Transport Accident Commission) down in Vic, probably the only workplace where you’d have posters on your desk showing injured and dead people and no one would batter an eyelid. When a person is injured in an accident the cost for the person can include loss of income potentially for the rest of their life, years of health care, and community support services (eg community nurses or a carer). The costs per person (some of which are picked up by the gov’t) can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if they can return to work at a later stage, not to mention the loss of quality of life. Further more the person may not have even been drinking, but just been unlike to be involved in an accident with a drunk driver.

What I am suggesting is this money which supports people after they have been injured is used in an effective way to prevent the accident from happening in the first place.

Sorry I haven’t had a chance to read the comments yet. What I’ve got to say has probably already been said, but maybe people should take some personal responsibility about their choices in life and not expect the govt and everyone else to pay for them to go drinking. Either that or join a club that provides buses to and from the venue, or sit at home by yourself and drink.

Aurelius said :

If it were a good idea, the clubs will no doubt be lining up to hire buses for the night.
They aint? Then it aint.

my local RSL does this back in Sydney. They have buses taking people (for free) back to the major areas (the equivalent being belco, woden, dickson etc).

Canberra – the only capital city where the best you can do on Friday night is stay home with a cask of wine………………

If it were a good idea, the clubs will no doubt be lining up to hire buses for the night.
They aint? Then it aint.

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Alternatively I can risk driving home whilst drunk because chances are good I won’t be pulled over.

Because killing yourself and/or somebody else doesn’t even come into it.

What is it with deadbeats wanting the taxpayer to support their miscreant lifestyles? And always with the veiled threat – “you’d better cough up those dollars now, or you’ll pay later when I do untold damage.”

Here’s an idea – we build a dragway, we put on free beer, and then when everybody’s rocked up, we nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Well for a lot of people killing themselves and others doesn’t come into the equation, otherwise obviously we wouldn’t have people been caught drink driving in the first place. Taxi’s won’t lose out, I have many times seen lines going around the corner with a good hour to hour and a half’s wait, so to taxi it, it may still take 2 hours from leaving the club to getting home.

I don’t want to have everything handed to me on a platter, but making it free is a good way of ensuring that people can always use it to get home. People can be funny creatures, by putting a charge on the buses means that it is less attractive, thus the car is still a guaranteed way of getting you home. By making it free it means you have no excuses.

Yes there are cheap ways to get drunk without going into the city, such as go over to a mates place, once again without making it really easy (and cheap if not free) to get back home people still drive. I’ve seen many a time people at parties drink to much, and the get into the car and drive home.

Also drink driving is not a gen Y thing, nor a specific gender thing. Both men and women drink and drive, both 18 year old’s and 80 year old’s drink and drive. Unfortunately the government does not seem to be interested in any solution which doesn’t involve coppers manning RBT’s.

I think it’s Mt Buller has a novel way of getting people to/from the drinking venues, they pull a cart with a cage behind a groomer and people get in and stand up. It does loops of the lodges and the village centre.

They call it the Zoo Cart.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy3:40 pm 09 Oct 08

Tricky to meet new people in your own living room.

Invite your friends to bring their friends. Unless you have none…

I’m SURE that cabs are more expensive here then in Sydney as well.

yebbut, sinney also has a broader and better serviced public transit system i used to be able to get a train to within a couple miles of my place in western sinney almsot any time til well after witching hour [which the more astute rioter will be aware is actually 11pm to midnight, not from the latter, as is often mistaken] as a yoof, then hoof it home – voila! sober well and truly by the time i get to bed, up bright and sparkly – all good!

Deadmandrinking1:15 pm 09 Oct 08

gertel said :

Surpisingly, when I’ve been to Melbourne for the Aus Open Tennis, I’ve found the public transport stops at midnight. So if the men’s night match is a real humdinger you have to either leave early or take a taxi. Not sure if they’ve changed this policy in recent years but very poor form for such a large city. At least Canberra has a small population as an excuse.

No, it doesn’t, I don’t think. I remember chasing a night-rider through collingwood. But we couldn’t find the stop so we just walked to the city. But it exists, I’m pretty sure.

Surpisingly, when I’ve been to Melbourne for the Aus Open Tennis, I’ve found the public transport stops at midnight. So if the men’s night match is a real humdinger you have to either leave early or take a taxi. Not sure if they’ve changed this policy in recent years but very poor form for such a large city. At least Canberra has a small population as an excuse.

Drunk cycling FTW!

Deadmandrinking12:35 pm 09 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

It’s quite absurd considering the transport problems that Canberra faces, yet there is no regular late night services over the weekend. I Think ANY other majot city I’ve been to in my travels has a lite night service of some kind.

Canberra is a pretend major city. Don’t say ‘country town with public-service buildings’ or they’ll get you!

tylersmayhem12:35 pm 09 Oct 08

I Think ANY other majot city I’ve been to in my travels has a lite night service

Uh, that was meant to say LATE night service! ;P

tylersmayhem12:16 pm 09 Oct 08

It’s quite absurd considering the transport problems that Canberra faces, yet there is no regular late night services over the weekend. I Think ANY other majot city I’ve been to in my travels has a lite night service of some kind.

