Grieving dad calls for bullbar ban

Illawarra Mercury

Thursday 28 Jun 2001

Charles Conway is adamant his 17-year-old son would be alive today if not for a bullbar.

He accepts Glenn would still have suffered injuries when his car hit a four-wheel drive in Barrack Heights just over 12 months ago.

"But I firmly believed my son would be here today if that vehicle did not have a bloody big bar on the front," Mr Conway said.

He and his wife Marion are demanding a coronial inquiry into their son's death - not to determine the cause of the accident, they accept Glenn was at fault, but to raise the issue of "lethal bullbars".

Ten minutes after Glenn left his Blackbutt house on June 2 last year to pick up friends for a movie session, his parents received the worst possible news.

The popular Warilla High School student was trapped in his mother's silver Daewoo sedan. He suffered horrific injuries and had to be revived but later died in Wollongong Hospital.

Glenn's two mates and the driver of the other vehicle, who was cleared of any wrongdoing, escaped with minor injuries.

"Any reasonable person with an ounce of thought would have to question the validity of anybody attaching a steel ramming device to their vehicle," Mr Conway said yesterday.

"The explanation can only be that the sole purpose is to stop the vehicle from crumpling. Any other person involved in an accident with such a vehicle is condemned to excessive panel damage and most certainly horrendous injury and possible death."

Mr Conway has no issue with bullbars being used in the country but strongly believes they should be banned in metropolitan areas.

"Any reasonable person will agree that country people have a legitimate reason for these devices but there is no argument for having them on vehicles owned or garaged in city or metro areas," he said.

Mr Conway is calling on the NSW Government to take action.

But in a letter to the Illawarra Mercury earlier this year, Premier Bob Carr said there would be no ban on bullbars.

The Pedestrian Council has argued since 1997 for a nationwide ban and the Federal Government and Standards Australia were developing a new national standard, Mr Carr said.

A spokeswoman for Wollongong Coroner's Court said yesterday the coroner was waiting for information from police in relation to Glenn's death.