Site hosted by Build your free website today!

That Infernal Horseless Carriage


John Gavin© 2014


Rather than a lot of fanciful idea’s and suggestions that periodically emerge from road safety authorities, automobile associations and driver training organizations, is it not time to compare road safety with other sciences?

The horseless carriage  has been around for mor than a hundred years. A huge proportion of the pubic are “licensed to drive.” In the main, they are no better drivers than those who drove a “T” Model Ford or a 1927 Bean Tourer, perhaps not as well equipped?

The motor car emerged  from scientific theory. Who would say that theories of Sir Issac Newton (1642-1727) did not contribute to the devolvement of the motor car as it is today. In recent history the space programs assist with the development and design of motor vehicles. In the case of Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) his theories developed into the science of  psychiatry and psychology.

Engineering is another discipline (please note that word) with huge impact on the development of motor cars but is does not necessarily train students to drive.

Continuing with this line of reasoning is futile. The office of the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Queensland states that it is unacceptable that many people continue to text or talk on handheld mobile phones while driving. The Royal Australian Automobile Association (RACQ) President Geoff Leddy referred to courteous drivers, aggressive and anti social driver behaviour in The Road Ahead, Feb/Mar 2014.

All of this nonsense is a “no brainer” to use Mr. Leddy’s words. Perhaps those offenders in the circumstances described by the Minister for Transport and Mr. Leddy are not only deficient in courtesy, aggressive and/or anti-social because they have never been educated and trained to drive correctly and have no idea what the simple word “discipline” means. (There. That word is repeated.)

Imagine what a catastrophe is would be if doctors and dentists had not been trained in their “Discipline” (said it again.) If solicitors and accountants were lacking?  Discipline is a major part of learning; without it, the individual is unsafe at the wheel.

Learning is a universal task that affects people of all ages. At the pre-elementary level, students are equipped with one extremely important aid; it is a text book. In the pre-elementary stage it may be a primer; from that it advances with the progress of the individual to necessary items such as text books.  These items can be purchased or are available at libraries. With as grasp of the theory, the next stage in the learning process is practical application of the knowledge it is hoped the leaner grasps.

No matter what the subject, mathematics, science, medicine, engineering and all others a certain amount is to be gained from the knowledge of others. Sir Issac Newton was followed by unaccountable others right up until the present time.

It is a national disgrace that people die unnecessarily on Australians Roads. Others contribute to the death rate by numerous illegal actions; a large number use a mobile telephone to text while driving; some are just so devoid of self discipline and responsibility that they should go to a middle-eastern country  to be recruited as suicide bombers.

A question that may be asked is what are the traffic authorities, the automobile associations and the government doing apart from making promises or threats but little more.  Wasting countless millions on educating. Or trying to teach an uneducable population?

So, if any reader wishes to learn; start with a book—a text book. But be warned, the choice is very limited, costly should you wish to buy and you may be disappointed with what it available in the library.

So, instead of wasting countless millions, bring all those so called “experts” together to develop a text-book covering driver aptitude and attitude. Then cover all the theoretical points needed to qualify as a motor car driver, all the points necessary for educating drivers to discipline them for “the road ahead.” The final stage is the combined task of teaching and learning. A text book could cover the lesson plans that will enable the teaching process to proceed.

Such a text-book would be a start to developing a university or college degree or diploma on Motor Car Control.  It should be obvious to those “experts” that driving schools be consistent in their methods. Where the teacher is mum or dad, their deficiencies depend on the progress of the student. A published text could be made available and supplied to reference libraries and much more and together with the appropriate course structure could produce driver-trainers with  an acceptable aptitude and attitude to teach the science relative to driving a motor vehicle.

Losing control is something that relates to the horse and buggy days. Road traffic and road safety organizations, through the press often attribute an incident causing death or injury to the indefinable cause of a driver “losing control.” A horse being frightened by a “T” model Ford may cause it to rear up on it’s haunches then bolt with the bit-between-its-teeth and take control. In the case of a motor car driver “losing control” conjures an impression that would qualify a person for restraint. Much the same as a Doctor ‘losing control” and removing a spleen instead of an appendix it is unlikely to happen.

(Continued on next page:)






 A Motor Car driver must have the skill and knowledge to maintain control of a vehicle. Is that too much to ask? To lose control in this text means falling asleep, too much alcohol or drugs, hooning or grossly lacking skill and

Page 11: Road Safety