In the Herald Sun newspaper, 2007, was an article writing by Noel Ashby, a Victorian Assistant Police Commissioner, about the effects of Hooning. The newspaper article explains about a horrific hooning incident in 2004, the day before Christmas. The incident took place in Clayton with a young 18 year old driver that decided to take ‘his mates out for a spin. ’ This young driver continued to speed dangerously through the roads of Clayton, endangering not only his and his passenger’s lives but also the lives of everyone else on the roads that day. After swerving and avoiding oncoming traffic, the car full of young people slammed into a pole.
The crash resulted in the 18 year old driver’s mates dying because of the impact and the driver surviving with minor injuries. In this article, Noel Ashby has a one sided view on hooning. He especially highlights the opinion of the police, as he worked in the police force and dealt with situations simular to this on a daily basis, ‘This is an all too familiar story and sadly, as police, we have to accept there will be dozens more’ says Ashby. With police seeing the same things happening over and over, hoon laws have given police the ability to seize hoon driver’s cars, along with court appearances and serious charges.
Noel Ashby encourages these laws and wants harsher pentiles to stop reoccurring incidents. Also the Victorian Police launched ‘Operation Drag Right’ in 2005, which allows young drivers to legally drag race against hotted-up police cars in controlled safe environments, such as Calder and Sandown raceways. These drag races are then timed and young drivers can then win prizes. This operation is a great controlled program that helps solve part of the problem of hooning incidents. When reading this article it is clearly aimed at a specific audience. This audience is obviously young adults that own a licence.
By including a story that involves, a young 18 year old that was taking his mates for a drive, it then relates to many other 18 year old individuals that may do that same thing on a regular basis. With the horrifying end to the story, both of the young driver’s mates dying while the driver’s life was unharmed, it rings alarm bells as to whether individuals would risk their mate’s lives. ‘Young men have been reduced to tears,’ says Ashby and this would be the result of being the person responsible for a death of a close friend. Another target audience could be the parents of young adults.
If parents knew the risks and consequences of their sons or daughters driving in a reckless matter, they could prevent the worst from happening. Noel Ashby uses affective grammar and language to provoke emotions and strong opinions throughout the article. Along with statistics and facts likes ‘In the past six months, police has taken 927 hoons off the roads, drivers who made the conscious decisions to deliberately put lives in risk. Off those 927 drivers, only 18 have reoffended’, Ashby makes a great persuasive article in which makes the reader think about hoon drivers in a different perspective.
For example, since Ashby is a member of the police force he has a lot of experience with situations like the one mentioned in the article, ‘Hooning costs lives’. He reinforces that incidents happen on a daily basis and that he see deaths among young adults that could have been prevented. Also, Ashby includes several known brands, operations and regions that can relate to many readers around Australia and mainly Victoria, like Ford, Holden, Nobel Park, Clayton, Victorian Police and Operation Drag Rights.
Finally, the use of Noel Ashby’s black and white picture in the left hand column creates a strong imagine to the public and audience. The picture of Ashby is small but informative. He wears a police suit with badgers on his chest which conveys that he is a high ranked police officer, which is then once again reinforced with his name stated at the end of the article informing his position. The stern look on his face connects with the article about how this isn’t a joke and that it is a serious matter. Along with Ashby’s photo, a photo of the 2004 incident is placed next to Ashby’s small picture.
The large photo is of the pole where the car crashed and 2 young boys lost their lives. It is surrounded by friends of the dead with flowers and look of sadness, disbelief and horror. This particular photo connects and provokes emotions that any person could feel if they were affected by something similar to what the article outlines. After reading this article, it raised many thoughts and feelings about hooning, young adults and consequences of breaking the law. Noel Ashby has written an informative article that can connect with many individuals in one way or another.