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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bullbars Are Selfish

I welcome the call for a bullbar ban in urban areas (12/1), as they undermine public safety. Would we tolerate some fool welding a set of steak knives to the front of his car? Of course not! Yet we indulge these Toorak jackaroos in their middle-aged bush fantasies.

Some owners resent the expense of installing and removing their bullbars when they take their vehicles out bush. Tough. If you can afford a $50,000 car, then you can afford the couple of hundred dollars once a year. The 10% tax break on four wheel drives more than pays for the fitting.


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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

Yes you are right, most bullbars fitted on urban cars are not needed especially "monster" bars. I own a four wheel drive and have had Monster bars fitted and can say without it it is exteremly likely that I would have been seriously injured or worse. Not one person has been hurt or even come close to being hurt from my bar but many a Kangaroo has fallen and even the odd bull. People in rural areas need bullbars and often one that is large; that is a fact. Yes people do get hurt from cars fitted with bullbars but people are also seriously injured from fast sporty cars and old people with slow reflexes and young people with no experience. You need to think about the other people who you are going to affect. These people are the backbone of rural australia. I know you can not place a price on a life but not every large bullbar is a killer. You can have mine if you want, all I ask if that you pay for any damage from animal strikes, my time without a car, the time spent waiting on the side of the road and effort trying to repair it so I can make it to town. So until then I`ll be keeping my monster bar and proud of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:39:00 am  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

You seem like a reasonable person struggling to justify an unreasonable position: that's why you seem a bit confused.

First of all, bullbars are all about trading-off risks: internal (to drivers and passengers) versus external (pedestrians and other road users). No citizen has a right to them, even if they are "the backbone of rural Australia". (What, and city pedestrians are expendable? Sheesh.)

For nearly all car trips, the external risks far outweigh the internal ones. It's a selfish decision to own one since you're trading a small private risk (kangaroo strike on Toorak Rd) for a large public one (run-over school kids).

How about this for a deal: you can keep your bullbar and save yourself some damage bills and inconvenience.

But, if your decision to save a few hundred bucks ends up killing or crippling someone near and dear to me, well ...

See, it's a stupid deal: you can't adequately compensate me for my loss when you're in hospital and I'm in prison.

Hence, we need a law that just bans such reckless selfishness (except in the rarest of circumstances).

If you have an accident and the victim is killed instead of injured, you'll have to live with yourself and your decision.

You should get rid of your selfish monster bullbar. Insisting for everyone else to pay - with their blood! - because you don't want to fork out a few hundred bucks? Makes you look very small.

Monday, March 14, 2005 11:55:00 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

Unbeliveable!!!!all you have to go by is a flimsy report made by the pedestrian council, who have made the police inccident report to target bullbars even if the inccedent didn't even envolve the front of the veichle.They have no proof that bullbars were the cause of these deaths just a percentage of veichles that were involved in the crash had a bullbar. Like anonymous said different cars stop at different rates if a pedestrian walks out on to a busy road in front of bus then he will be killed bullbar or not. I think that if anyone is selfish it's you greg wake up to yourself objects moving at 50klm to 100klm an hour are going to kill pedestrians!! perhaps thats why they have pedestrian crossings!!! and people have the intelegence to look for cars. By the way i don't have a bullbar because i don't have a need for one!, but i can assure you if someone stepped out in front of me at 50klm i would kill them just as easily as if i did have one. Cars and pedestrians don't mix. Stop trying to shift blame and concentrate on educateing the young about the dangers of traffic.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 2:13:00 am  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

That's the kind of invective we like to see here!

But, despite all the heady froth and foam, your arguments are going nowhere.

You see, bullbars are dangerous. Yes, a car without a bullbar hitting a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist at 50km/h can kill; but it can also just maim. With a bullbar, the chances of killing go up and the chances of serious injury go up.

You can't away from the fact that bullbars decrease the owner's risk of death and injury at the expense of increasing other road users' risk of the same.

Simple, elementary logic.

Bullbars not only directly cause more damage when there is an accident, they can increase the risk of an accident happening at all. You see, they can obscure visibility for some motorists (even for other road users).

Also, they can create a false sense of security that encourages extra risk-taking by some idiots with bullbars.

So bullbars increase the odds of an accident happening, and increase the odds that the damage is severe.

Now, some people might like to think that this increase in risk to everyone else is worth it. Unless they drive exclusively on country roads, those people are selfish. We should stop them.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 2:05:00 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

I think bullbars are ok but we should have an enforced maximum speed limit of 10 kph on all motorised vehicles used within urban zones.

And if you lot with cars can't cope with that you'll just have to ride bikes and catch public transport.

But think about it; if you live and work near a freeway entrance it's not going to be much inconvenience, really. A few extra minutes each way.

