Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lindsey Fox and .05 Proposal

Here is a Letter I sent to the Herald Sun today, I don't know if it will get published.Dear SirKen Lay and Lindsay Fox and others are calling for a .02 limit for drivers on Victorian roads. There reason is that in the past five years 39 people have been killed in accidents in which one or more of the drivers involved were between .02 and .05. Nowhere do they say what the cause of the accident was, it is just implied that the alcohol was the cause. All these incidents are investigated surely the details of each of these incidents should be released so people are informed of all factors involved in each incident. We also have sad stories of suffering people who have ‘gut‘ feelings that the alcohol was the cause of an incident in which relatives or friends died. Sad as it is that is not evidence of anything except their loss.In the last five years 1,674 people have died on Victorian roads, according to the quoted figures 39 of those were in incidents in which a driver was between .02 and .05 but no causes of the incident were given. In other words 2.3% of the people killed in the past five years were in incidents in which alcohol levels between .02 and .05 were involved but not confirmed as the cause. This leaves another 97.7% of road deaths over that five years as having other causes. Surely finding the causes for these 97.7% of deaths and minimising them is far more pressing than having an extended debate over 2.3% of deaths in which alcohol was present but may not have been a factor. I don’t intend to sound cold or indifferent but surely the most pressing issue would be to discover ways to reduce the other 97.7% of road deaths.As for Lindsay and his proposed 0% limit, well I am sure that Mr Fox has many minions at his call to transport him when and where he desires to be. For the average person this will mean a complete change of dining out and socialising with dire consequences for the hospitality industry. All for what? Most overseas countries have a .08 limit and there are good reasons for that. We need remedies for our road toll however anything that focuses on a very small percentage that alcohol may or may not have been a factor is doomed to fail. It’s probably time for a complete review of the causes of motor vehicle incidents and the methods employed to reduce them.