Deadmandrinking12:09 pm 09 Oct 08

johnboy said :

Tricky to meet new people in your own living room.

Depends who you live with, really. The only problem is meeting people in your living room when you don’t feel like social interaction at all.

I agree with some method of public transport for late-night drinkers. It’s the only realistic solution. Here’s an idea. Make post 10pm parking in the city ludicrously expensive, so much so that it’d be more financially viable to catch a cab and also make sure that free passes are given to businesses who’s employees work late-night shifts in the city. Put a regularly-running night-rider service until the god-early hours of the morning. Have security on these buses as well as the cctv. Sure, it may cost a bit – but if that was weighed against the cost of enforcing drink-driving laws every fri-sat night and the cost of drunken accidents – might it even out?

I dunno, Facebook could open up a whole new world…

Tricky to meet new people in your own living room.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy11:50 am 09 Oct 08

I agree with Holden Caulfield. Make your own arrangements if cost is a problem. For example, have a few drinks over dinner at home before you go out, catch a bus into town, split a hotel room with some mates, share a cab with others, etc.

I prefer being at peoples’ houses if I’m going to have a few drinks anyway.

People have been dealing with this issue for years, just come up with a plan.

tylersmayhem10:45 am 09 Oct 08

I think more suburban joints are a great idea. Using All Bar Nun (how it used to be) for example!

Holden Caulfield9:40 am 09 Oct 08

Gen Y wants everything on a plate, farkn. How about taking some personal responsibility!

If you’re going to go out for a night on the turps and it will cost you $100 in two-way cab fares well suck it up if that’s your choice of activity for the night.

Loquaciousness said :

Special G said :

Your plan has big holes in it – people will drink and drive anyway as the bus takes too long.

G, of course they will! But if it gets just one accident off the road, it’s got to be a good thing, right?

L

It is a good thing, except if that one accident is the bus. But seriously, a program like this is a great way to minimise harm to intoxicated people. There would have to a security set up on the bus though (guards, cameras etc..) and this costs money to set up and who is going to pay for it? If it were a private enterprise though it would be good, but the insurances needed would be astronomical and the ACT government would want a big cut (and the credit) of the profits.

I think it’s a great idea. Besides, somebody might actually want to get home at that time of the morning even if they haven’t been drinking.

Loquaciousness8:50 am 09 Oct 08

Special G said :

Your plan has big holes in it – people will drink and drive anyway as the bus takes too long.

G, of course they will! But if it gets just one accident off the road, it’s got to be a good thing, right?

L

Your plan has big holes in it – people will drink and drive anyway as the bus takes too long.

Having buses on for special events would be awesome…. and I loved the nightrider !!

Taxi’s are just way too expensive, esp when you dont live anywhere near your friends.

Think about the upcoming Oktoberfest this weekend…. Yes there is going to be alot of drunk people… But last year I know of some mates who after 2 hours waiting in line for a cab, called someone to pick them up because almost no taxi’s were even showing up. Most Taxi drivers wont go near anyone who looks slightly intoxicated, and I agree which would be better 100 people standing in a queue for hours waiting for a taxi to come, or putting on a bus say every half an hour to drop people home.

I sure as hell know I would much rather pay say $10 to catch a bus close to my home and walk a little…. than pay $50 to a taxi driver.

(I have mates who are taxi drivers, and have also had very bad experiences with taxi drivers… But I would have the say as crap as the bus network is in Canberra… the Taxi Service is WORSE !)

SheepGroper said :

They could use a cattle truck instead, easier to hose out at the end of the shift.

I like this idea. No problems if people spew, nobody can hurt the driver – its a win win for everyone.

OliverCromwell12:10 am 09 Oct 08

sepi:
“Anyone who is a student or a part time worker just can’t afford to go out if they don’t drive.
And in Canberra with the lack of taxis driving is almost the only way to get home.”

Absolutely, 100% correct.
I’m SURE that cabs are more expensive here then in Sydney as well.

ant said :

More suburban taverns! And don’t let the bikies take them over.

What, so say chisholm for example, it wont be a seedy place ever again??

HA!

More suburban taverns! And don’t let the bikies take them over.

@OP, So you’re proposing that taxpayers fund people to go into Civic and get drunk?

I think the money would be better spent on more police…

… or WMC’s idea, that’s defintely got my vote too!

They could use a cattle truck instead, easier to hose out at the end of the shift.

Ahh that is the real purpose of the gas powered station in Tuggers

WMC for chief minister! Now *that’s* a policy I’d vote for. And attitude, too. seriously.

CheesemasterZero9:50 pm 08 Oct 08

As much as I hate the idea of paying for an additional bus just to stop morons from driving home drunk, I wonder if that would be outweighed by the cost of cleaning said moron and their victims off roadside flora.

Late buses is definitely a good idea.

It amazes me the amount they spend on tv ads about not drink driving, but they don’t put any money into actual alternatives.

