P-Plate Curfew Urged

The Mosman Daily

Thursday 8 July 2004

Page 1 - Mourners pay their respects at the scene of the accident

P-plate curfew urged

Mosman Daily

Thursday 8 July 2004
Mosman Daily – Thursday 8 July 2004

P-plate curfew urged


YOUNGER drivers need better education if tragedies such as the death of teenager Jade Graham are to be avoided, says the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

Ms Graham, 18, died when the silver convertible in which she was a passenger crashed in Raglan St, Mosman, late on Tuesday night last week.

Pedestrian council chairman Harold Scruby described the crash as horrific and said steps should be taken to prevent more tragic deaths of young people.

"There should be a night-time curfew on all P-plate and L-plate drivers and there should be a limit on the number of passengers in the car with P-plate drivers," Mr Scruby said.

"The statistics speak for themselves. These horrific crashes occur mainly due to inexperience and peer-group pressure. And they happen at night.

"Many - probably most - of - these crashes could be avoided through the urgent introduction of these measures into legislation."

Businessman Owen Eather was one of the first on the scene after the accident. "This is not the fault of the girls involved - this girl would not have died if the community had delivered its responsibilities," he said.

"Driving is an inescapable part of modern life - we can't rely on a week's training. I would like to see a consistent and thorough driver education program at the earliest possible stage."

Harbourside commander Superintendent John Sweeney confirmed the driver had only had her licence for a short time.

"It's a tragic accident, a tragic loss," he said.

Insert: “There should be a night-time curfew on all P-plate and L-plate drivers.” - Harold Scruby

Girl dies in horror crash

Mosman Daily

Thursday 8 July 2004

MOSMAN DAILY – Thursday 8 July 2004

Girl dies in horror crash


CREMORNE teenager Jade Graham died in the arms of a Harbourside police officer after the car she was a passenger in crashed last week.

A former student at Wenona, Ms Graham, 18, was in a silver Peugeot convertible driven by a 17-year¬old Queenwood student, who had just gained her P-plates.

The accident occurred about 11.30pm on Raglan St in Mosman, just near the corner of McLeod St, on June 29.

Police have confirmed the car was travelling in the wrong direction.

The driver was released from hospital last Wednesday and the other two passengers are in a stable condition at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Mosman firefighter Steve Shriver was one of the first at the scene of the accident.
"One of the girls was stabilised and removed on a spine board," he said.

"Another of the girls had a very weak pulse - there was nothing else we could do."

Dr Angeline Low was working on her computer when she heard the crash.

"I heard the sound of a car driving past our house very fast, and after that I heard the crash," Dr Low said.

"The music was blaring-it was so loud. The drama of the moment was so stressful and the music was still going when the car was upside down.

"I heard a girl screaming `help, help, help me' and she was screaming to her friends to get out of the car. I quickly ran back inside and screamed to my husband to call 000."

Police said the car hit the silver phone exchange, a sandstone wall, a tree and then half demolished another sandstone wall before hitting the road, landing on its roof.

Harbourside commander Superintendent John Sweeney said he could only guess as to whether the top of the convertible was up or down. "My guess is that if the top had been down, the injuries would have been a lot more severe," he said.

The morning after the accident, students gathered around the site of the crash, laying cards, flowers and poems.

Some of the messages read: Dear Jade, You were my favourite girl, Why did you have to go? I never knew yesterday was going to be the last goodbye, Everyone is going to miss you Jody, especially me! RIP and I'm gonna miss you so much, tutor buddy. I love you so much, I'll never forget your love for green, your crazy hair and your cheerful smile.

Dr Low said: "Yesterday I went out and talked to a group of the young people that gathered. I spoke to them, cried with them, shook with them, helped them to try to make sense out of it."

"Every time tragedies like this happen it impacts a lot of people."

The Metropolitan crash investigation unit is continuing its inquiry into the accident. Witnesses should phone 9821 8550.

School communities in mourning

WENONA and Queenwood Schools have expressed their grief over the accident in Mosman last week that left one girl dead and two injured.

Both schools have offered professional counsellors to staff and students.

Wenona confirmed that the 18-year-old who died in the accident, Jade Graham, was a former student.

"The school will do all it can to support students, staff and friends and families," acting principal Michelle Ginswick said. "We also send our best wishes and thoughts to those who were injured."

Queenwood principal Kern Bray said the school was devastated by the accident. "The school has confirmed that three of its Year 12 students were involved in a fatal car accident in Mosman last night (June 29)," Mrs Bray wrote in an official statement.

"The school extends its deepest thoughts and prayers to the family of the girl who lost her life."

Photo: The crashed car in Raglan St, Mosman. The accident claimed the life of 18-year-old Jade Graham.

Editorial - Teenage tragedy on our roads

Mosman Daily

Thursday 8 July 2004

MOSMAN DAILY – Thursday 8 July 2004


Teenage tragedy on our roads

TOO many times we read of young lives being cut short by car accidents.

Last week, 18-year-old Jade Graham lost her life after a car she was travelling in crashed in Raglan St in Mosman.

Two others were seriously injured.

Unfortunately, young drivers do not have the experience to deal with what driving can sometimes dish up.

Factors such as night-time, rain, speed or not paying atten¬tion to the road can lead to tragedy.

Pedestrian Council of Aust¬ralia chairman Harold Scruby says there should be a night-time curfew on all P-plate and L-plate drivers and there should be a limit on the number of passengers in the car with P-plate drivers. He also believes the power-to-weight ratio should be specified.

"In NSW young people can get into a Ferrari. In Victoria there are strict regulations that say P-platers are not allowed to drive a car which has a power¬to-mass ratio which is more than 125 kilowatts per tonne or 3.5 litres per tonne," he said.

But it is not just up to legislators and governments to come up with the answer. Parents must take some responsibility.

But ultimately, the respons¬ibility is with the person behind the wheel. Whatever the answer, action must be taken to stop this senseless waste of life.