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letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 18th 05, 02:20 AM
Carl Brewer
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Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"


here's the article :

http://www.theage.com.au/news/editor...538863161.html

here's my letter to the editor in response :

------- Original Message --------
Subject: Response to "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?" - misleading
statistics
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 11:17:01 +1000
From: Carl Brewer
To:


I read with interest the editorial entitled "Drugs, dial, drive,
bloody
idiot?" in The Age on the 18th of July.

This is an interesting article, and one that on the whole
is worthwhile, and as a vulnerable road user (I ride bicycles
almost exclusivly as my main transport) I agree with the core
argument. However, it's important to not take the
recent statistics concerning random drug testing completely at
face value.

The current test, as I understand it, detects
any measurable amount of Cannabis, Methamphetamine etc in the
saliva. This is not necessarily the same thing as one may
call "being under the influence". I don't know how long drugs
such as cannabis stay detectable or at what concentration they
impair an individual's ability to concentrate, but it would
be a shame to misuse the statistic of 1 in 50 tested when that
may not reflect the real risks. Is simply walking through a
room where there is cannabis smoke within 24 hours of a
random drug test sufficient to show up on the test? Anecdotal
evidence would suggest that this is indeed the case.

We need attitudinal change, especially with regards to mobile
phone use in cars, but I suspect that the 1 in 50 drug use
statistic is misleading at best.

Thankyou

Carl Brewer


Ads
  #2  
Old July 18th 05, 02:27 AM
Carl Brewer
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Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"

On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 11:20:22 +1000, Carl Brewer
wrote:


here's the article :

http://www.theage.com.au/news/editor...538863161.html

here's my letter to the editor in response :


Hang me for bad form, with following up to my own post (it's not the
first or last time ...)

The article says the following :


The extraordinary finding that one in 50 drivers stopped by police over a six-month period was under
the influence of drugs is one indication of this. Banning a specific activity largely misses the point.

In the end, drivers will ignore road rules if they think they can get away with it or if they think they
personally are immune from the danger the rule is aimed at preventing. In practical terms,
enforcement has little chance of altering driver behaviour.

It's about attitude, approach and education. In that respect the prohibition on hand-held
mobile telephone use while driving has been an abject failure.


Now, that's bull**** (but I wasn't going to say that in my letter, I
want it published!). I would contend that the reason drink driving
is drastically less prevalent now than it was 20 years ago is
precicely *because* the rules have been enforced, with significant
rigour. Paragraph 2 above is on the money in its first sentence,
but way off in the second.

*If* car drivers actually got caught and punished for yapping into
their phones, they'd stop doing it, pronto.

The prohibition on mobile phone use is a failure because it hasn't
been seriously enforced, not because the prohibition is a bad
idea.



  #3  
Old July 18th 05, 03:07 AM
alison_b
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Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"


Carl Brewer Wrote:
here's the article

http://tinyurl.com/7pd4

here's my letter to the editor in response

------- Original Message -------
Subject: Response to "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?" - misleadin
statistic
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 11:17:01 +100
From: Carl Brewer
To:

I read with interest the editorial entitled "Drugs, dial, drive
blood
idiot?" in The Age on the 18th of July

This is an interesting article, and one that on the whol
is worthwhile, and as a vulnerable road user (I ride bicycle
almost exclusivly as my main transport) I agree with the cor
argument. However, it's important to not take th
recent statistics concerning random drug testing completely a
face value

The current test, as I understand it, detect
any measurable amount of Cannabis, Methamphetamine etc in th
saliva. This is not necessarily the same thing as one ma
call "being under the influence". I don't know how long drug
such as cannabis stay detectable or at what concentration the
impair an individual's ability to concentrate, but it woul
be a shame to misuse the statistic of 1 in 50 tested when tha
may not reflect the real risks. Is simply walking through
room where there is cannabis smoke within 24 hours of
random drug test sufficient to show up on the test? Anecdota
evidence would suggest that this is indeed the case

We need attitudinal change, especially with regards to mobil
phone use in cars, but I suspect that the 1 in 50 drug us
statistic is misleading at best

Thankyo

Carl Brewer

The figures are also somewhat skewed, I understand, because dru
testing is set up in targetted areas - that is, when there is
likelihood of drivers being under the influence of drugs in particula
locations.

Frankly though, I'd take the keys off anybody who is under th
influence of anything and hide them where the sun don't shine! Perhap
the pain of retrieval may make them think twice

And yeah... add in mobile phones

(actually, that's a ring tone I don't want to think about downloading


cheers
Al

--
alison_b

  #4  
Old July 18th 05, 03:27 AM
TimC
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"

On 2005-07-18, Carl Brewer (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 11:20:22 +1000, Carl Brewer
wrote:
The extraordinary finding that one in 50 drivers stopped by police over a six-month period was under
the influence of drugs is one indication of this. Banning a specific activity largely misses the point.

In the end, drivers will ignore road rules if they think they can get away with it or if they think they
personally are immune from the danger the rule is aimed at preventing. In practical terms,
enforcement has little chance of altering driver behaviour.

It's about attitude, approach and education. In that respect the prohibition on hand-held
mobile telephone use while driving has been an abject failure.


