The Daily Advertiser, Letters to the editor, December 29, 2017

NEW APPROACH: Letter-writer Bruce Harper says there must be a dramatic change in road safety education if the road toll is to come down.
NEW APPROACH: Letter-writer Bruce Harper says there must be a dramatic change in road safety education if the road toll is to come down.

The road toll we’ve been hearing about is distressing.

The police are doing all they can to enforce the rules and warn us, apparently to little effect.

While it’s true that a number of drivers have made deliberate decisions to drive in a way that they know is risky, I wonder how many crashes occur when the driver is not aware of the risk they’re taking or facing?

Why are mistakes being made?

Why do head-on crashes occur simply because the road is wet?

When we recognise tiredness, why don’t we also recognise or acknowledge the high risk it represents and act appropriately?  

What is it about our driving knowledge that’s missing?

The response to this tragic holiday season, rather than admonishing us for it, should be to carefully study the causes of the crashes in an unbiased way to try to identify where further education is needed.  

This may included identifying cars that are over-represented in crashes, noting all the ingredients of the crashes to identify what caused them and the circumstances in existence before the journey started.  

We need an independent crash investigation unit that publishes its findings (without names or precise locations to protect the distressed).

With this unbiased information, an education campaign and training changes should be recommended to government.

More importantly, we’ll all see what has been discovered and what has been recommended.  

Our road toll has been rising for a while.

The police are doing their job as well as they can but are frustrated and probably feeling like failures.

How can they succeed if they are implementing a policy by the Roads and Maritime Service that has, to a large extent, been a failure.

More of the same will not make a difference.

Bruce Harper, Wagga

Church needs to change its ways in light of royal commission findings

The Catholic Church is one of the pillars of strength that built Australia, but this is how it should now change:

Do away with celibacy. It is ridiculous.

Any priest entering the profession will end up warped, miserable and twisted, if he was not already that way to start with.

Apart from anything else, a wife would be an asset to the priest to help him with his parochial duties. Furthermore, how can a priest advise his parishoners on family and other social matters when he has never been married himself?

Forget this concept of original sin. If you believe every day is a battle against temptation and everybody is constantly prone to sin and life is a perpetual cycle of falls and redemptions, that only makes it more likely you will commit sin because you believe it is beyond your control and "goes with the territory".

Abandon the confessional. The confessional is a really stupid idea.

The idea is you confess your sins, and thereby feel better afterwards.

If you can confess to doing something wrong, and thereby assuage your pangs of conscience, that only makes it easier to wrong again, because the fear of having pangs of conscience is one factor that stops people doing bad things.

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton


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