Author Warns Drivers To Stay Safe On Holiday Roads

SCHOOL holidays often see tragedy on the roads, and according to author Noel O’Brien, September was heading for a five-year record high.

Mr O’Brien has spent five years researching his book, ’Penalty Rip-Off’, which examines the effectiveness of sanctions to improve driver behaviour.

Smart Water & Energy SolutionsAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

His book says the focus on punitive approaches is not working to lower the death toll on the nation’s roads and outlines a ‘Safe Driver’ program to change the situation.

Mr O’Brien said the NSW country road toll has increased with another 50 lives lost since 20 June and is now sitting at 155.

He said this is a 20 percent increase on last year, while so far this year urban fatalities have remained stable.

“The tragedy about our stubbornly high road toll is that our dated sanctions mix is not working,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There’s still no behavioural change programs for repeat speedsters or illegal mobile phone users.

“A better sanctions mix may have prevented the horrific speed related Buxton accident, with five lives lost, and the subsequent accident at Beverly Hills.”

According to Mr O’Brien, September was heading towards becoming the worst month on our roads this year, a five-year record high, with seventy-four lives lost.

With school holidays under way in NSW, WA, ACT and NT, drivers needed to take extra care.

He points out that busier roads bring added danger, with more families driving to avoid the higher cost and chaos of air travel.

There would also be mixed road conditions on the east coast following devastating flooding earlier in the year and now fresh floods in North West NSW.

Mr O’Brien’s research has found there has been a ten-year high in single vehicle accidents, and believes the increased use of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) is contributing to this.

He said urban SUV drivers needed to take extra care on unfamiliar low grade country roads, where speed can bring an early end to a well-deserved holiday.

NSW Government figures show the NSW September road toll was 64 percent above last year and road users have twice the chance of dying on a country road.

Mr O’Brien’s book Penalty Rip-Off can be found at

By Andrew VIVIAN

Leave a Reply