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And Another One’s Gone, Another One’s Gone, Another One Bites The Dust.

Yep, just like that, 2014 has bit the dust and 2015 is mere hours away (as I write). Hope you had a wonderful, safe and enjoyable Christmas and a car trouble free one. Regrettably, the car I was driving, one that is heavily spruiked on tv, had systemic electrical issues, precluding the intended usage and definitely taking the fun part out of a three day sojourn to the south coast region of NSW.

As expected, there was a police presence on the roads but not nearly as big as expected; when I say roads, these are the main roads between Sydney to Canberra to Cooma to beyond. As expected, there were numerous acts of low driving standards which contribute to the reasons why our roads aren’t as safe as they should be. From my driver’s seat, they’re habits which infer a laziness in driving and therefore, a lack of consideration for the driver committing them and for anyone else on the road.

Since December 1 of 2014, it’s fair to say that summer really hasn’t hit the coastal areas of NSW, with substantial cloud cover, the ensuing low light levels and rain. It’s fair to say that drivers either aren’t taught or, probably more correctly, don’t think, to use headlights. Or, perhaps, they drive wearing a blue suit and red cape…Cars have a little lever that’s attached to the steering column and, when moved, make a ticky tocky noise and magically make lights at each corner of the car flash.indicator It’s truly surprising how many drivers don’t know about that lever. It’s also surprising just how many drivers will suddenly realise that there is a car in front of them, almost as if they were asleep at the wheel, then violently move into the lane you’re in and just with a metre of clearance ahead of you THEN suddenly brake….with nothing in front of them. It’s Australia’s most common crash, the rear ender and, sadly, due to drivers that simply don’t care about you.

For 2015, here’s what I’d like to see. A return to the basics of driving. Use some courtesy and indicate and indicate with plenty of time up your sleeve, especially at roundabouts. Read the road ahead and look for the slower traffic. Use headlights when it’s dark, ESPECIALLY IF YOU DRIVE A DARK OR SILVER COLOURED CAR. headlightsIf you’re out on a country drive, once outside the capital or large city metro area, headlights can be seen from quite a distance during the day. Traffic lights are a different matter. There’s too many that seem to be calibrated for the non main stream traffic, where the major road gets but a few brief seconds of green and the intersecting roads a lot longer. When it’s a “normal” intersection governed by lights, there’s more than enough time to slow and stop when the amber light comes on. All too often I see drivers go through, only to be caught by the red at the next set of lights, with those that do the right thing pulling up behind them just seconds later.

Bottom line is this; driving to the basics will contribute to a safer road environment and hopefully make a difference to our road toll.  As one philosopher said, a drop of water on its own does little but together they form an ocean. Work together to be a better ocean of drivers so our 2015 can be more enjoyable and safe. For ALL drivers on the road.

See you next year.

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