Foreign tourists flip 4WD

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 08:16
ThreadID: 5209 Views:1941 Replies:5 FollowUps:26
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From The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Foreign tourists flip 4WD
By Lou Dobson
June 1, 2003

TWO English tourists have been charged with dangerous driving after their four-wheel-drive flipped on a Fraser Island beach, injuring seven people.

One woman was airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital with serious internal injuries and last night was in a stable condition.

Six others needed medical attention after their LandCruiser troop-carrier dug into soft sand and spun out of control.

Air Fraser Island pilot Shane O'Connell, 23, said the tourists, who were allegedly doing "doughnuts", ignored warnings from locals to "stop acting like bloody idiots" minutes before the accident about 12.35pm on Friday.

Mr O'Connell landed on Orchid Beach to offer help when he saw the upturned vehicle.

Police said the two men, aged 18 and 19, would appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Friday.

The Sunday Mail (Qld)
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Reply By: Member - Tony and Helen - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 09:41

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 09:41
Sounds like it happened to those that deserved it
Hope there charged and sent home, it'll be safer for the rest of us
Cheersshe said you're
not going
down there with
me in here!
AnswerID: 21543

Reply By: diamond(bendigo) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:16

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:16
must be a safer way to send the poms home.
looking foward to september(landcruiser park/fraser island)
AnswerID: 21549

Reply By: Jack - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 12:34

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 12:34
Hard to feel sorry for them.
Having just returned from Fraser Island a week ago, I was astounded at what some (not all) backpackers do, including feeding dingoes (despite plenty of warning signs advising against it), speeding along the beach, and, after a heavy rain shower, powering through the water holes at close to full throttle to get a big splash.
One lot of "mental geldings" even managed to overturn their off-road camper trailer in the surf after overtaking me at WELL over 100 kph. Another was stranded with wet ignition after powering his (hired) Land Rover flat out throught the deep puddles. I didn't bother to stop and help .. I don't waste my time on idiots.
Jack
AnswerID: 21551

Follow Up By: Member - NOBBY - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 19:09

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 19:09
I said on this forum about a year ago ( after a trip to Fraser ) that it was only a matter of time that this would happen. Unfortunately this one is only one of many, many idiots that race up that beach. The police should get very heavy on all up there and sort out the fools.
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Follow Up By: Sapper - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:03

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:03
Every time we go up to Fraser we see idiots on the beach in hire vehicles. We have commented in the past about hired vehicles doing donuts. Then again some of the tour companies need to take a close look at their drivers as they are just as bad.

Some of the hire companies need to service their vehicles also. Last time up there we ended up doing major surgery on the vehicle battery and cabling to the starter to get them going. The underbonnet state of the vehicle was appalling.

Sapper
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Reply By: tristjo - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 19:33

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 19:33
They musta been a bunch of bloody idiots!!!

A Troopcarier, with a fully loaded roofrack wouldn't be my choice of vehicle in which to pull a few doughie's!!!

This is the reason we are loosing acsess to these beautifull areas. Because of a few careless, and irrisponsible idiots!!

Sooner or later, it is all going to end in tears!!! People form o/s are very unlikely to have any offroad driving experience, so why let them losse behind the wheel with no training???

Just my thoughts. Tristjo.
AnswerID: 21573

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 23:00

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 23:00
Sad fact is If u tell them they need training, which wouldnt be free, I wouldnt expect anyone to spend a weekend training me for nothing, and that they had to fork out another $300+ for training, what do you think most of them will say?
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Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:02

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:02
Truckster, maybe that's the solution. Instead of closing all our beautiful country to all of us, perhaps NPWS and other land owners should require a certificate of proficiency (from an accredited trainer) before granting land access. At least that way less idiots would be let loose on these areas.

Less idiots = less damage/accidents = less maintenace costs/rescue costs = fewer restrictions (maybe).

OK, so training costs money. So what? So do bullbars, roofracks, driving lights, suspension upgrades, extra spares, snorkels, GPS, radios, etc, etc. It could be seen as just another 4x4 accessory (more important than most too).Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:26

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:26
I think its a good idea personally.

Everyone who hits the bush should have some form of training behind them.

But in reality Votes win elections, the one who appears to save people $$ wins, usually the one that lies the best.

Tourism is too important to the pollys who need tourism to pay for their 300000% tax payer funded super to risk charging people more to travel..

