Category: General news (page 1 of 3)

What is DRIFT mode?

What is DRIFT mode? And why are the media so excited about it!

If you have watched the news this last week you would have seen a lot of excited ‘road safety experts’ going on about the new Ford Focus RS that comes with a “Drift” mode.

The experts are saying this will encourage hooning and increase the chance of crashes on our roads.

What surprises us is that for as long as we can remember – high powered Australian cars have had a button to turn off the traction control and desensitise the stability control systems. In fact nearly every car on the market has this option at the push of a button.

The new Ford clearly indicates the track and drift modes are for track use only – and like any vehicle – relies entirely on the driver to operate it safely on public roads.

As opposed to normal vehicles and systems – the Ford actually adjusts a number of parameters to allow the vehicle to be driven more aggressively and potentially the vehicle could slide or drift around a track or skidpan.

Performance Driving Australia run regular track days for owners of such vehicles to come and enjoy them in a safe, controlled environment away from public roads.

We  believe that the media and experts have some valid points Рhowever education is the key Рand drivers of any vehicle should be familiar with the safety systems, how they work, when to use them and what the possible outcomes are if they choose to disengage them.

All of this is covered in our programs and we believe this knowledge not only reduces the ‘hooning’ behaviour but also allows drivers to fully understand and appreciate the technology that keeps them safe on every day roads.

The new Ford Focus RS looks like a great car with a lot of safety features – and a clever computer that allows you to have more driver input when at the track.

A great article that explains more about the Ford Focus RS can be found here –

We remind you that Australia has very strict laws and that anyone found drifting or doing a burnout in a vehicle on public roads can and most likely will have their car confiscated by the police. So come to a track day and enjoy your car safely!

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Road Safety – Not so much about the actual road!

Safer Roads DON’T Save Lives

A recent meeting attended by Performance Driving Australia, Managing Director Mark Butcher highlighted the common belief that ‘dangerous’ roads are the leading cause of serious crashes in Australia.

The meeting was held as part of Tasmania’s road safety task force – Towards Zero program (

With members of the community, emergency services and road safety experts in attendance the conversation seemed to center around the improvement of roads, installation of more barriers and other engineering solutions to help reduce the road toll.

“The 4 prong approach to road safety is based around safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and road sides and safe road users – however the conversations between most attendees seemed to focus mostly on the roads and how we can improve them to reduce the road toll.

It has been my experience that many crashes occur because of drivers. In fact I would say nearly ALL crashes! We need to stop blaming the roads and spending millions on barriers and start focusing on the poor standard of training we provide our young drivers – and the lack of skills that our more experienced drivers have.

I would bet my shirt that 90% of drivers on our roads can not stop a car on a straight dry road from 100km/h in the minimum distance. In fact most drivers would take up to 20-50% longer to stop – or not brake at all scared the car will somehow lose control.


Professional and effective training is the only ‘real’ solution to road safety.

If drivers can not do that – they should not be on the road. Plain and simple. Our training system fails to provide real – relevant skills” said Mark Butcher.

Performance Driving Australia will continue to push for improved driving standards and subsidies for people who wish to obtain this life saving training however we are often ignored or pushed aside by so called ‘road safety experts’ who most likely couldn’t also stop a car in an emergency.

In the meantime we encourage drivers to attend programs and get the skills that may one day save your life.

Corporate Driver Training is available Australia wide at a variety of venues with Performance Driving Australia.

Driver Training Programs provide ‘real’ skills that can be used in an emergency. There is no substitute for this and it can not be taught in a classroom or by a television commercial.




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