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P-Plate Pandemonium

By fhakk - 12 April 2008 41

More ammunition for those who want to crack down on younger drivers, courtesy of these two reports.

Both cases seem to involve pretty high-powered vehicles, speed a likely factor in both. One of the passengers is critical and my thoughts are with his family. The driver on the other hand I think will be in a fair bit of trouble.

Anyone got more info?

Meanwhile, the Falcon crash in Kaleen is probably the reason TransACT’s playing up in these parts.

Makes you wonder why the ACT Government continues to bleat about how safe our drivers are.

What’s Your opinion?


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41 Responses to
P-Plate Pandemonium
Thumper 1:16 pm 13 Apr 08

I think it is painfully evident that 18 years olds and high powered cars just don’t mix.

Ingeegoodbee 1:02 pm 13 Apr 08

Driving thousands of km’s a year in pretty well all states of Australia – except Tassie (because there’s no justifyable reason to go there) I have long held the belief that our home grown drivers are no better or worse than any other place I’ve been. Sure you hear all the cliches and some straigt out crap about it being the good roads, or the absence of heavy traffic or the high percentage of Volvo’s or whatever. Lately though, I’ve really started noticing that Canberra drivers have a habit of accellerating to close a gap when the see an indicator go on, or even suspect that another car might want to change into the lane their driving in – it’s not restricted to P platers and it’s really noticeable. Its pretty simple, if you don’t like getting cut off, then don’t try to close the gap.

ant 11:05 am 13 Apr 08

It’s not rocket science, is it? There’s no great mystery to this. Young people with P plates, we’ve all seen them. When you see a P plater driving with courtesy and sense, you notice it, because it’s so flapping unusual.

Generally they’re harassing other drivers to go faster or get out of their way, zapping in and out of lanes, tailgating… their attitude is “I’ve arrived, get off the road, I’m the only one here who can drive”.

Then you see the majority of “normal” ACT drivers, and it’s a real concern that these arrogant, unskilled “drivers” get to teach all their bad attitudes and favourite bad habits to their offspring.

Interestingly, whenever there’s a discussion about bad attitudes/bad driving on the roads, you’ll get some people chiming in whose only definition of bad driving is the people who are in the right lane. Now, right there, you’ve got your architypal Canberra driver. “Get out of MY lane, I want to drive faster than you, and I’ll tailgate you until you capitulate”.

Duke 10:24 am 13 Apr 08

Banks have to share some of the blame too I say. There was a time when newly licenced drivers bought their first car with money they saved from manning the Woolies checkout, meaning lots of people were driving $1000 Corollas and Pulsars. By todays standards they were not very safe, but it took a while to get them up to 100 and they were considered good learner cars because they weren’t too powerful and you had to most of the basic maintenance yourself.

Nowadays you just go to a bank and ask for $17K because your mate Davo just got a WRX so you have to have one too – never mind that you learnt to drive in your mums Barina! I have very fond memories of my first car, a 1984 Pulsar – no street-cred whatsoever – but I still consider it one of the best cars I ever owned.

Felix the Cat 8:53 am 13 Apr 08

Mr Waffle said :

One thing that has bugged me about the whole anti-P plater thing ever since I got my licence was that the people they’re supposed to learn from- their parents, the other drivers on the road- break laws left right and centre! Usually the only people I see doing the speed limit on the way to work around the lake are tourists and grannies, everyone else is happily driving however they want… great role models! Whenever I ride in the car with the old man nowadays I’m constantly pointing out everything he’s doing wrong, what laws he’s breaking, what technique he should use… my folks freely admit they’d probably fail L/P tests if they had to sit them now, as do all the older generation I work with.

I also think it should be mandatory for P platers (and frankly everyone at this point) to do an advanced driver training course. An absolute eye opener, especially on the effects of ABS- you can read about it as much as you want, but actually doing an emergency brake is a whole different feeling. As the Sutton Rd instructor said to me, the first time you do it, you don’t do it right (too little for ABS, too much for non-ABS)… might as well do it wrong in practice instead of on the road.

I agree that it’s not only P-Platers that speed and generally break traffic rules. However a high number of P-Platers seem to go faster (not just 70 in the 60 zone but 150+ in the 60 zone) and being young think it (an accident) won’t happen to them and they are invincible. And it is fun for them, until it all goes wrong.

Speeding and reckless driving has gone on since motor vehicles were first invented and looks set to go on for a while yet. Short of having police on every street corner it will continue to happen. It’s just part of growing up, we all did it. Not condoning it, just telling it like it is. Maybe if Canberra had some more motorsport facilities people could use the performance of their high performance cars in a controlled environment and also learn some driving skill at the same time.

The licencing system is a joke, no real skill is needed, as is shown by the amount of accidents that occur on the roads. A compulsary driver training course, similar to what motorcyclists have to go through, should be the minumum requirement for attaining a drivers licence.

