Injured Man Calls For End To Bullbars In City

Adelaide Advertiser

Wednesday 21 July 2004
Take these killing devices off the roads

A MAN badly injured when an out-of-control 4WD motorist ploughed into shoppers at Glenelg has called for the removal of bullbars in city areas.

Newell Platten, 76, yesterday said they were “killing devices with no place in the suburbs”.

Mr Platten was one of five pedestrians injured when a 27-year-old man fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into a pole at the busy Jetty Rd shopping strip on Sunday.

Mr Platten was pinned between the 4WD's bullbar and a pole. He was badly bruised, suffered broken ribs and pelvis.

Speaking from his hospital bed at Flinders Medical Centre yesterday, Mr Platten, of Glenelg, called for a review of bullbars in suburban Adelaide.

“These damn killing machines - 4WD with bull bars - should be taken off the streets,” he said.

“I think it is time the politicians did something to get them off suburban streets.

“They've got no place in the suburbs. People have said if you get hit by one of them you can get into trouble - and you do get into trouble.” Mr Platten, who was walking home from a cafe when the incident occurred, said he had always felt safe while walking along Jetty Rd.

“I was waiting for the pedestrian light to give us the go ahead then I heard a lot of shouting and turned to my right and saw a car ploughing towards us. It pinned me back against the pole and I can't remember what happened after that.” Mr Platten has not been contacted by the driver - who is under police investigation.

A police spokesman said yesterday the investigation was continuing and it was not yet known if charges would be laid.

“I haven't heard from the driver - he has no doubt got a lot on his mind,” Mr Platten said. “I imagine he is probably pretty terrible actually.

“I have no malice towards him - I feel sorry for him.

“It has happened - I just have to get on with it.”

The Pedestrian Council of Australia yesterday urged the State Government to adopt the national standard for bullbars.

Developed more than two years ago by a panel of traffic experts and car manufacturers, the standard promotes safer bullbar design and construction.

Transport SA spokeswoman Nicki Stewart said bullbars would be discussed within a year by the Road Safety Advisory Council.

Opposition transport spokesman Robert Brokenshire said bullbars were an essential requirement for people in country areas. “You can't just put them in the back of the ute when you come to Adelaide,” he said.

"Tragically when people get hit they are going to get injured whether it is a bullbar or a bumper bar.”