Call for tailgating crackdown

David Salvaire, GERALDTON GUARDIANGeraldton Guardian

A former driving safety lecturer is calling for a change to the traffic code to stop drivers tailgating, after witnessing a serious accident.

About two months ago, Bob Brooks was in Geraldton, following a moped he said was driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front.

When the vehicle stopped suddenly, the moped allegedly slammed into it, seriously injuring the rider and damaging the car.

“He left no time for himself to stop and it’s not just mopeds I’m talking about, everyone does it these days,” Mr Brooks said.

“The reason why I’m spreading the message is because this is a problem we can fix rather than something we have to accept.

“When you take a defensive driving lesson they always say you should leave three seconds between you and the vehicle in front — I think it should be four just so you can be sure.”

Mr Brooks spent time lecturing on safe driving at mining camps in the Pilbara and it was there he learnt the value of leaving a safe distance.

“We were meant to be teaching mine safety but a lot of the problems were occurring when the guys were off-site and driving in their cars,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t understand that it’s against the law to drive too close to another vehicle.”

Mid West-Gascoyne traffic office acting Sergeant Keith Burrows said most infringements for tailgating were issued after road accidents.

“The unfortunate thing about this regulation is that it does not say what that distance must be,” he said.

“The most common reason for infringements to be issued for this offence is as a result of a rear-end crash.

“The fact that someone has crashed into the rear end of another vehicle is pretty clear-cut that you were following too close.”

Mr Brooks said he would like to see a change to the traffic code to allow police to crack down on tailgating.

“We really need a clearer description of the law and a recommendation that the three-second rule is a bare minimum,” he said.

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