The Cessnock Advertiser's Letters to the Editor: February 14, 2018

RURAL ROAD SAFETY

There’s little chance of fixing a problem if all causes of it are not identified.

In waftily analysing rural road accidents  (Risky driving takes its toll – sponsored content by the State Government, The Advertiser, 7/2/18), a lightweight approach to crash causes is taken.

As usual, they blame us while ignoring their contribution to the problem.

The claim that “speeding, drink driving and fatigue are contributing factors in the majority of deaths on NSW roads and are more likely to contribute to road trauma on country roads” is wrong.

To link what may happen on major highways, when distances are high and speeds are often low enough to bring on boredom, distraction and fatigue, with what causes crashes on secondary rural roads does nothing to identify the problem.

 Rural folk are more dependent on private transport, so do greater distances (often with more people per vehicle), on narrower, often single lane and undivided roads with poor safety fencing and lighting. Trees, animals, ditches, gullies and potholes are ever present. Add in rough shoulders and dirt roads.

If a problem does occur, help will be further away and harder to reach.

Overtaking on a lot of rural roads often involves facing on-coming traffic (only at legal speeds!) – something never experienced by many city drivers.

Much of which adds up to the usual rural problem: that we’re less well looked after by those spending our money than are city folk. Added to that is that these factors are ignored in the basic, simplistic driver training a driving licence in Australia.

What a surprise. Not training people for county conditions results in problems in country driving!

Will Hagon, Bellbird

BEST WISHES, FINNIAN

As a recent resident to the area I was proud to hear the association of my new home with an outstanding young artist featured in the February 7Advertiser.

My friend and I were both impressed that amongst the many young artists introduced by Troy Cassar-Daley at the Tamworth Country Music festival, was an outstanding local, Finnian Johnson.

His talent was obvious, even to those amongst us who are from a non-musical, non country music heritage.  Our best wishes to Finnian for a wonderful career ahead.

Kay Chapman, Bellbird

HAVE YOUR SAY: Send your letters to cessnock@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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