Now, that's bull**** (but I wasn't going to say that in my letter, I
want it published!). I would contend that the reason drink driving
is drastically less prevalent now than it was 20 years ago is
precicely *because* the rules have been enforced, with significant
rigour. Paragraph 2 above is on the money in its first sentence,
but way off in the second.


But read further down:
``Just as breaking the links between drinking and speeding and
driving took a concerted campaign, so too will breaking Australians
of the habit of trying to perform and concentrate on two complex
tasks at once.''

I suspect they are implying just what you are saying. A concerted
campaign should involve significant enforcement, as well as an
advertising campaign. I don't think they are ruling out the former in
combination with the latter.


--
TimC
If I sit here and stare at nothing long enough, people might think
I'm an engineer working on something.
-- S.R. McElroy
  #5  
Old July 18th 05, 03:50 AM
cfsmtb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"


TimC Wrote:
But read further down:
``Just as breaking the links between drinking and speeding and
driving took a concerted campaign, so too will breaking Australians
of the habit of trying to perform and concentrate on two complex
tasks at once.''

I suspect they are implying just what you are saying. A concerted
campaign should involve significant enforcement, as well as an
advertising campaign. I don't think they are ruling out the former in
combination with the latter.


Remember this? Sleepy raver killed cyclist, court told:
http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?t=12694

That mentioned, invariably there's a higher probability of roa
altercations with drivers who overestimate their skills over, say
accidents stemming from methamphetamine, sudafed, or benadryl abuse
It's the old argument of legislation vs education. So, how d
create behavioural change? I'd refer a combination of the two
$everely $lugging the hip pocket

--
cfsmtb

  #6  
Old July 18th 05, 04:08 AM
Carl Brewer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"

On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 12:50:58 +1000, cfsmtb
wrote:


That mentioned, invariably there's a higher probability of road
altercations with drivers who overestimate their skills over, say,
accidents stemming from methamphetamine, sudafed, or benadryl abuse.
It's the old argument of legislation vs education. So, how do
create behavioural change? I'd refer a combination of the two +
$everely $lugging the hip pocket.


And/or gaol and/or licence suspension/loss - it worked for seatbelts
and drink driving.



  #7  
Old July 18th 05, 04:22 AM
flyingdutch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"


cfsmtb Wrote:
Remember this? Sleepy raver killed cyclist, court told:
http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?t=12694

That mentioned, invariably there's a higher probability of roa
altercations with drivers who overestimate their skills over, say
accidents stemming from methamphetamine, sudafed, or benadryl abuse
It's the old argument of legislation vs education. So, how d
create behavioural change? I'd refer a combination of the two
$everely $lugging the hip pocket.


Agree. BTW, trials currently underway (started last week!) have half
dozen stationery speeding cameras also taking either random o
user-instigated pix of drivers on the phone. These can cover not jus
vehicles passing the camera on the same side of the road but bot
directions

For those who travel High St Kew, halfway up cemetry hill there's on
most mornings.
It is hoped to roll this out into a anti-mobilephone campaign in comin
months (is the next election THAT close?

--
flyingdutch

  #8  
Old July 18th 05, 04:30 AM
cfsmtb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"


flyingdutch Wrote:
Agree. BTW, trials currently underway (started last week!) have half
dozen stationery speeding cameras also taking either random o
user-instigated pix of drivers on the phone. These can cover not jus
vehicles passing the camera on the same side of the road but bot
directions

For those who travel High St Kew, halfway up cemetry hill there's on
most mornings. It is hoped to roll this out into a anti-mobilephon
campaign in coming months (is the next election THAT close?)



And.....lets see if this anti-mob campaign has real balls attached
Over simply being yet another revenue raiser for Bracks & co. The whol
speeding issue is completely arse first. Like why design vehicles wit
max speeds in excess of speed limits? (ah, der) So drivers can outgu
any pesky pyroclastic flows

--
cfsmtb

  #9  
Old July 18th 05, 06:31 AM
TimC
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"

On 2005-07-18, alison_b (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
Frankly though, I'd take the keys off anybody who is under the
influence of anything and hide them where the sun don't shine! Perhaps
the pain of retrieval may make them think twice

And yeah... add in mobile phones!


I'm sure there are some people who would like the vibrate mode of
their mobile used in such a way.

(actually, that's a ring tone I don't want to think about downloading!
)


Insert fart joek here

Sigh.

--
TimC
Kleeneness is next to Godelness.
  #10  
Old July 18th 05, 06:38 AM
Carl Brewer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default letter to the editor of The Age re "Drugs, dial, drive, bloody idiot?"

On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 13:22:09 +1000, flyingdutch
wrote:


cfsmtb Wrote:
Remember this? Sleepy raver killed cyclist, court told:
http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?t=12694

That mentioned, invariably there's a higher probability of road
altercations with drivers who overestimate their skills over, say,
accidents stemming from methamphetamine, sudafed, or benadryl abuse.
It's the old argument of legislation vs education. So, how do
create behavioural change? I'd refer a combination of the two +
$everely $lugging the hip pocket.


Agree. BTW, trials currently underway (started last week!) have half a
dozen stationery speeding cameras also taking either random or
user-instigated pix of drivers on the phone. These can cover not just
vehicles passing the camera on the same side of the road but both
directions


Interesting, any idea of how the technology works? I would imagine
it wouldn't be too hard to scan for GSM transmissions in line of sight
from a camera and snap if there's a signal?


 




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