Home' Journeys : Apr May 2016 Contents THE WINNING VIEW... Garry Gleadhill wins a $50 travel voucher for his uniquely-personal
memories of Sydney Harbour in the 60s and 70s. We welcome letters on any motoring or
travel-related topic. Keep them brief – we reserve the right to edit. Contact us by post or
email and please include your postal address. Email the editor at email@example.com
Iwas really inspired by the article about the harvesting of timber
from the waters of Lake Pieman. This looks to me like an ethical
mode of forestry and Hydrowood leads to a perfect method of
downstream processing. There are many lakes in Tasmania so it
certainly looks as though Hydrowood deserves full recognition on
an industrial scale.
Stuart Burgess, Huonville
Wind up your window
Yet another excellent ‘Why I
love my car’ article by Lilly
Donkers – but may I point out
the possible life-threatening
situation of the half-open rear
window alongside the person
sitting in the Subaru! In a
side impact on either side, the
passenger would most likely
be killed. Possibly most of your
members would not be aware of this danger unless they have
completed an advanced driving course.
Another point to note is that a vehicle’s structural integrity is improved
with all windows wound up.
Darren Moody, RACT General Manager Member Services
Ithink it would be worth reminding all Journeys readers on the
legal requirement for motorists to give way to pedestrians. My
observation is that many drivers don’t realise that when they
are turning left or right into a street, they need to give way to
pedestrians waiting to cross or crossing the road on the side street.
Recently I saw an elderly motorist turning from King Street into
Grosvenor Street and sounding his horn repeatedly at a small
child waiting to cross Grosvenor Street – in order to stop the child
crossing the road! The child had right of way. While this is the
worst example of ignorance of this rule that I’ve seen recently,
I endlessly see motorists breaking this particular road rule. It
appears that many motorists believe that they have a blanket right
of way over pedestrians, which is simply not the case in most
I’ve copped the lot
Ireally have to second Stephen Nicol ’s comments in Journeys about
the attitude of Tasmanian drivers affecting the number of cycle
tourists visiting Tasmania. Tasmania has a terrible reputation
amongst cyclists. I’ve copped everything he mentioned in his article
– punishment passes, where the driver deliberately tries to see how
close they can get to you; abuse, even on a road where the way to
overtake is clear; and having objects thrown at me. Punishment
passes are very common here – really they should be considered
attempted murder or assault, given the lack of consequences for the
driver and the potential for death or permanent disablement for
the cyclist. The police and courts, of course, don’t see it that way.
All a driver needs to say is ‘I didn’t see them’ and they are allowed
to go on their way with a slap on the wrist.
Contrast this with my last cycle tour in Hokkaido, Japan, a place
very similar to Tasmania. Cars and trucks are (dare I say this)
embarrassingly polite. I had a truck slow down to my climbing
speed on a mountain road because it couldn’t see around the corner
and pass me with two metres of clearance. Trucks coming in the
opposite direction got to the left so vehicles passing me had extra
room. The difference is the Japanese ‘might is not right’ traffic law.
If a bike hits a pedestrian, it’s the bike’s fault. If a car hits a bike, it’s
the car’s fault. If a truck hits anything, it’s the truck ’s fault. Drivers
pay attention because there are consequences.
The sad thing is that it’s costing Tasmania money, lots of money.
Your average cycle tourist is typically older and well-off. They stay
a long time in any one area and spend their money locally. As an
example, my partner and I travelled for a month in Hokkaido, and
spent somewhere in the vicinity of $5000 in that month, in small
local stores, on accommodation and souvenirs. We met a lot of
friendly people. We even had motorists stopping to offer us food
and drink. Other cycle tourists asked us what Tasmania is like. We
praised the scenery and environment but warned that the roads
are risky because of the drivers. Tasmania has huge potential for
cycle touring, but only if we can change the backward attitude of
our motorists towards cyclists.
Trevor Grigson, New Town
Change the rule!
Ilove your magazine and often want to comment on this or that,
but this time I decided to actually do it.
I read with interest Stephen Nicol ’s ‘Opinion’ about cycling in New
Zealand. Wherever you go in Tasmania you will always experience
cyclists on the roads, especially on weekends. It’s a wonderful way
to see Tassie and I consider the roads to be excellent compared to
I’m sure the majority of road-users would be more accommodating
of all cyclists if they rode in single file, because some roads are not
particularly wide. Cyclists know they are permitted to ride in pairs
perhaps they like to chat while riding, but riding in pairs takes
up the same space as a vehicle and even on busy and narrow roads,
they stay two-abreast, regardless.
For the safety of both motorists and cyclists, I believe the law
should be changed to read ‘cyclists must ride in single file’. When
the subject of cyclists comes up, everyone I talk to agrees with
the ‘single file’ suggestion. So why can’t the ‘powers that be’ do
something about the two-abreast rule and change it to single file?
I’m sure most drivers will have thought about it when they have
been behind a trail of cyclists waiting for a safe place to pass.
APRIL / MAY 2016 Journeys 11
IN OUR COMMUNITY
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