It seems that when you can’t blame the driver, the lack of training or even the parents, any scape goat will do, with one of Australia’s top cops saying video games could be influencing the apparent growing level of reckless driving among teens.
New South Wales Police Commissioner, Mr Andrew Scipione, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph yesterday that “slamming into a pole isn’t fixed by simply resetting the Playstation. It’s game over.”
The statement comes following news that more than 6,000 NSW probationary drivers were fined for speeding last year with a further 1,000 caught in excess of zero blood alcohol concentration limits or for breaking strict curfew laws.
2009 saw 21 fatalities amongst first-year (P1) drivers and 38 fatalities from second- and third-year (P2) drivers.
The figures are even worse so far this year with police data claiming 12 fatal P1 and seven fatal P2 crashes for the period ending February 7th.
In 2009 there were 21 fatalities from first-year P-plate (P1) drivers and 38 fatalities from second- or third-year P-Plater (P2) crashes. Up to February 7 there have been 12 fatalities from P1 crashes and seven from P2 crashes, police data revealed.
“We’re certainly seeing more younger drivers being involved in serious accidents,” said Commissioner Scipione. “Not experienced enough.”
Like any situation, it seems the minority are letting down the remainder with some peers even admitting other young drivers are a menace on the roads, or are simply too keen to show off in front of their mates.
Young drivers have admitted their peers “lacked experience, showed off to their mates while behind the wheel, were too young to drive and needed to wake up to themselves” according to the report published yesterday.
“I think people need to realise what is going on and need to wake up to themselves,” a P2 driver from the Sydeny suburb of Belmont said.
“They’re trying to impress their friends and it’s stupid. I don’t want to be injured because of someone else’s stupidity.”
Police statistics show that P1 drivers in NSW tallied 2,786 fines for exceeding their maximum limit of 90km/h last year with 540 already caught doing the same thing this year.
The figures for P2 license holders are equally as high with 3,401 fines issued for breaking the maximum 100km/h limit in 2009 and 714 fines issued for the same offence already this year.
Some P-plate drivers even admit their lack of training and experience is a concern with one 18 year old P-plater saying:
“I wouldn’t say I’m a very good driver but I try to be careful. We just don’t have enough experience or self-control. I don’t think there would be so many car crashes if we were experienced enough. They just want to show off.”
The P-plater believes the legal driving age should be increased because “16 was too young to start to learn how to drive and being in control of a car on their own at 17 could be dangerous”.
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