Home' The Murray Pioneer : August 10th 2018 Contents 2 NEWS www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, August 10, 2018
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I auto not take risks behind the wheel
...with Peta-Marie Philippou
The Friday Column
EATING behind the wheel,
driving in thongs, using
Google Maps and texting while
driving are just some of the
risky behaviours 62 per cent of
Australian’s owned up to in a
survey from the finder.com.au
Safe Driving Report 2018.
After learning that the equiva-
lent of 10.9 million Australian’s
engage in risky behaviours on
the road, it made me extra cau-
tious of other drivers and my
own driving habits on the road.
Out of the top 13 dangerous
things Australian’s have done
behind the wheel, eating fast-
food was top of the list.
When I first got my licence,
the first thing I wanted to do was
go through a McDonald’s drive-
thru with my friends.
Being only 17 at the time, and
being in the car for the first time
without my parents, I knew to
wait until I had stopped driving
to take a bite of my burger, as I
was an amateur driver.
Look, I understand why peo-
ple eat behind the wheel. Maybe
they didn’t have time to eat
before their journey. But what
gets me is that people are giving
up their safety so they don’t have
to eat a cold burger.
And imagine if you drop a fry
and take your eyes off the road
for just one second? Something
dangerous could happen.
Even the most vigilant drivers
lose concentration every now
I believe I’m a cautious driver,
but I know I can get distracted,
especially by focusing on a
scene happening on the road.
I use Google Maps to get from
A to B when I’m lost for direc-
tions, but Google’s voice guides
me, so I don’t have to look down
at my phone.
Driving in thongs was one
of the first things my driving
instructor told me not to do,
and that message stuck in my
head because I wouldn’t want to
lose control of the pedal and be
unable to slam on the brakes.
Texting while driving is, of
course, a major no-no.
Just say you pick up your
phone to respond to a text you
just received while behind the
wheel and you’re in an accident.
Imagine how the person that
texted you at that exact time
might feel, knowing they were
the cause of your distraction.
Texting or calling someone
on your phone while behind the
wheel can also result in hefty
fines and the loss of demerit
points – and this is before you’ve
been in a crash.
Things can wait.
Things like eating and texting.
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Phone 8588 2111 | barmerahotel.com.au
Renmark RSL story
A DETAIL in a story that appeared in last
Friday’s Murray Pioneer was incorrect.
The story, headed ‘Renmark RSL’s new
home’ said that the Renmark RSL sub-
branch had broken away from its shared
home of 15 years with the Renmark
The sub-branch in fact shared its home
base with the Renmark RSL Bowling Club.
A Loveday house was
gutted by fire at about
morning, with the blaze
causing between $80,000
and $100,000 damage.
PHOTO: Peta-Marie Philippou
gutted in fire
were called to a fire that
destroyed a Loveday house
early yesterday morning,
causing $80,000 to
At about 3.15am, local
police and Country Fire
Service (CFS) crews were
called to a structure fire on
Loveday Road and arrived
to find the house fully
engulfed in flames.
CFS Chaffey group offi-
cer Greg Forbes told the
Murray Pioneer the home
was unoccupied at the time
of the blaze.
“On arrival the house –
which was unoccupied –
was fully involved,” he said.
“Barmera and Monash
CFS appliances attended
the fire, along with the
Chaffey bulk water 13
appliance, South Australian
Ambulance Service (SAAS)
and SA Police (SAPOL).
“Crews were at the scene
for about three hours and
fully extinguished the
A SAPOL spokesperson
said Berri Crime Scene offi-
cers had examined the scene
to determine the cause of
Mr Forbes said about 12
CFS crew brought the blaze
under control before police
located the home owner.
“I understand police
located the property owner
in Barmera,” he said.
“The cause is still under
“I believe the person was
moving out and cleaning the
property up, so the electric-
ity had been switched off.
“This is another reminder
for people to be ultra-care-
ful with turning off heaters
and cleaning out chimneys
to avoid a structural fire.”
Anyone with information
on the incident or who may
have noticed any suspicious
activity around the area
is asked to contact Crime
Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Spike in home fires
HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned to
remain vigilant as the cold weather sees a
spike in home fires, new figures show.
House fires are significantly more common
in the July, August and September quarter as
residents spend more time at home to avoid
the cold and wet weather, RAA Insurance
claims data reveals.
In the past two years non-bushfire claims
have averaged 100 in this quarter – compared
to 79 on average for each of the other quar-
ters, figures show.
RAA Insurance spokesman Shaun Ryan
said it was the high danger period for house
He said home fires were not only life-
threatening but could also cause significant
property damage worth hundreds of thou-
sands of dollars.
“Our claims data shows the main cause of
house fire claims are accidents (34 per cent)
which often involve mishaps in the kitchen,
such as unattended cooking catching fire,” he
“Malfunctioning electrical appliances
account for one-in-five home fire claims and
5 per cent are a result of heaters and open fire
Latest figures show Metropolitan Fire
Service and Country Fire Service firefighters
have battled 826 cooking-related fires during
the past three years.
The MFS put out a call last month for
householders to “keep looking when cook-
It also strongly recommends householders
equip their kitchen with a fire blanket and a
How to avoid a fire:
l Never leave the kitchen when you are
l Do not put combustible materials such as
tea towels and oven mitts on or near the cook
l Never try to move a pan that has caught
l Never throw water onto an oil or fat fire.
l Always call the fire service (MFS or CFS)
even if you have put the fire out.
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