OPINION: RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding | PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
How do you judge a safe driver? Are they someone who is competent, courteous, doesn’t break the road rules, drives at a safe speed?
Everyone’s driving skills and experience differ, as do our individual views about risk and confidence in how we drive.
We’re also very quick to criticise others about how well they drive or how road authorities design, build and maintain roads.
Have a look at any social media forum or Facebook post about road safety. If there’s one thing that’s very apparent, it’s that there is no end of incompetent, rule-breaking and discourteous people using our roads.
It’s clear from social media that others need to lift their game if they want to drive on any road that you or I use. We also see no end of calls for greater police enforcement against those who do break the rules or put others at risk – after all, they are the problem, not me.
So, just what are these rules we want enforced on others?
If you think back to your days as a learner driver, you’ll remember there are lots of them – some you probably agree with and some you don’t. They are, however, designed to help keep us safer on the road. And who doesn’t agree with the principle of keeping us safer on the road?
The issue, then, is how do we do a better job of ‘selling’ road safety?
We have road rules based around safety and we have drivers who overwhelmingly want to carry out their journey without becoming a road toll statistic.
We also have a few million other drivers on Queensland’s roads who, we can assume, mostly want the same. We don’t like it when they drive in a way that puts us or our families at risk.
Rather than think of other drivers as being the cause, maybe we should take a close look at what we could do to improve safety on our roads. How about we set a better example for those who aren’t as safe or good at driving as us?
With your help, selling road safety could be much easier.
For more information on safe driving practices, listen to RACQ Living’s latest podcast on Road Safety.