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QLD transport has started a TV advertising campaign introducing the new P Plater and Learner laws which come into force next month. The first ad in the series shows a group of mates driving a Subaru Impreza WRX.

The ad points out:

As possible causes for the crash. So we decided to go through and analyse each point, one by one.

Lack of experience:

This is simply the most important reason why young drivers crash. No experience in understanding their vehicle’s characteristics as well as different road conditions. Now what would be the best method to encourage young drivers to gain some extra experience? Why an advanced driving course sounds like a good plan?

Not according to QLD transport (and RACQ) which recently opposed Advanced Driver training for young drivers – apparently young drivers gain a sense of over confidence after these course – so on one hand, you are inexperienced, but when you seek this experience, you become over confident. Excellent.

Too Much Power:

The ad shows a Subaru Impreza WRX. A symmetrical all-wheel-drive 2.5-litre turbo (2.0 for earlier models) with around 169kW of power – 0-100km/hr? 5.7 seconds. Not exactly a slow car. Too much power under the bonnet usually means a performance car. QLD transport believes that inexperience coupled with too much power results in accidents. A logical assumption.

The main problem though isn’t simply power alone. QLD transport need to introduce mandatory yearly roadworthy checks. There are far too many cars without proper tyres and brakes on our roads (and these are usually driven by inexperienced drivers) – QLD Transport’s own statistics show that older cars are more likely to be involved in an accident – mostly due to lack of driver aid technology.

The WRX used in QLD transport’s example has the benefit of All-Wheel-Drive, as well as ABS with EBD – it has a four star safety rating (ANCAP) and comes equipped with brakes far superior to many day-to-day cars.

Compare this to the new 2007 Holden Barina, the type of car QLD transport would encourage new P platers to buy – 76kW 1.6-litre engine – 0-100km/hr? About a week. The car comes with no ABS – uses drum brakes on the rear wheels and has a two-star safety rating!

Which car would you put your child in?

Too many distractions:

QLD transport believes accidents are caused by young drivers distracted (or motivated) by their friends. This is true, no doubt about it. To tackle this issue, QLD transport have put passenger restrictions for new drivers (emergency situations and immediate family are exempt).

Perhaps we can help reduce driver distraction by banning high visibility roadside advertising, reducing the emphasis put on Speed so drivers can concentrate on the road as oppose to the speedo, and more importantly, educating young drivers about the real dangers.

Racing mates:

Okay, this one really gets us going. QLD transport doesn’t support car enthusiasts, yet, they are blaming street racing as a cause of accidents. Perhaps getting behind the car community and opening more race tracks at a cheaper rate as well as encouraging drivers to take their enthusiasm to the track would be a better solution?

However, why be proactive and find a long-term solution (and spend money), when you can simply blame street racing and forget the grass-root cause.

Phone Calls:

Come July, QLD P platers will no longer be allowed to talk on their phones, even using bluetooth accessories. We have no objections to this so to speak, but we do find it interesting how QLD police intend to, well – police this!

If you wear a bluetooth hands-free while driving, and you begin to sing to your favourite song, you might get in trouble. However, what if you put your accessory in your left ear? It becomes near invisible. Also given that nearly all new cars come with built-in bluetooth capability, it will be a nightmare to police.

Even more strangely, just how exactly can the police determine if one of the passengers (or the driver for that matter) was using speaker phone function on their mobile? Will they employ a set of new speaker phone detectors?

It takes roughly 10 seconds to clear your “call register” – perhaps QLD P platers should get better accustomed with their mobile phones…

In our opinion, fiddling with the stereo is far more distracting than a mobile phone, perhaps all young drivers should be forced to listen to “enough is enough” for the first year of driving?