The Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 18 May 2005

The Debate


Should motorists be banned from driving 4WDs outside schools?
Page: 24
Section: General News
Region: Sydney Circulation. 390,410
Type: Capital City Daily
Size: 141.83 sq.cms.


PEOPLE who do drive 4WDs should be aware of their vehicle's size, its mass and also its constraints.

I don't believe you need a special licence to drive a 4WD, but you need to be aware of the special considerations you may need to make in relation to that 4WD environment.

You need to be aware of blind spots and drive to that accordingly.

It's not a matter of banning the vehicles, it's a matter of educating drivers.

We shouldn't be criticising other people for their choice of vehicle purchase, because they might have a particular need for a 4WD.
It's still a free country.

If people do use 4WDs as a vehicle to transport their children to and from school, it is their responsibility to be aware of the shortcomings -- especially that the view from the driver's seat is more limited than a sedan, particularly towards the left hand side of the vehicle.

Motorists should always pay full attention to their driving and not be distracted by their passengers, especially if they have little children in the car.

* George Cottee is the publicity officer for 4WD NSW and ACT


THE evidence is overwhelming that these weapons of mass destruction are many times more likely to kill or injure children, particularly around areas like school zones.

There is no question that because of their limited field of view, and poor handling and braking, that they have no place anywhere near children.

There is also no doubt that drivers of 4WDs over 2 tonnes should have special training and licences.

Especially when you consider that within 10 years, this very old fleet will be available to buy at very low prices, even to P-plate drivers.

But leave my view out of this.

The woman who drove the 4WD that hit and killed Bethany Holder was a very experienced 4WD and rally driver and had completed advanced courses.

She has not only sold her 4WD, but is encouraging all her friends not to buy them.

She now realises how dangerous they are.

These vehicles are trucks made to look like cars, and should be treated accordingly.

The Government must not hesitate to act on all of the coroner's recommendations.

* Harold Scruby is the president of the Pedestrian Council of Australia


© This work is copyright and is reproduced under licence from News Limited