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Could this be a real solution to stop drink driving?

By harvyk1 8 October 2008 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?

What’s Your opinion?

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54 Responses to
Could this be a real solution to stop drink driving?
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farnarkler 8:34 am 31 Oct 08

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?

fnaah 9:08 am 30 Oct 08

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.

Thumper 8:19 am 30 Oct 08

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

farnarkler 8:12 am 30 Oct 08

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.

sepi 10:59 am 10 Oct 08


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

harvyk1 9:57 am 10 Oct 08

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.

che 11:36 pm 09 Oct 08

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.

Davo111 8:56 pm 09 Oct 08

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).

sepi 7:58 pm 09 Oct 08

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

Aurelius 6:11 pm 09 Oct 08

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.

harvyk1 4:27 pm 09 Oct 08

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.

ant 4:05 pm 09 Oct 08

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.

Tricky to meet new people in your own living room.

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

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