But I bet even with that people will still get run over, because people are stupid and at 10 kph neither drivers nor pedestrians are going to be looking where they're going.

Maybe it's the old argument: it's not bullbars that kill people, it's people that kill people; but yours is that the bullbar is just another blunt instrument. But it is attached to another blunt instrument that is fairly effective in its own right.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:04:00 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

Are you serious? 10km/h in urban areas? We might as well all walk, but no, cause that means some "gung-ho bogan" from the bush will commit a mass murder with a "monster bar". I am a proud owner of a rather large "5 post" bullbar, and where i live, i need it. I have hit countless animals with it, that have almost seemed to have jumped out of nowhere. Here is the raw fact: Without my "Monster Bullbar", i would most certainly be dead, and not here writing this comment. I might also add, i, shamedly, have hit a pedestrian at low speed (15 km/h). It was his fault, a younger (18-19 y.o) jaywalker on the outskirts of town. The worst my bullbar did was push him forward and bruise his upper leg. Another incident that happened in my local town was a pedestrian got hit by a standard car without a bullbar travelling at 15km/h. The pedestrian got thrown up the bonnet, over the roof and down to the side, causing major bodily injury and head trauma. Now you tell me which one is safer? A bullbar pushing someone forward or a "aerodynamic" nose of a car flinging people backwards? Simple elementary logic!

Thursday, March 30, 2006 10:18:00 am  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

I don't support 10km/h speed limits and I don't object to bullbars in the bush where they're needed. My gripe is with bullbars on cars that spend five years on urban roads for every day they spend in the bush.

But I notice you're advancing an interesting proposition: that bullbars make pedestrians safer!

As a professional engineer, I'm calling bullshit on that one. But why take my word for it? Let's hear what world-leading engineering professors right here in Melbourne have to say:

"When a four-wheel drive’s involved in a side impact collision with a normal passenger car, and you can test this for yourself when you’re out driving next to one of these devices, have a look at where the top of the bullbar is: it’s roughly in line with your head, and so if you get hit by one of these things on the side of the vehicle, in a T-bone type crash, then you run a very high risk of these devices causing serious injuries or death."

(Prof. Brian Fildes of the Monash University Accident Research Center in an ABC Radio interview.)

I know, I know. You're fixed in your views and probably don't have a lot of respect for "eggheads" from the Uni. And, like most bullbar owners, I'm betting you're of the "don't confuse me with statistics" school of thought.

But hey - prove me wrong. Here's a wealth of research on bullbars. Find something to back up your outlandish claims.

Can't? Then take your bloody bullbar off before you come to the big smoke!

Thursday, March 30, 2006 11:23:00 am  
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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

I see, then i totally agree! I also do not approve of bullbars on "toorak tractors". They aren't needed, and even when they do go off road, they wouldn't need them anyway! And yes, if i did have to come and, say stay in the city for more than a couple of weeks, or even live there, i would take my bullbar off, there is no need to have one as big as mine in the city, let alone any frontal protection... on anything

Friday, March 31, 2006 1:59:00 pm  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

Oh my god - two opinionated blowhards actually used a blog to come to a mutual understanding?

This is not how the internet is meant to work! We're meant to go back and forth with increasingly invective rants until Godwin's Law kicks in.

I'd better notify the blog police and inform them there's been a total systems failure here.



ps. Just looked at your Mr. Bullbar website. Any chance of a custom job - a "set of steak-knives welded to the front" as per my original post? Would make for a hilarious visual gag and would really rev up the anti-bullbar lobbyists!

Friday, March 31, 2006 5:24:00 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous vented ...

listen here you fuckin city cunts youre all a bunch of fuckin poofs with your $100 pink shirts and youre shiny new mazda's and you go out and sip chardonay yiz a bunch of fuckin poofs bullbars save lives especially mine i nearly died when i hit a roo in my cousins car wouldn't have happened in my ute with my five poster. besides you city cunts have ya big 4x4's that ya soccer mom's drive the kids to school in these dumb ass bitches cant fuckin park the bloody things you dumb cunts wont let ya car touch dirt. so to sum up bullbars save lives esecially mine if you dont like it go and live in a glass cage where the big scary things wont hurt you.

go get fucked cunts

Saturday, August 26, 2006 11:02:00 pm  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

Hey there Angry Man,

I'm assuming you haven't read any of the comments (you are drunk, right?) so let me break it down:

* I don't have anything against bullbars in the bush (read my comments).

* I loathe bullbars in the city (read original letter).

* I regularly mock and ridicule city 4WDs (check rest of blog).

* I particularly mock "Soccer Moms".

* I don't own a pink shirt, am heterosexual, don't own a Mazda (or any car) and prefer sauvignon blanc to chardonnay.

Still mad? Or do we agree now?

Sunday, August 27, 2006 1:37:00 am  

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