Albert Einstein is reported to have said that if a man repeats mistakes without realising it, he must be insane.

During the past 12 years our road traffic officials have, at the start of each festive season, launched publicity campaigns promoting safe driving.

These have been unco-ordinated, driven by meaningless slogans, and have for all practical purposes only served to publicise the loud-mouthed politicians seeking to promote their positions.

The majority of our road users are contemptuous of our traffic laws. They will only learn to respect our laws when harsh penalties are imposed.

We have much to learn from our Australian counterparts. The Australians have proved successful in reducing road fatalities to 400 a year. We lose 1 200 of our men, women and children each year. This is a disgraceful situation which no civilised nation should tolerate. We should immediately appoint a commission to study the methods employed by the Australian government in combating their road safety problems, and to adapt their methods in view of the fact that they have achieved such success.

BJ Kaplan

Glenhazel