So here is the post which got me riled up this morning.
I am a motor enthusiast. It’s really no secret. My first car was a BMW 318i E36 which I have affectionately named ‘Beewar’ after the first three letters of my number plate. Having been car-mad since I was probably 13 years old, I own countless Wheels magazines and have watched every single Top Gear episode to date. I have attended pretty much every single Australian International Motor Show until it died this year and can name pretty much every single supercar with additional specs when it passes by. So yes, I would consider myself a motor enthusiast.
I adore my cars, and since receiving Forza Motorsports 5 as a lovely gift with my Xbox One, I have loved nothing more than to look after my vehicle with the love and passion I show my beautiful puppy dog (of whom my boyfriend is rather jealous). I recently purchased a Mercedes Benz A200 CDI EDS. It is a beautiful 2L turbo diesel. Do I sound like a wanker already? Here is my reasoning…
Safety. Power. Efficiency. Fun. I am pretty much the poster girl of Mercedes Benz.
That being said, the post itself questioning P-platers and the regulation surrounding performance vehicles did not anger me at all. It’s the uneducated and impractical commentators who get me cranky.
Firstly, [Blanked Out Name], I don’t think ANY young person would want to be caught dead driving a Tarago. Secondly, I did my L’s in my father’s 4WD Subaru Outback and drove it well into my P1s. I fail to see why it would be reasonable to have it banned for P-platers as 4WDs are safer and have more responsive steering and therefore are more suitable for young people who need more assistance in controlling their driving. It needs to also be considered that the 4WD may well be the only family vehicle and creating exceptions for every single P-plater who wishes to drive the family vehicle is just creating another tier of bureaucracy to an already highly inefficient government regulator.
But besides that, what are my thoughts on performance vehicles?
I agree with the motor enthusiasts; more Government regulation means reduced motorist responsibility. There is a fine need to consider both personal responsibility and respect for other people’s safety as opposed to simply slapping more regulation. When getting into a motor vehicle, an individual takes on the understanding that they are controlling a machine with the capability to kill. The danger is implicit, which is why motorists take into consideration each of their actions in providing increased safety to not only themselves, but to everyone around them – motorists, pedestrians, property.
Increasing one’s safety can indicate a few things: not texting and driving, wearing a seatbelt, using indicators for merging, and not falling asleep at the wheel. This also includes not speeding. It is everyone’s responsibility not to speed. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be in control of their vehicle because despite bans on performance vehicles, you will always get the inconsiderate idiot who will do 45km and over and put other people’s lives in danger. They could be doing it in the family’s standard Mazda 3 though. It doesn’t have to be a performance vehicle.
Unfortunately though, regulation upon performance vehicles covers the idiots. This is no different to other regulations. Common decency says don’t go and murder someone else, but you always get the person who will have a drink then punch someone in the back of the head. Legislation and regulation is determining what happens to these people when they do commit the crime. ‘Do the crime; do the time‘ they say. It’s common sense to the everyday person not to speed. Little old grannies could be crossing the road or a car could be turning out from another street and you’re going too fast to see them. Mistakes cost others and regulation is created to dissuade people from committing the crime.
The problem is that there are the P-plate hoons who pimp their vehicles to make them performance vehicles. They swap parts, install new engines, supercharge the turbos and generally make their cars as loud and as obnoxious as they can possibly be. They then go and street race and put a black mark to our plates.They’re the idiots who break the law and the rest of us have to pay.
Performance vehicles don’t always mean speed. Though historically, performance vehicles are designed specifically for speed in the design and construction of the power trains, brakes, gear box and steering. Performance vehicles differ from race vehicles as they are designed to be street cars which deliver transport capabilities. Many performance vehicles are also luxury vehicles as they do seem to go hand-in-hand with one another. For example, many manufacturers produce only performance vehicles, but are designed for the luxury market. These include Ashton Martin, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche. Even Porsche’s neglected mutant, the Porsche Panamera, was designed to be a performance vehicle, but appealed also to the everyday family who wanted a little power with the luxury.
For some manufacturers, performance vehicles are an art form. As opposed to having mass produced robot-assembled engines, the Mercedes-AMG line has each of their engines handcrafted by a single technician from start to finish, completed with their signature upon the engine plate. It’s beauty for a beast, but shows an expression of human perfection in the AMG line. Though there is speed, Mercedes-AMG boasts perfection in its performance vehicles.
But all that being said, how do I regard these laws?
I applaud the NSW Government on lifting restrictions on turbo-charged vehicles which are for environmental purposes (such as my own vehicle which had previously been banned under the laws prior to 1 August 2014). Before then, it was almost pathetic that one could not drive a Ford Fiesta with an EcoBoost engine simply because it had a small turbocharger. Now it makes sense to calculate the kilowatts to the mass of the vehicle, and thus the power output capability of the vehicle and it astounds me that the NSW Government didn’t think of it before.
But for the rest of us, I agree with the ban on performance vehicles for P-platers. It’s a necessary regulation in place to stop the casual idiot from testing out the horsepower of their turbocharged monster on suburban roads. But we must remember; the P-platers are not the only ones who need to be responsible. You can put a performance vehicle into the hands of the everyday fully licenced man and they can be just as tempted to floor the gas and go all out. It does not make them any less dangerous.
The problem is that we don’t talk about it in the media as ‘the fully licenced man ploughed into the sedan at over 130km/h’. We only ever hear about the ‘provisional driver’ or the ‘the P-plate 21-year-old’. It’s always the fault of the younger generation. There is always something wrong with us.
But for the rest of us, keep safe, keep sensible.
NSW Roads and Maritime Service P1 and P2 vehicle restrictions conditions:
P1 and P2 Performance Vehicle Search: