Northern Star - Thursday 21 December, 2006

Victim's father attacks P-plate panel

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ROB WELLS: A common goal of wanting to save kids’ lives.

Victim's father attacks P-plate panel

CRUSADING Goonellabah father Rob Wells has now joined a nongovernment coalition for P-plate reform, labelling the Government’s own Young Drivers Advisory Panel ‘a waste of time’.

Mr Wells was instated on the Government panel by Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal in November a month after the death of his son, Bryce, 17, and his three young friends in an accident near Broken Head.

He says the panel is ineffectual.

Members on the Road Safety Coalition for P-plate Drivers are demanding the State Government implement passenger restrictions and night restrictions before the upcoming dangerous holiday travel period.


Mr Wells was invited to join the coalition by Pedestrian Council chairman Harold Scruby and head trauma surgeon at Westmead Hospital Dr Danny Cass, who share the common goal of saving young lives.

Other members on the coalition are from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the George Institute, and Bicycle NSW.

Their first meeting was held outside the Roads and Traffic Authority building in Sydney on Tuesday.

"We all have the common goal of wanting to save kids’ lives," Mr Wells said. "Danny doesn’t want to tell one more parent that his kid is on life support, and Harold has been trying to get these changes made for years."

Mr Wells’ anger was exacerbated as he spoke to The Northern Star yesterday, stuck in traffic held up by a head-on accident in Grafton.

"This is exactly why something needs to happen now. Not tomorrow, not next week. Right now," he said.

Harold Scruby said they would take a different approach.

"There is no need for more meetings. The evidence is overwhelming.

"Rob Wells will not be the last parent of a P-plater to have the police call in on him.

"Passenger restrictions and night restrictions need to be made before the holidays.

"The government panel has been set up for one reason only: To delay making any decision.

"We will get this achieved through utter persistence."

The news comes as ministers and senior police in NSW yesterday refused to pre-empt the recommendations of the State Government’s panel.

Fifty P-platers have been killed on state roads this year, double last year’s toll.


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