LETTERS: Driving lessons not learnt

I WRITE regarding the sad death of Mitchell Powell and the ongoing “hoon activity” in the Newcastle area (“Devastated parents call for car checks” Herald 12/7).

Firstly, let me say that as a former supervising sergeant of both Lake Macquarie and Newcastle local area police commands I believe the current police traffic enforcement strategies have gone off the rails.

It looked promising when the powers-that-be finally decided to put highway patrol strengths back under the command of experienced traffic officers and not to be used as a back-up to general duties strengths.

That sounded like very smart thinking to me in combating our road toll.

On speaking with current serving traffic police, it apparently could be better.

Penalties imposed by the courts are continuing to be a complete disgrace.

In the case of the sad death of Mitchell Powell I believe that is clearly the case.

I am sure the young driver would be remorseful but it seems to be a very inadequate determination by the courts, particularly on licence suspension.

Perhaps police school lecturing, a section I also worked in for a short time in the late 1970s, needs to be re-introduced on a constant basis?

Finally, the hoon” activity on both Kooragang Island and the Nobbys car park area.

This has been going on for decades and the entire article I read in the Herald could have been written back in the 1990s or even further.

These young drivers need a licensed/supervised area where they can vent their driving skills without endangering the public and themselves.

Authorities, other than the police force, just want it left to police to solve. Well, as you can see it hasn’t been solved.

It cannot be left to the police to eradicate the problem. Get serious please.