Anyone who is a student or a part time worker just can’t afford to go out if they don’t drive.

And in Canberra with the lack of taxis driving is almost the only way to get home.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:29 pm 08 Oct 08

Alternatively I can risk driving home whilst drunk because chances are good I won’t be pulled over.

Because killing yourself and/or somebody else doesn’t even come into it.

What is it with deadbeats wanting the taxpayer to support their miscreant lifestyles? And always with the veiled threat – “you’d better cough up those dollars now, or you’ll pay later when I do untold damage.”

Here’s an idea – we build a dragway, we put on free beer, and then when everybody’s rocked up, we nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

I was listening to that edition of Hack tonight. It’s always a good listen, even for oldies. It was good, too, how some of those people were all evangelical about not drink driving because of all the people you could kill, and they’d had bad smashes while drunk, and the host gently reminded them that their attitudes hadn’t changed until they’d smashed themselves up.

Some kind of public system would be good though. Places I’ve worked in the US had a decent public transport system and you could go out and get plastered and then bus home, no worries. for free, often, too, as local sales tax paid for it.

Works in tons of places. Better to have the drunks getting taken home rather than all standing around in the cold at a taxi rank for an hour plus chewing on soggy chips and getting rather annoyed at all the people who suddenly find out they have thirty friends who need to push in and get a taxi as well. You wouldn’t even need to get to people’s houses just have set drop off points per suburb and a quick stumble home and in bed…. Job done. Could do inner north, belco, Weston Creek-Tuggers, inner south. So 8 buses, 8 drivers (inbound and outbound to reduce waiting times) and to raise a bit of revenue clubs could be allowed to advertise or have their drink vouchers, free/cheap/priority entry tickets, the bus delivers to their door or whatever given out on the inbound trips. Run it Thurs, Fri, Sat night.

The taxi industry doesn’t have a leg to stand on there we all know they can’t handle the demand at these times and admit it themselves but they can’t put more cars on because there are no drivers and during non peak times they would be losing money hand over fist with more taxis around which is their whole argument about more cars on the road. Cut some of the overwhelming demand at peak times (0100 – 0500) and lo and behold everyone benefits. Lots of small clubs in other towns run the courtesy bus as already described and most consider it part of their responsible service of alcohol and of community benefit.

flying doormat8:49 pm 08 Oct 08

mouthface said :

Of course they will have a whinge!!! Why doesn’t the governement give you free food, or clothes, or a television so that you don’t have to buy any at the shops you scabs!

Nightrider wasnt for free – you had to pay but it was a better price than what a cab charges. Hardly see that as being a scab but obviously you dont mind being shafted when you jump into a cab

When I lived in Mount Isa, most of the clubs had a similar system. As long as you were a member of the club, (membership maybe $10 per year) you could call up, and they would guarantee to send a mini bus to your house within 30 minutes, and then get you to the club within 30 minutes of that. Whilst cab fares weren’t that much…maybe a maximun of $25 each way from where I lived to the Irish Club, it was still handy.

Obviously couldn’t work in Canberra, i’s too spread out, but it was a great system.

I knew one of the drivers from the Buffalo Club, which was situated right in the centre of town, opposite the main shopping centre. He used to tell me of the little old ladies who were members of the club, would call up every Wednesday, get the free bus into the club, have a glass of lemonade, walk over to the shopping centre, do the weekly grocery shopping, walk back to the club, have a cup of tea, then take the free bus home with all the groceries….

Of course they will have a whinge!!! Why doesn’t the governement give you free food, or clothes, or a television so that you don’t have to buy any at the shops you scabs!

grunge_hippy8:10 pm 08 Oct 08

do what i do… drink at home! cheaper, and much easier and cheaper to stumble to bed!

flying doormat8:09 pm 08 Oct 08

Nice idea but wont work because the taxi industry will have a good old whinge about missing out on all the fares that the buses took. The nightrider was such a great success that it was going to be implemented Fri/Sat night for mind but the cabbies fired up and it was scrapped. In saying that I guess when you are made by the government to pay $250,000 for the right to run a cab its no wonder the consumer is charged like wounded bull for any trip in a taxi.

They could use a cattle truck instead, easier to hose out at the end of the shift.

GottaLoveCanberra said :

Loading a bus full of drunk people? Not a good idea in my mind.

hmmmm yes i see your point

They did it a few years ago for their night rider services. They ran it for several years but only during the December “holiday” period and NYE.

GottaLoveCanberra7:41 pm 08 Oct 08

Loading a bus full of drunk people? Not a good idea in my mind.

yes if a scheme like this was implemented it would show the government was serious about taking drunk drivers off the road…
if i go out, a taxi to civic costs me $70, and then back again makes it $140!! Ridiculous – i dont even spend that much on drinks or food for a big night.

Seems like a good idea. I personally factor in the taxi fare whenever I go out. On the topic of drinking though, one thing I would love to see implemented here is free drinks for designated drivers. I have gone out and not drunk for the night because I am driving many times, paying for soft drink (which can cost more than beer at times) is just another reason not to be a designated driver for the night.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.