Double the plea, damn the demerits

Manly Daily - Wednesday 11 April 2001

INJURED animals and Pedestrian Council chief Harold Scruby may not have a lot in common - but they both want changes to road safety attitudes.

Mr Scruby has branded the double demerit point scheme as an inappropriate way of reducing the road toll and called on Premier Carr to form an independent ministerial taskforce to investigate NSW road safety.

Forestville-based animal rescue service WIRES just wants motorists to slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn when animals are in transit.

Mr Scruby's comments follow the release of a report from the Road Safety Task Force (RSTF) last week in which he said insurance data showed "demerit points are an indicator of future crashes", rather than a means of reducing the road toll.

"Demerit points are an utter farce," Mr Scruby said.

"This Easter a driver will lose six demerit points for failing to fasten his or her seat-belt, yet that same driver can drive unlicensed in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, the wrong way up a one-way street, without proper control of the vehicle, using a mobile phone, with a radar detector, along the footpath, turn right against a sign, stop on a pedestrian crossing and drive negligently and attract not one demerit point."

WIRES estimates that 7000 animals die on the state's roads every day - many of them listed as endangered or vulnerable.

- Wednesday 11 April 2001