Sad but true.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:52

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 10:52
Covering old territory, but I think the bigger solution is a 4WD endorsement for your licence, similar to "heavy rigid" and the "articulated vehicle" licence. This would simultaneously solve MANY problems, from the "Mum's taxi" problems (schools, shopping centres), to ill prepared/inexperienced drivers making foolish mistakes in the outback.

The real problem is people that drive 4WD's as if they were in a normal car, not understanding the ramifications of a heavy, high center of gravity vehicle.

I will probably incur the wrath of some of you for suggesting this but the extra training and cost would be an effective deterrent to the hoons and "Mum's" attempting to get the endorsement if they don"t REALLY need it.

Appropriate penalties for being caught without the required endorsement should apply (driving without an appropriate licence). If you don't have a 4WD endorsement you cannot buy a 4WD, similar to a gun licence, or be allowed to drive a 4WD, again, similar to a gun licence.

Anyone that is serious about 4WDing as a part of their recreation (fishing, camping, touring, birdwatching, etc.) should see the safety benefits of the licence endorsements, despite the time/cost factors involved. Might even bring down your insurance premiums...

"Rant mode off..."
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 12:57

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 12:57
Do you really think that those few, who are complete idiots or those lacking common sense will somehow behave better, and show more intelligence if they have some driver training - I Think Not. They could be the best drivers in the world, it's the fact that they don't care or are too stupid to care about their actions - that's what makes them dangerous.

As in this case "ignored warnings from locals to "stop acting like bloody idiots" - In other words regardless of whether they could or couldn't handle the vehicle - the fact was that they shouldn't have been doing what they were doing.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 15:54

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 15:54
No licence (endorsement)...No vehicle (rental OR bought).

Would open up the employment in the tourism industry by supplying RESPONSIBLE hire drivers for "backpackers". Not so much "guided tours" as "designated drivers" on Fraser and similar places.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:33

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:33
Gary,

If you think that will open up employment or the tourism industry, I want what your smokin!

As you tell travellers, they will have to dish out $120 + a day for a "qualified driver" to their example 21 day holiday, what do you think they would say?

The same as me?

4WD endorsement wont ever happen. Things like without it you cant buy a 4wd, what do you think voters would have to say about that? Remember there are more 'MUMS' out there then 4wders....

Also arent there enough rules and regulations pinning us to the floor now in the 21st Century? Then do you need a Rocks and Mud Endorcement, and a towing a 4wd trailer endorcement, and then a Lifted 4wd endorcement, and then a ....

Give the pricks in power more power and Believe me they will USE it... If it seems to the average "oh they are making new rules, that must be good" brain dead voter that doesnt think for themselves anymore, then they will bring in more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more rules until you need a certification to take a poo.

YMMV.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 22:48

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 22:48
Truckster,

$120 divided by say 8 people is about $15 dollars each per day. not much when the average spend of a backpacker is about $5-8000 over an average of 3 months or so. They are worth more to QLD than the Japanese tourism market. This would only be implemented in "known" trouble spots for 4WD's. Not required for normal car hire on the mainland. If you make it a requirement then the backpackers by and large will understand, given that it is a relative minority of the total users that are causing the problems. They will go to Fraser to say that "I've been there", just as we would take a walk through Central Park in New York to say we've been there.

21 days on Fraser Island??? A week maybe...They don't tend to spend much time in the one place. 7-10 days average.

Do "Mums" NEED a large 4WD to collect the kids from school/do the shopping etc? If carrying capacity is an issue in the family, then IMHO that could be satisfied by the other "half" of the new SUV classification, the people movers ...vehicles that were designed for the purpose.
The 4WD's are pure status symbols, and the general level of driving skill exhibited around schools and shopping centers is dangerous.

The endorsement would be to a level that would enable safe usage of a 4WD, along the lines of the ANFWDC run courses that are presently being run. Remember that you can't just get on a motorbike and go for a spin on public roads, you have to do a series of practical control tests before you get your learners pemit, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A CAR LICENCE. This would be the sort of implementation model that I would be suggesting for the 4WD endorsement.

So do you have a constuctive solution to the problem of foreign tourists damaging the environment, flipping other peoples (hire) 4WD's, and killing themselves and others in the process???

In your own words: "...Everyone who hits the bush should have some form of training behind them....", the only difference is I mean EVERYONE.

