Young Woman Driver Yelling and Shaking her Wrist out Car Window.
Young Woman Driver Yelling and Shaking her Wrist out Car Window. AlexanderNovikov

Not fair to blame just one age group of 'bad' drivers

Once again we find ourselves talking about seniors and whether they should be allowed behind the wheel.

This time the debate has risen from the death of a six-year-old girl, killed when an 86-year-old allegedly lost control of her vehicle and reversed into the child on the weekend.

It was, and continues to be, absolutely devastating for the Sunshine Coast community.

I can't even begin to imagine how the girl's parents are feeling and how family and friends are coping with the tragedy.

As a result of the circumstances, Coast residents have been very quick to condemn seniors for driving and, I won't lie, some of the arguments I agree with.

If you can't see properly, whether you are height or vision impaired, you shouldn't be behind the wheel.

If you don't have the ability to follow road rules, if you don't feel safe driving the speed limit or on the highway and if you can't react fast when needed in an unpredicted situation then again, you shouldn't be behind the wheel.

But this isn't about taking away people's independence, this isn't even about age.

This is just about your ability to drive on the roads safely without creating an unnecessary hazard.

I don't agree that people should have their licences revoked at a certain age.

But I would support legislation that allows motorists to report unsafe drivers on the roads that would ultimately make that driver have to sit through another driving test.

I don't mean just seniors, however. It should be legislation that applies to all motorists.

Seniors that lack the skill to get behind the wheel do cause a problem on our roads. But when you look at the facts, the age group causing the most accidents on the roads are those between 16 and 24 years old.

If you don't believe me, all you have to do is type in "QLD road toll" in Google and click on the link that reads: "Road safety statistics".

It will take you to a nifty little report with a heap of data compiled by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

To be frank, the data shows that young drivers are behind nearly 30 per cent of car crashes compared to seniors, over 75 years old, who made up just 10 per cent. Neither of these numbers are good, but it's worth knowing before pointing fingers.

The rest is made up by other age groups. We all play our part.

As daunting as driving tests are, and I still remember mine because I failed mine the first time, I think one test for the majority of our driving lives is not enough.

I get it, no one wants to sit through that experience again.

But it's all well and good to send one age group of drivers to the dogs while the rest of us kick back and think we aren't the problem here.

The facts say otherwise.

We will never see any change on the roads if we continue doing what we are doing right now.


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