Works in the Herald 1935

The National Safety Council, through the leading newspapers, is putting into a million Australian homes, a "Code of the Road," for motor drivers and owners, by which it is hoped to reduce considerably the appalling number of road accidents.

Bill?  Oh, him ... Well, he's taken a knock.
   Real sad when I spoke to him last;
Sufferin' like from a nasty shock.
   Just drivin' a wee bit fast
Round a corner -- no chance to halt --
   Skittles a kid on the road.
An' they're tellin' him now it's all his fault,
   'Case he didn't observe the Code.

Code? Wot Code? Why, Bill can drive!
   An' they're tellin' him now he was rash.
It's his skill at the wheel kept him alive
   And out of many a smash.
And now, this luck. Yes; the youngster died,
   But the evidence plainly showed
That Bill was fair on the proper side,
   What more could he do with the Code?

Why, I've seen Bill drive on just two wheels,
   Miss trees by a coat of paint.
An' now, it's rotten the way he feels
   Broke up when they made complaint:
Callin' him careless. Careless? Him?
   Why, I've seen him motor a load
At eighty an hour, an' the light all dim.
   He didn't learn that from a Code.

But there you are ... One accident more,
   One more kid, chancin' to roam,
Knocked stiff in sight of his own house door --
   One more grief-stricken home --
An' poor Bill, eyes still fixed ahead
   On that small, still form by the road,
Sayin' over an' over, "He's dead!  He's dead! . . ."
   Well -- Maybe there is good in a Code.

Herald, 2 October 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005