YMMV

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Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 11:34

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 11:34
Truckster, I also seem to remember (a looong time ago so memory may not be that good), that there were restrictions on what you could buy/ride as a motor bike P-plate. I think they were restricted to no more than a 250cc bike.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 11:58

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 11:58
Rohan,
thats all changed now, no 250cc limit.

Its now much clearer, its Power to Weight.. SO you have to take scales with you, and a Dyno to get your bike.

Actually theres a list of bikes that are learner legal, NSW anyway, lots of talk in recent months on aus.motorcycles
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FollowupID: 14169

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 12:06

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 12:06
Gary.

Who says all backpackers only do Fraser? Some even travel outback style, and are we only limiting this to backpackers? I was talking of anyone. Thats why I said 21 days. If theyhad to pay $150 a day for a driver, for 21 days, what do you think they will say?

And backpackers are the ones on tight as nuns nasty budgets, so telling them they have to fork out another grand for training, aint gonna happen!

"Do "Mums" NEED a large 4WD to collect the kids from school/do the shopping etc?"
Nope, but as soon as you start telling people what they can and cant have, we are in trouble. then the 4wd market will shrink, car prices will quadruple, not that they need a reason, but if 2/3rds of the 4wd market is mums and Latte crowd, and that stops, what do you think will happen to car prices, just that alone, then also the second hand market will die.

" In your own words: "...Everyone who hits the bush should have some form of training behind them....", the only difference is I mean EVERYONE."

BUt thats in a perfect world, and this aint it, it wont happen! Votes win elections, and upseting the morons in Toorak with their $130,000 Rangies isnt going to get votes. And telling Moon Lan Ding, or Hu Yu Hai Ding that they have to dish out $1000 extra for their driver to take them around, aint gonna happen. they DO spend $8-9k each and do you think the Gov would risk that?

MMVMTYMMV!
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FollowupID: 14170

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 12:29

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 12:29
Truckster, interesting re the restrictions on bikes. So here is a group of the community that are being told what they can and can't have in terms of motor transport. We also require special licences for vehicles (trucks) of a certain size. But between bikes and trucks we can own and drive any sized, any powered vehicle we like, on almost any terrain we like, with no specific training/licencing requirements.

I guess "they" make (justify) these decisions based on safety. Its gotta make you wonder how they came up with P-plate bike riders and 5+ tonne truck drivers as being the only risk.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 13:29

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 13:29
With how simple it is to get a car license these days, THAT is the problem as I see it. At least bikes you have to do riding courses now. Which I see as ABOUT TIME...

Look at that stupid TV show Australias worst drivers, $hit some of them cant even park in a drive-in-forward carparking space.. Wonder how much she PAID for her license? Or which relative did her test for her?

Some rules are made to "SEEM" as though they are doing things for safety. You can drive a 3 ton truck on a car license.. Fill up one of them to the roof with furniture, or swinging meat which is FUN and hand it to the wife!

Some states you can get any sized bike still if you have a full car license.. Its a vote winner.Change it and people will see it as changing their right to something, stupid as it sounds thats how it is.. I see it as asking for problems, so not all rules are there for safety. Some middle of nowhere country towns you STILL can get a car license by driving past the cop shop, do a U turn, and thats that.

Next people will be telling me speed cameras are for safety, and fixed speed cameras are there in the middle of nowhere are to "SAVE LIVES"... If you think this, take your medication URGENTLY...

Remember if "they" dont make rules every once in a while, people will complain they are 'doing nothing'.. So to seem as though they are "HELPING US", they pump out stupid rules. and once they started, it was the end of life as we know it.

YMMV - OOF
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FollowupID: 14175

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 16:23

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 16:23
Truckster,

"...At least bikes you have to do riding courses now. Which I see as ABOUT TIME...", and "...they pump out stupid rules. and once they started, it was the end of life as we know it....". Which side of the fence are you sitting. Used to be that you didn't have to do a riding course at all. I guess the law changed, didn't it?? General Rule: people have a short memory, ask any politician.

"...You can drive a 3 ton truck on a car license.. Fill up one of them to the roof with furniture, or swinging meat which is FUN and hand it to the wife..." I agree totally. Or you could just give her the keys to your kitted out MQ (close on 2500 kg gross?) and go slalom through the shopping centers.

"...upseting the morons in Toorak with their $130,000 Rangies isnt going to get votes...", yep, might upset them just long enough to buy a Bimmer7/Merc SLK/etc. See the General Rule above.

