It is not often Neos Cosmos reports on its own journalists, but it deserves some attention.
Fotis Kapetopoulos, Neos Cosmos journalist, wrote an opinion for age tuesday newspaper, Driving with P plates – my accidental social experiment.
The story generated a lot of interest in mainstream media, Neil Mitchell of 3AW and later Jacinta Parsons of ABCRadioMelbourne, interviewed Kapetopoulos.
In the opinion, Kapetopoulos recounts how he jumped into his car, a black Yaris, “Darth Vader’s golf cart”, not realizing that his son’s P plates were still on.
On the way to work, the drivers – he soon realized – were irritated and aggressive towards him.
They cut him, flashed lights and even gave him “the bird” as he said on the radio.
In the opinion, he mused, “Was it because a middle-aged man was driving with them? Would a younger motorist receive less severe treatment? I do not know.”
The Neos Cosmos journalist, wrote that the commute is his indulgence, “For 45 minutes I was alone in the car with my coffee and my music. I pretend to be 18 again. The Guns of Brixton by the Clash burst in when I hit the edge of Brunswick.
Kapetopoulos details how cars cut past him and lost all sense of time and space as they rushed to cut past him without any gain.
He also realized that his son’s complaints about how other drivers treated him when he was driving with Ps were based on fact.
“My son often complains that the drivers ‘act like di..heads’. I channel my old man and retreat into the Greek father trope. “Dude, concentrate, leave the bloody music alone, watch what other people are doing,” Kapetopoulos continues, saying that as a driver he will be more “sensitive to his complaints,” he wrote in age.
He adds that “P-platers, whatever their age, and however annoying they are, need our care. When you see a P-plater giving them space, be patient. They may be making their voices heard, but let them develop the confidence to navigate the driver’s seat behavior of those more seasoned on our roads.
The review appeared in The Age Newspaper for Tuesday July 12.