24. All things for good
Road crash statistics by the national Motor insurer AAMI were published again in mid December 2001. Results showed that South Australia was still the worst performer in the nation. A spokesman for the MAC (the Motorist’s Club) admitted during an interview on Radio 5 AN that our state is at the bottom of the road safety ladder. (This same statement was repeated by the same person, on the same station at 5 minutes to 9 am, yesterday morning 2/1/03) during an interview discussing the high Christmas road toll in the country. NB. The 2001 road toll in SA was 153; in 2002 it was 153 plus 1).
Why was nothing done to remedy the situation. No independent review had been conducted to investigate the new system, which in my opinion was to be blamed. Instead of examining the driver licencing process the government seemed to go in the direction of harsher penalties, more breath testing etc.
As far as the log book was concerned the government was even moving in the opposite direction to what many instructors were hoping for, scrapping the system. One of my clients told me of a policeman visiting her school as part of the police driver education program. She knew my point of view and told me what the policeman had suggested: “The log book system is the best one to learn to drive by”.
What right and qualification did a policeman have to promote this system when results showed that our state has the worst road safety record amongst young drivers? Did he have a clue how much stress it was causing driving instructors? I was furious. How long can the lie be propagated? Can’t anyone else see that it is not working? Have the lives of our young people become a political football? Is it that hard to admit: “We have tried a new way of doing things, it has not worked, let’s review the system and fix it?”
As a direct result of the policeman saying this, I believe, one student’s mother met me after a driving lesson and cancelled her daughter’s lessons with me. I was obviously regarded as not “up to date” with the latest methods. My professional confidence was badly affected by one big lie – that the new log book system was better, that it was working and students ought to learn by this method. The facts could not have been further from the truth. But how should I go about exposing such lie?
My diary entry for Sunday 16/12/01 reflected my ability to handle frustration in a much calmer way. I wrote: Romans, Ch. 8, 28 all things … This scripture, a favourite amongst Christians who face trials, goes on to say …work together for good to them that love God and to those that are called according to his purposes. That day the two words all and good had hit me like a rock. All things work together for good. And I lived in Goodall Road. How wonderfully weird!
God has a brilliant sense of humour. I experienced this again very graphically in late 2001. During a Christmas BBQ I met Colin’s two grandsons. Colin was the man who suffered himself from bi-polar illness but helps other patients cope. We had met at Woodleigh House Mental Institution and were now attending his church. His grandsons were twins, unemployed and very talented in computers. They were already 22 years old and had not yet obtained their driver’s licence.
I mentioned to Colin that I had plans of having car crashes animated on my website for learning purposes. He suggested that I talk to them. They only lived 1.5 kilometres away from the road where all things would work together for good. I wished it would be more clear to me and open, but God works in strange ways. As it turned out the twins had already done some traffic animation work but it never was used anywhere. They needed an outlet for their talent and creativity. I needed someone who could translate my ideas into on-line material.
My meeting the twins, Doug and Chris Sampson was another “funny” co-incident from God. The name Sampson (not their real name) without the p spelled the name of someone that I had a lot to forgive, while working at the MAC. His first name also was Chris. I stood amazed at yet another co-incidence.
Chris and Dieter frustrated at golf.
Had I not been admitted to the Mental Hospital the second time, I would never have met Doug and Chris and never achieved the result on my website that would amaze me and many others.
Doug received his driver’s licence first. In return for lessons Doug and Chris spent many hours working on car crashes using “Flash”, a computer animation program. The first one, they told me, took almost 100 hours. We called the feature “crash of the month”, hoping to produce one every month. I really enjoyed working with Doug and Chris, they complimented each other. Doug could program very well, while Chris was the artist.
After our first or second crash, I received an enquiry from a driving instructor in the UK. He ran a huge learner driver website and showed great interest in the work we were doing. He asked the twins to animate parts of his website. Of course he was paying cash, which boosted the two young men’s confidence and bank balance. We produced four crashes of the month showing traffic from a bird’s eye point of view.
The inspiration for showing car crashes from the viewpoint of the driver’s seat opened a whole new world. An idea came to me during one session while working on the P/C at the twin’s house. When illustrating cars, why use just any numbers or letters as licence plate? Why not use this ideal opportunity to convey a message and make people think.
Yes, God works in very strange ways…
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves