Learning How to Stay Alive

Article excerpt

EACH year road crashes cause unnecessary trauma to too many Queensland families. Many of our young drivers will suffer either death or serious injury soon after leaving school, or obtaining their provisional licences.

As executive director of Roadcraft, but possibly more importantly, as a parent of teenagers, Sharlene Makin is concerned that the current structure and methods for teaching our teenagers to drive emphasises far too much on quantity of teaching, rather than quality, in that 100 hours of supervision and instruction by parents who may or may not be good drivers is of less value if the quality of teaching is not to a suitable and more consistent standard.

This is evident in knowledge of (or lack of) basic road rules, eg correct use of indicator at roundabouts.

aIt is the role of driving schools to teach our young drivers how to pass the Provisional Driver test. While they do this very well, they must focus on ability to drive rather than how to stay safe on our roads.a

She says, aIt is indeed disappointing that teaching drivers how to stay alive has always been an optional extra in Australia, but adopted as essential learning in other countries.

aI get frustrated when I see those government TV commercials where they are continually imploring people to drive safe.

aIt's like giving a five year old a thick Harry Potter book and asking them to read it.

aOf course they are going to say: a[approximately]But you haven't taught me to read yet'.

aHow can we ask people to drive safe when we haven't taught them how? …