Mr Waffle 2:46 am 13 Apr 08

One thing that has bugged me about the whole anti-P plater thing ever since I got my licence was that the people they’re supposed to learn from- their parents, the other drivers on the road- break laws left right and centre! Usually the only people I see doing the speed limit on the way to work around the lake are tourists and grannies, everyone else is happily driving however they want… great role models! Whenever I ride in the car with the old man nowadays I’m constantly pointing out everything he’s doing wrong, what laws he’s breaking, what technique he should use… my folks freely admit they’d probably fail L/P tests if they had to sit them now, as do all the older generation I work with.

I also think it should be mandatory for P platers (and frankly everyone at this point) to do an advanced driver training course. An absolute eye opener, especially on the effects of ABS- you can read about it as much as you want, but actually doing an emergency brake is a whole different feeling. As the Sutton Rd instructor said to me, the first time you do it, you don’t do it right (too little for ABS, too much for non-ABS)… might as well do it wrong in practice instead of on the road.

el 2:23 am 13 Apr 08

Hope the passenger from the WRX rollover at the Cotter pulls through. Poor bugger.

Not too much sympathy here for the 20 year old that crashed into the Transact equipment driving around with a BAC of 0.230 though. FFS.

el 2:19 am 13 Apr 08

minime – comments containing naughty words land in the moderation queue until an admin can check them out. I believe this also to be the case for comments with several HTML tags.

[Ed. Spot on el. I’m also less likely to get to comments posted after midnight very quickly.]

minime2 1:42 am 13 Apr 08

what does waiting moderationmean … who? what? How?

Mike Crowther 12:31 am 13 Apr 08

“From this it’s clear that the problems are the result of the parents and other people who teach them to drive. Time for compulsory driver training away from the hopeless parents,…”

Only thing bd84, motorcyclists receive (very good) professional training and testing before getting ‘L’s AND also before getting their ‘P’s.

minime2 11:58 pm 12 Apr 08

Sheepgroping person: ranting without definition:
By “speeding” do you mean exceeding posted limit?; exceeding current ambient conditions such as any speed in the rain driving a Falcon or an old Charger?; going ‘too fast’in piece of shit with little experience, ie: 17yr-old in a 1989 Mazda 323 even at the posted limit?; not getting in the 3km line behind the blue Camry doing 96 all the way along Parkway but touching (oh my god!! a bit above 100 to pass it)?; accelerating quickly up-to the posted limit?; NOT driving around all non-straight bits of road at the posted yellow advisory number? [long day to the coast or Jindabyne); going quickly past a diesel bus/4-wheel drive vehicle on a motorbike so you can still breath?; ignoring your environment at any speed [recognisable in the supermarket witha trolley as well]; guessing what 97% of motorcyclists think therefore making you a better driver at a lower rate of momentum?; doing anything you do not agree with? SPEEDING …mmmm? The signs say it kills … do they mean 10km/h, 20km/h, 157km/h? or just the sudden stop? Then there is [for you] the ‘Reduce Speed’ red signs…handy when that Camry is already under the limit by 20 and still hits (yes, hits!) the brakes. Obedient. Sheep do it. Sheepgropers too?

CanberraResident 11:53 pm 12 Apr 08

One of the reports says “Officers from the Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team (CIRT) were at the scene trying to determine the cause of the crash”.

EErrr … 19 year old, several passengers, likely males, WRX speed machine, 3am … not too much to “determine” I’d say. Idiotic drivers with the old “it won’t happen to me attitude”. Someone should start a new campaign … uuhm, how about:

Be Cool, Not a Fool … hehe, or
Speed is for Weeds, or
Slow is the Go …, or
WRX won’t WoRK if you smash the bloody thing!
Alcohol, speed, ego and testosterone … a recipe for disaster.

It’s getting late; forgive me. Hope the 19 year old gets better soon.

barney 9:56 pm 12 Apr 08

You should go as far as to blame the government for the current weather.
Have you nothing else to do? Good old Riot-act.

Who cares!

SheepGroper 9:50 pm 12 Apr 08

I drove past the remains of the crash site on the Cotter this afternoon – no wonder one of the officers marking out the scene smiled to himself when he saw me, another P plater in a wrx, but I last saw 19 a couple of decades ago.

I can’t help but wonder if it was the friends of the 19 year old who wrapped his wrx around an oak a few weeks ago, as even after their friend’s crash they thought speeding was ok if it was in the early morning.

bd84 9:01 pm 12 Apr 08

Canberra’s drivers safe?? they’re either absolutely crazy or complete fking morons. mostly the latter. I have found I have very few problems with the P plate drivers in Canberra, seen the results of a couple of accidents involving them particularly over the past few months as a result of some bad judgement calls. The vast majority of bad drivers are fully licenced drivers, I’d say about 90 percent and about 97% of motorcyclists believe the road rules don’t apply to them and they’re the next casey stoner world motorcycle champion.

From this it’s clear that the problems are the result of the parents and other people who teach them to drive. Time for compulsory driver training away from the hopeless parents, and nothing like the moronic nsw laws which don’t teach new drivers a thing. However, I may agree with the no leway for speeding for new drivers.

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