You say: Early driver education is key for young motorists

One reader believes we should be education teenagers in school on how to be better drivers.
One reader believes we should be education teenagers in school on how to be better drivers.

I think Ian Horsley is on the right track but would have things start too early. 

Students learn car controls very quickly and are motivated to do so when about to get their L plates.  

I suggest 16 years old is the time to start. Driving is a practical task in every way, so students need to be involved in driving as they learn. 

Watching some videos or listening to instructors or police at age 12 would be of limited benefit. 

Education is certainly the key. At year 10, we should be using simulators and accredited driving courses for both young learners and their parents.  

I agree with teaching students about slippery surfaces, but the emphasis should be on avoiding the situation rather than what to do when it happens.  

Having students recognise the circumstances where it happens and have them experience it in a controlled environment is vital.  

They will remember it, know that it’s a real possibility, and drive to avoid it. We need some well constructed visual productions about traffic dynamics, risk and decision making. 

We need the driving schools to collaborate in the production of useful educational material that involves much more than rules and passing the P test. 

It will cost, but our wealthy state government should be looking at funding this kind of innovation. 

(As a matter of interest, 50 years ago I was a student in California where it was obligatory for all students wanting a driver’s licence to pass a thorough simulator course that was made available at the school.)

Bruce Harper


MDBP plea

Don’t you just love it? The latest bunch of desk dwelling “experts” whining about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and how wrong it is.

Must be nearly closing date for the next round of funding grants, this group are hot on the heels of the Wentworth Group, who late last year started agitating about the Plan and where it needed to go. 

Some people are under the misapprehension that the Wentworth Group is based along the Murray River at Wentworth in western NSW.

Sorry, hate to disillusion you, but the Wentworth Group are a bunch of scientists who had a rather good dinner and some very good bottles of shiraz, at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney some years ago. They want to be the total arbiters of what is right and what is wrong with the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

Now we have the junior brigade, following on from their elders, sitting in their air-conditioned offices in Canberra and Sydney, and reviewing all the published papers they can find,  coming to an “expert” conclusion that they are now spruiking to the media.

No wonder the Basin Plan is a disaster for this entire region. It has been devised on computer projections based on estimated figures plucked out of the air, and then imposed with political purposes only in mind.

This region is a major food bowl for the nation and overseas exporting of clean, green and healthy produce.

But it will be nothing more than a disaster unless these “experts” actually come down to the Riverina and see reality, not the computer-crunched figures and projections they are basing their claims upon.

Gretchen Sleeman, Wagga


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