"...will have to dish out $120 + a day for a "qualified driver" to their example 21 day holiday, what do you think they would say?...", "...Thats why I said 21 days. If theyhad to pay $150 a day for a driver, for 21 days, what do you think...". Wow I didn't know that the inflation rate was so high in Australia. Ever heard of "cross-subsidisation"? Put the price of the hire vehicles up $50 a day and "throw in" a driver for $80-100.

Truckster, we could go on like this forever. I am simply expressing a view and offering a few possible solutions for general discussion. So I will reiterate my earlier comment, "do you have a constuctive solution to the problem of foreign tourists damaging the environment, flipping other peoples (hire) 4WD's, and killing themselves and others in the process???

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FollowupID: 14182

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 19:25

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 19:25
>>>...upseting the morons in Toorak with their $130,000 Rangies isnt going to get votes...", yep, might upset them just long enough to buy a Bimmer7/Merc SLK/etc. See the General Rule above.

See this rule #0, it wont happen, these rich pricks are the ones that dish out money to political parties.. do you think they will go for anything that stops Lady Million Dollar Rich Cow from getting her Top of the range Rangie/etc BMW X5/Volvo/ Audi 4wd's? Or their little rich girl from getting her Rav 4 or Sierra or .... ??? More chance of the death penalty coming back in.

>>>>"...will have to dish out $120 + a day for a "qualified driver" to their example 21 day holiday, what do you think they would say?...", "...Thats why I said 21 days. If theyhad to pay $150 a day for a driver, for 21 days, what do you think...". Wow I didn't know that the inflation rate was so high in Australia. Ever heard of "cross-subsidisation"? Put the price of the hire vehicles up $50 a day and "throw in" a driver for $80-100.

So up it $50, so their profits go down, as you dont think anyone qualified will work for $50 a day?

>>> Truckster, we could go on like this forever. I am simply expressing a view and offering a few possible solutions for general discussion.

And so am I, Im saying why your solutions wont work. Remember theres always 2 sides to an arguement.

>>> So I will reiterate my earlier comment, "do you have a constuctive solution to the problem of foreign tourists damaging the environment, flipping other peoples (hire) 4WD's, and killing themselves and others in the process???

Yes I do, How about just ban them all together.
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FollowupID: 14191

Follow Up By: srowlandson - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 16:01

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 16:01
Will do Rob, some stange in July, hope to have a 1 week 'working ' holiday in cairns on the way home...
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Reply By: relaxed (Fraser Coast-QLD) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 23:21

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 23:21
Fellows, these accidents are becoming a common thing up this way with the backpackers. It is not uncommon to see a troopy loaded to the hilt with people and the rest of the vacant space is then made for the laugage, that includes the roof rack. The rear springs a nearly dead straight with the tyres half deflated (only on the bottom) with full pressure. I'm sure chooper will verify this, woun't you, mate. And they wonder why accidents happen.
I believe they get someone in the group to go and hire the troopy and then the rest hope in around the corner, makes for cheap travel around the island.
AnswerID: 21587

Follow Up By: Member - Jo (NSW) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 12:08

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 12:08
I have rented troopies twice from backpacker places on fraser now, and a lot of the fault is with the industy I reckon. We where 9 people in 1 high-top troopy, all the stuff is cramed into the top. The training consists of watching 2 videos with rangers, focusing on what to do, and what not to do. They talk about speed limits, but not driving technique. As we where getting our campinggear, we where told about which gears to use when H$ and L4, and to lower our pressure to 25psi on the barge. That was the extent of the training. Nothing was said about high point of gravity, or different handling. All the backpackers come with no more knowledge about 4wd than what they can gather from movies, high speed through rough terrain.

I knew what I was doing, but it is hard to teach everyone how to drive when everyone wants to have a go at it, and they all think that it handles like a little sedan. There has to be a compromise somewhere, tourist dollars, or higher standards and less tourists.

Johttp://www.pad.no/
A viking in a desert :-)
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FollowupID: 14098

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:41

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:41
Relaxed,

I think in that case (troopy with 435ton in it) then the hire company should be SHOT - put out of business and totally responsable for ALL damages and deaths. But that would be in a perfect world.

They are only interested in the Hire $$.. Not the safety..

