P-plate hoons anger drivers
By ADAM HICKS
SOME people don't want to be saved.
The road safety message has failed to get through to a group of young hoons who risked their lives and 'mooned' a driver who got in their way.
It is the kind of behaviour the State Government is trying to stop with its release of 11 proposed changes to the licensing system, which include limiting the passengers and car power of provisional drivers.
The threat of these restrictions, however, had no effect on the three young men who sped through an Alstonville roundabout in heavy traffic on Tuesday afternoon.
They almost caused an accident when forced to slow for a car with right of way, according to motorist Ian Mackay.
Mr Mackay said he was clearly on the roundabout first when the men approached aggressively in a high-powered car bearing P-plates.
"I was on the roundabout and they sped in blowing their horn. He just sat on the horn and blared it continuously," Mr Mackay said.
"I don't think they realise the danger of what they were doing.
"It makes other drivers nervous and it can cause accidents. It didn't this time, but it could have. It not only upset me, it upset others."
Mr Mackay followed the men into Alstonville Plaza car park to talk to them about their driving.
When the men refused to talk, Mr Mackay took their photograph and one of them dropped their pants. "I didn't even know the guy had mooned me until I saw the picture," he said.
Another motorist, who did not want to be named, said she was behind the young men as they navigated the roundabout.
"They really accelerated...you could see the sway in the car as they went round," she said.
Ballina Shire Council road safety officer Stephen Bocking said the incident could have easily led to a tragedy.
"While they may not have intended any malicious damage, it is that kind of behaviour that frequently does lead to disastrous consequences," he said.
"It's a situation that could get out of hand. Kids having fun can get out of control very quickly. Sometimes the simplest of fun can have the most dire consequences."
Mr Bocking said while he supported the Government's attempts to reduce the road toll of young drivers, it would require more than new rules to change driver behaviour.
"There is no one simple answer. Older people use their cars to get from A to B, whereas young people use their vehicles for identity, freedom and independence," Mr Bocking said.