Home' Journeys : Feb Mar 2016 Contents THE WINNING VIEW... Bill Greer wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter about on-the-
spot confiscation of mobile phones. We welcome letters on any motoring or travel-related
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It is with a smile that I’m reading your recent article on Henk
Berg Leather. I think I may be able claim some sort of record
for having owned my HBL bag for 33 years. In 1982 as a 19 year
old I still remember buying the bag at Salamanca Market from
Henk, who told me, in his exotic foreign accent, that if I look after
the bag it will last for years. That same year I moved to Brisbane.
Fast forward to 2015 – I’m now 52 and every winter in Brissie I
still bring out my HBL bag. Now I can brag I have a bag just like
Kudos to the Van Den Berg family for continuing to create unique
and beautiful leather accessories. They certainly have thrived and
survived the fickle fashion cycles and our throw-away culture.
Susan Wrafter, Chapel Hill, Queensland
Testing rethink needed?
The RACT would be reluctant to criticise VW for its
emission control issue. The RACT has avoided supporting
or advocating vehicle testing in Tasmania, with the result that
a significant proportion of vehicles on Tasmanian roads have
appalling emissions. Bruce Felmingham pointed this out in a
recent Mercury article.
While I acknowledge that the RACT tries to keep the cost of
vehicle ownership low, the state of many vehicles on the roads
warrants a rethink on testing.
Many drivers seem oblivious or couldn’t care that their vehicles
have no brake lights, some with no headlight and sidelights.
Apparently many avoid servicing vehicles because of cost. If
owners can’t be bothered, then the only way to ensure at least some
form of safety is to develop regular testing.
Tony Dix, New Town
The RACT has long held the position that a roadworthy inspection should
be compulsory at change of ownership on vehicles five years and older.
Statistically, motor vehicle defects don’t figure massively as a primary
cause of a serious casualty or fatal crash, however they are mentioned in
some instances as contributing factors.
Darren Moody, General Manager, Member Assist
On evening/night time trips between Franklin and Kingston,
I have become aware of just how many vehicles have only
one headlight. The last count during a 30 minute trip was 16. On
previous occasions it had varied between 10 and 20. I estimate this
to be somewhere in the region of 4% of those cars driving towards
me at the time. Not only can the driver not see properly, but just
as important, others cannot judge the other vehicle’s position,
especially when they turn off the highway in front of you. I doubt
the drivers can see wildlife very easily either. Is anyone in authority
interested? I think not.
Walking the walk
Ihope the Journeys segment on traffic laws for motorists will
continue the education of drivers and cyclists. However there is
a massive need to educate pedestrians, which at some time we all
are. Perhaps a future article could mention the relevant section of
the Traffic Act and the penalties that can be levied.
Pedestrians often jay-walk, fail to use the footpath, and many cross
the road on a red signal, especially at Centrepoint lights in Hobart.
Perhaps one day the police will take an interest too.
Jim Campbell, Ulverstone
Safety or revenue?
Itotally agree with the RACT that our new fixed speed cameras
should have permanent signage. However I question the
positioning of these cameras as they are clearly not on road black
spots. A case in point is the Cambridge camera installation on the
Tasman Highway, on a flat, straight and divided section of road.
This section of road must rank as one of the safest in the state,
with or without speeding. So why place a permanent speed camera
there – other than to raise revenue?
I visited China last month. The Chinese government has a love
affair with road cameras, which is perhaps not surprising given
their history. My hosts explained one road camera innovation in
which the police use facial recognition technology to catch drivers
using their mobile phones and texting. This is a type of camera
operation I am sure would be supported by most Tasmanian
drivers to remove this very dangerous practice from our roads,
while the government raises revenue.
The other Chinese traffic innovation seen in Nanjing was the
number of electric bikes on the road. These were either the e-bikes
we are familiar with or scooters that had been converted from
petrol to electric battery power. There were no petrol-driven bikes
or scooters, suggesting a government ordinance to mandate the
change. Certainly the streets were much quieter and less smelly.
The electric bikes took up very little space for parking and were
able to utilise the ubiquitous bicycle lanes on the city’s roads.
Evan Evans, Lindisfarne
Remembering The Bistro
I read Jim Marwood ’s article about Pat Collins in a recent Journeys.
I remember him well – I worked at The Bistro from the beginning
for nine years as a waitress. Yes, Pat was a character! On my first
day I came in a white blouse and black skirt. He took me by my
arm and dragged me to a clothing shop and bought me a green
checked wool dress – very expensive, 60 pounds! When I was
pregnant he let me work until one week before my son was born,
saying pregnant women look beautiful. (50 years ago you covered
up, compared with now.)
Over the years I worked as drink waitress, barmaid and behind the
grill and salad bar, when others had their nights off. I learned a lot,
was young and naïve, it opened my eyes.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 Journeys 11
IN OUR COMMUNITY
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