Back in the days of the Falcon GTHO … the Holden Monaro and the Valiant Charger there were motor vehicle accidents and people … young people died. It was tragic … it as sad … it was all the cars’ fault according to the media of the day.
Big cars with lots of grunt and plenty of speed were evil … they should be taken off the road … they should be banned! The newspapers of the time were full of one-sided stories about the evils of fast cars.
And for a time those cars did disappear … the car manufacturers understand the pressure of public opinion … even if public opinion is wrong.
However, over time Aussie muscle cars began to return to the showroom. Ford and Holden both know that there is a demand for cars with power and plenty of speed and so they’ve gone ahead and produced them once more.
And now were back to dejavu … at least for me and people of my generation … because, once again, muscle cars are being blamed for deaths on our roads. It seems that this time the catalyst was the tragic death of five young people in the one accident in Victoria over the weekend.
Once again we have one or two journalists who want to blame the car for the accident and soon there will be more. Journalists and the papers that employ them tend to swarm all over stories like this. They like to play down the fact that it seems that the driver was drunk and that he was driving in a manner that was always going to result in an accident and that people were probably going to be killed regardless of the type of car he was driving.
Of course when the car involved was a Falcon XR6 … a modern ‘muscle’ car … it’s easy to ignore the facts and blame it all on the car … and that’s what’s beginning to happen here because, after all, we all know that it was the car’s fault don’t we.
It’s always the car’s fault and muscle cars are always to blame … at least according to some journalists.
The only problem is that fatal accidents are far more likely to occur in cars that no one would ever describe as a muscle car. Last week two people were killed when two cars colliden on a busy back road in north Queensland … unfortunately for the muscle car argument neither of them were anything like muscle cars. A farm ute and a family wagon could hardly be described as muscle cars.
A few days before that several other lives were lost in north Queensland when a car collided head on with a truck … the truck was on the right side of the road and the car was a family sedan … no muscle car there.
Look at the cars involved in the fatal accidents in New South Wales over the Christmas break … any muscle cars there? Not that I recall.
It’s time that both journalists and politicians stopped blaming the cars … and the road conditions for every fatal accident … and looked at the real reasons why people kill themselves when they drive. When journalists and politicians stop taking the easy options and focusing on the easy options then we just might make a positive step towards reducing our terrible road toll.
Until that happens they’ll go on taking the Canute option and trying to make the tide go away. They’ll go on blaming the cars, and the roads … they’ll install more speed cameras and they’ll reduce the speed limit even further … and when that doesn’t work they’ll go on blaming the cars because it’s always the fault of the car isn’t it?