Northern Territory News – Wednesday 29 September 2004

Speed lobbyist ‘pompous twit’


A road safety expert who wants tourists to boycott the Territory because the

open highways are too dangerous was last night labelled “a pompous twit”.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby claims he will go to

the World Health Organisation and tourism industries around the world to

highlight the NT's horrific road toll.

CLP Federal Member for Solomon David Tollner said Territorians wouldn't cop

Mr Scruby's threats and blackmail.

Mr Tollner said Mr Scruby should butt out of the Territory's affairs and

abandon his arrogant threats to wage an international campaign.

“He should stop acting like a pompous twit and pull his head in,” Mr

Tollner said.

“His threats are un-Australian and disgraceful.

“The threat to go to the World Health Organisation to bring the Territory

to heel is the actions of another well-meaning southern fool going too


NT Transport Minister Dr Chris Burns and Opposition Leader Terry Mills both

said Mr Scruby should stop interfering in Territorians' way of life.


Caption:  Dave Tollner

Illus:  Photo





Locals no road yokels

PEDESTRIAN Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby has called for the federal parliament to (again) override Northern Territory speed laws.

This call from an outsider comes after a horror weekend nationally, but once again he picks on the Territory as if our statistics have suddenly got worse or we didn't know about them.

But worse, he wades in with a series of know-it-all statements. Instead he should ask the people who do know local conditions. Even I can point him to a major problem here: Aboriginal, bush and country roads, alcohol, non-wearing of seat belts - at the top of a list.

Mr Scruby would penalise the many for aberrations of a few, but worse, again, it is someone from elsewhere who supposes to know better than the local authorities and who speaks out of turn for Territorians. We are yokels. I have had a gutful of that.

The Road Safety Council of the NT has continuously addressed our black spots and categories of concern, and I happen to know the road safety position here is tackled region by region, deconstructed, analysed, and acted upon.

But how far does one go? Do we drive the car for people who ignore rules?

And open speed limits is not the major cause of fatalities here. Any speed kills.

Will putting a speed limit on open roads, per se, reduce the toll? I think not.

Yes, one death here is too many, but when anyone, particularly a relevant national road safety figure, picks on the NT for skewed reasons, demonstrating ignorance by calling on our laws to be overruled again, we have every right to say butt out.

Ted Dunstan