But then on the other side of the coin, one person or a couple may have walked into that hire place to pick up the car, and as far as the pleb behind the counter knows, theres only one person or couple travelling in that car.

Backpackers go in groups to share costs, 9 people into $200 a day is better than 2 people into it, so I cant blame them there, but I think they dont realise what they are in for, seriously.

The dangers are not to them that bothers me, if they are that brain dead, then bad luck let em die, but what worries me is ME getting hurt, or s0me0ne I care about coming the other way, and gettign wiped out by them... Morons hurting my family is what worries me. But in reality in that case nobody would ever leave the house!

YMMV totally on this one.
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FollowupID: 14111

Follow Up By: Member - Jo (NSW) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 17:01

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 17:01
The prices are bit different than whats beeing quoted here. The whole industry is doing this, if there is 11 seats in the troopy, 11 backpackers just have to get comfy in there. We where 10 the first time I went up there, cramed into a troopy. All the backpacker places hire out cars, the norm is $135 per person for a 3day/2 night trip. You can rent old ex-army landrovers, but they are not as popular. Wheter or not 2 people or 10 people walk into the shop, the car you get is the same. As many seats there is, as many people can it take. They dont care as long as every person pays up. I have only ever used one place up there, but I know that they send as many as 5 cars onto the island on any given day, so thats up to 55 people in 5 troopys. And thats only 1 company.
This is a big $$$ industry! Dont think it will change easily. And the hire companies knows what they are doing, they even got informants around to tell them how there cars are beeing driven. Everyone is told not to drive in the surf before they take off, and they will take your bond if they think you did, regradless of fact.

The education of the drivers is where the missing link is, these people just dont know how to drive a 4wd. They dont know what they are in for, but the hire companies do and speculate in it.

Johttp://www.pad.no/
A viking in a desert :-)
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FollowupID: 14114

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 21:25

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 21:25
Ahhh Your not talking about car hire places, sounds more like your talking of arranged trips since you say:

" All the backpacker places hire out cars, the norm is $135 per person for a 3day/2 night trip. "

I was talking about hiring a car yourself like Budget, or Rent a Wreck to drive yourself with only your friends in it, not just anyone.. Hard to say what I mean! :-)

AS you say
"This is a big $$$ industry! Dont think it will change easily."

VERY VERY TRUE!
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Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 11:48

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 11:48
The Australian 4wd Training Network of which I am a member, has had a deal with Britz car rentals for the last 2 years to train inbound tourists before they are able to hire a 4wd. Unfortunately this training is not compulsory and we have trained very few people for Britz. Until someone has the courage of thier convictions to make such training compulsory for people hiring 4wd vehicles specially if they are to be taken into remote areas we are all at risk. There were many severe accidents involving tourists in hire cars up here last season several of them fatal. It is time we realised we have a duty of care both to the people hiring the vehicles and to ourselves as road users to make sure all road users are able to drive hire vehicles and particullarly 4wds to an acceptable standard. Cheers RobCairns Offroad Training & Tours
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 12:57

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 12:57
Hey Rob.
As you say

Until someone has the courage of thier convictions to make such training compulsory for people hiring 4wd vehicles specially if they are to be taken into remote areas we are all at risk.

and that is my whole arguement, They wont do it, they dont have the courage to do it. it would risk the tourisim industry which is worth billions, and its not worth it...

Little roly is up your way soon too...
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Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 15:33

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 15:33
Ask him to pop in and say hello on the way through. Cheers Rob
Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
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FollowupID: 14257

Follow Up By: bruce.h (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 20:54

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 20:54
Gday truckster & others
interesting subject
let may say this any legislation is posible if those in power decide it is so
what make our polies move on legislation
1) extreme public opion
2) international preasure
3) insurance cost
4) duty of care
5) $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
6) self interest
7) death
8) high profile
how many of these did the idots on fraser impact on
many of them , if it continues to happen & more tuorist get hurt or die the greater the preasure on government to act ,whats the easest course of act which has the lowest impact on tourism ,ban private & hire 4wds from areas such as this ,or if you have the right or wrong poli in power dependant on your piont of view re licencing it is posible,
the subject of 4wd licences re australia wide ristrictions came up in federal parliment around 10 years ago & was met with luke warm respons but it was never killed & buried so can reapear at any time it would only require a high profile person to be injured or kiled to impact on enough of the above list for it to happen
jm2cw
regards Bruce
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FollowupID: 14282

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