Home' Journeys : Feb Mar 2016 Contents We have recently put our collective minds to this year’s
Tasmanian budget, and the annual submission that we
provide for the government’s consideration.
As all readers of Journeys would be aware, the Tasmanian
Government has spoken repeatedly about its target of an annual
figure of 1.5 million tourist visitors to the state by 2020.
As a major operator in the regional tourism sector, we obviously
support and endorse this approach, but as an advocate for
the interests of Tasmanian road users, we think it is equally
important that attention is given to the state’s road network
that supports our tourism sector. Therefore a key element of
this year’s submission will be a call to upgrade and maintain the
state’s tourist routes.
For example, the road from Hobart to Port Arthur, the road to
Hastings Caves and the Cambridge to Richmond road would
benefit from maintenance or upgrading works.
In addition to these and other key tourist road upgrades, we
would like to see some ‘outside the square’ thinking regarding
the use of new and emerging technology to deliver road safety
messages to motorists. This would be in addition to the standard
road safety signs that are already erected across the state.
Multilingual options are also important, given the number of
international tourists we are now welcoming to the state, as are
directional arrows on our roads.
From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women, together
with 2000 children, arrived in Tasmania.
The RACT is very pleased to be supporting ‘Footsteps towards
Freedom’, which will honour these women with the creation of
sculptures to be placed on Hobart’s waterfront.
The project team is working on an art installation for the
waterfront above Hunter Island, where the female convicts and
children disembarked from the transportation ships from Great
Britain. Internationally-renowned Irish artist and sculptor
Rowan Gillespie has been selected to undertake the work.
The project team aims to have five sculptures on the site – four
convict women, one holding a baby, and a small boy who was
taken from his mother to the Hobart Orphan School. Thousands
of visitors and Tasmanians will walk by them every day. It will
be the starting point for many tours through the city, and will
be an appropriate and important new point of interest on our
And finally, the RACT will be reissuing member cards to its
177,000 members very shortly.
From early 2016, members will benefit from a special offer we
have negotiated. Details of the new deal will be made available
through an advertising campaign in the near future.
Not all students of RACT Driver Training are young drivers
trying to get their licence for the first time. One of the
valuable services we offer is to provide lessons and advice for older
drivers who have had conditions placed on their licence or simply
want to refresh their skills.
‘Most of the elderly drivers we see just need some old habits ironed
out,’ says Mel Keane. ‘It’s really rewarding when I’m able to help an
older driver retain or regain their licence.’
Mel recalls a past student in her 80s, who had a health issue and
failed a mandatory assessment as a result. She needed to transport
her husband, who had a more serious medical condition. After a
couple of lessons, she regained her licence on her next attempt.
‘Some road rules and road infrastructure have changed since many
elderly motorists began driving,’ Mel says. ‘Examples include
roundabouts and merging lanes. Also, no-one had seen a bike lane
until about 10 years ago!’
The older drivers who come to Mel fall into three categories:
Drivers who have received notification from the state
government to say they are no longer able to drive
independently. This may have been as a result of a formal
complaint lodged by Tasmania Police or a member of the
public, followed by an official assessment
Drivers who have been encouraged by family members to
brush up on their skills and gain some informal advice from a
Drivers who independently make the decision to have a little
The good news is that the success rate for Mel ’s students is very
high. Quite often drivers simply accumulate bad habits and his
lessons focus on working to retrain skills. Not looking over the
shoulder to check blind spots before merging or changing lanes is
one of the critical errors that Mel sees regularly.
While lessons are available for any older drivers, Mel has some
additional advice for those contemplating their driving future.
‘You can’t keep your licence forever, so making a
decision to stop should really should be on your agenda.
This is a decision best made with family members –
I encourage children and grandchildren to provide as much
support as possible,’ he says. ‘Many older drivers I see have already
had a minor crash or near miss. I think this is cutting it too fine –
it’s probably a sign that decision-time is near. And if you take into
account running costs, insurance and petrol – plus the fact that the
state government pays half the taxi fare – it’s actually cheaper and
safer not to be driving.’
For more details visit www.ract.com.au/driving-lessons
RACT Driver Training instructor
4 Journeys FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016
IN OUR COMMUNITY
Links Archive Dec2015 Jan2016 Apr May 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page