Call to act on killer bullbars

The Sunday Telegraph

Sunday 3 November 2002

By transport writer - ROD SMITH

ILLEGAL fishing rod holders that can kill or maim pedestrians are being targeted in a national road safety campaign this week.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia has called for police in all States to enforce laws banning the holders, which are mounted on bullbars and protrude in front of vehicles.

“At just 10km/h, these things will go through a child’s head or an adult’s heart and lungs,” council chairman Harold Scruby said yesterday.

“People are killed by fishing rod holders in accidents they may otherwise have walked away from.”

Although banned, the holders — metal tubes mounted at 45 degrees, usually on a vehicle’s left-hand side — are a common fitting on four-wheel drives.

“These people go to the Roads and Traffic Authority for a vehicle inspection and are told to remove the holders. After they pass, they put them back on,” Mr Scruby said.

Police rarely issued infringement notices for the holders, he said. When they did, the fine was just a few hundred dollars.

“You get fined more — $1500 — for tipping paint down a drain,” Mr Scruby said.

Less aggressive protrusions on cars, including the bonnet ornaments on luxury Jaguars, had been banned for similar reasons, he said.