Family calls for international driver tests
By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au
KYLIE Brown, 18, does not care that tourism may be good for the country ? she would prefer that her grandmother was still alive.
She and her grandfather Allan Mayall want foreign drivers to be given some training before being allowed behind the wheel in Australia to prevent more accidents like the one that killed Lorraine Mayall in July last year. Mrs Mayall was killed when her car collided head-on with a vehicle driven on the wrong said of the road by Frode Walker Bugge, 26, because in Norway motorists use the right hand lane.
' ... If he (Mr Bugge) had been given a little bit of training (as to) which was the right side of the road, my grandma would still be here,' Ms Brown said.
"It would have spared her husband of 45 years, family and friends much heartache.'
Ms Brown took issue with a suggestion that tourists should not be asked to undergo training because they brought wealth to the country.
'I'd rather have my grandma back over any amount of money tourists bring to Australia,' she said.
The accident occurred in July, 2004 about 18 kilometres west of Calliope on the Dawson Highway.
When the accident oc- curred Mr Bugge had driven a total of three hours in Aus- tralia.
'He was driving on the wrong side of the road, or as he said, grandma was on 'his' side of the road, which would have been right if he was in his home country,' Ms Brown said.
Mr Mayall said he did not want to see Mr Bugge go to jail as he realised the death was accidental and that the driver had shown great remorse.
Mr Bugge had tried for 20 minutes to revive Mrs Mayall and had co-operated fully with police during their investigations.
Mr Mayall said the tragic accidents could be avoided if drivers going to or arriving from other countries were given some training for driv- ing conditions they were not used to.
'This could happen to anyone, so something needs to be put in place to reduce the risk of these accidents happening time and time again,' he said.