From The Archives

From the Archives: We caused new law

By Shepparton News

Thursday, May 31 1973

Mr Graham Walsh, chairman of the E.W. Tipping Foundation for Mentally Disabled Children and Adults, was the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the GV Centre Ladies Auxiliary.

Mr Walsh was presented with a shoe tidy made by the boys in the carpentry workshops at the GV Centre.

The picture shows the incoming secretary Mrs O. Schier of Wunghnu, supervisor Mrs M Spalding, Mr Walsh and the new president Mrs T Watkins of Shepparton.

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We Caused New Law

Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Athol Kelly said Shepparton is responsible for the new law that will come in tomorrow when a driver facing a stop sign must stop and give way to traffic on both the right and the left.

Mr Kelly was in Shepparton yesterday for the regional annual general meeting of retail motor traders.

Mr Kelly said the new road law has been instigated after an appeals case from Shepparton was heard in Melbourne recently.

In that case, Mr Kelly stated that a man drove through a red light and hit a car crossing the intersection with the green light.

It seems that the person who drove through the red light had the right of way.

Mr Justice Winneke, after hearing this case instigated the new law to protect in future the driver on a priority road.

The driver facing a stop sign must give way to all traffic.

Mr Kelly said it was fairly obvious that the ‘give way to the right’ rule was a failure.

“It interrupted the regular flow of traffic and often caused chaos,” he said.

“This new rule will bring into being the priority road system.”

When asked about the increasing road toll, Mr Kelly said that the best counter measure to the road toll is the continued wearing of the seat belt.

He said that Shepparton was one place where few people wear seat belts.

“They get into the habit of not wearing their seat belts in town and this habit stays with them when they drive into the country.”

He added that the majority of people that die on the roads in the country are country people and not city people out for a drive in the country as most would believe.

“And these accidents happen within 20 miles of their homes, among familiar surroundings,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the majority of those killed on the roads are under 25 but added that we should stop ‘witch hunting’ for the mad young driver.

He said it was time we stopped hitting young drivers over the head and started to provide some positive incentives for those young drivers who were prepared at their own expense to improve their driving ability.

“There are hundreds of young drivers actively involved in driver education programs who are fed up with being branded ‘bad drivers’.”

“These young people are often maligned unjustly because of the statistical evidence that the under 25 male is over represented in road crashes,” he said.

“At the moment the cards are stacked against all young drivers because of high risk sub-groups,” Mr Kelly said.

 “There is no doubt that there are some young people who are acting out their emotional problems through the motor car.

“Many feel the need to impress their friends and frighten elders by driving dangerously but generally this is a minority.”

He said that Shepparton was fortunate in having driver training complex in the area.