Home' Journeys : Oct Nov 2015 Contents GROUP
The RACT enjoys a trusted position in the Tasmanian community – it has
done so virtually since its earliest days of operation more than 90 years ago.
We employ up to 500 Tasmanians and count 177,000 people as members.
So, from a motoring advocacy perspective, we need to be everything to all people
from young Tasmanians just starting out learning to drive through to older
Tasmanians who have been driving for as long as they can remember.
The RACT’s position on older drivers is clear – public policy and regulations should
allow older drivers to drive for as long as is safely and reasonably possible. Whether
or not a driving licence is maintained should be based on identifying the medical or
functional impairment of the driver, rather than being based on arbitrary age limits.
There should be no mandatory age-based on-road reassessment of older drivers
and the RACT was heavily involved in the campaign for this to be discontinued.
It is important for older drivers to maintain their independence for as long as
possible, particularly in Tasmania, where we do rely heavily on our cars.
The RACT offers a free program for older drivers – CarFit – that provides advice
and information on how they can better fit with their cars to maximise safety and
comfort. This program is regularly conducted around Tasmania, with a recent visit
to Smithton and sessions in Latrobe and Launceston as part of Seniors Week.
Trained professionals, including a qualified occupational therapist, work with older
Tasmanians to complete a checklist of questions about their car. Drivers are shown
recommended ergonomic adjustments, including simple things like changing the
placement of their mirror, seat and steering wheel to help them achieve a better fit
with their vehicle. Any mobility issues identified are also addressed.
Of course, CarFit is not an assessment of an individual ’s driving ability. It ensures
that older drivers are comfortable and well-positioned in their vehicle for safer
The RACT’s Driver Licensing policy is an important document and one that needs
constant community discussion.
Ceasing to drive can be a difficult decision for an elderly driver, but it is a decision
that must be taken at some point in all our driving lives. We believe that everyone
has the right to determine the best time to stop driving, however there are a
number of people that can and will help with this.
The RACT is planning to publish case studies in future editions of Journeys that
provide further detailed information about this important issue. These may
include, for example, a profile of a motorist who has voluntarily relinquished his or
her licence; or perhaps a family member who has helped an elderly driver to decide
that the timing is right.
Each of these profiles will help to develop an idea of how difficult it is for some
drivers to make this decision, as well as the relief often felt when the keys are tossed
As always, your feedback is most welcome. Please add a comment on the Member
Hub at www.ract.com.au
Finally, I would like to congratulate RACT Travel on being announced as the Best
Travel Agency (Multi-location) at the National Travel Industry Awards.
It is great to see their hard work recognised at a national level. Well done team!
The RACT has been a strong supporter of
the Black Spot Program since its inception
in 1996. We recognise that this initiative
delivers safety dividends that greatly exceed the
investment in the program.
As part of our commitment to improve safety on
Tasmanian roads, the RACT has recommended that
seven traffic sites with a history of crashes, injuries
and fatalities should be considered for 2016/17 Black
Spot Program funding.
The traffic sites are:
• Bass Highway intersections at Wynyard
• Intersection of Shield Street and Huon Highway,
• Intersection of King Street and Sandy Bay Road,
• Corner of Davey Street and Southern Outlet,
• Hagley Station Lane, Hagley
• Intersection of Dineen Street and Joffre Street,
• Intersection of Hobart Road and Relbia Road,
RACT CEO Harvey Lennon said the sites selected
were regarded by the RACT as dangerous
intersections or as sections of road where
infrastructure improvements were needed to reduce
the risk and associated trauma of road crashes.
‘Traffic black spots are an issue the RACT takes
very seriously,’ he said. ‘Our three Regional
Advisory Committees have been considering the
issue of Black Spot Program funding priorities in
their respective regions for the past six months.
Each committee has provided its top priorities
for funding, based on its own observations and
experiences, and on the feedback they have
received from their communities.’
Mr Lennon said it is absolutely vital that Tasmania’s
worst traffic black spots are identified and remedied,
with priority given to locations with a history of
serious road crashes. By funding measures such
as traffic roundabouts and signals at dangerous
locations, the Black Spot Program can help to stop
crashes and save lives.
Black Spot Program
4 Journeys OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015
IN OUR COMMUNITY
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