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Journeys : April May 2009
It is drivers with the kind of intolerant attitude that Mr van Dijk displays that contribute to road carnage. A.A. Legg Scamander The accuracy question validity of his comments regarding the accuracy of modern speedometers. An error of 10% of the indicated speed would be a huge error for any modern instrument. Vehicles fitted with analog (pointer-style) speedos could expect errors of perhaps 3% at worst, while those with electronic digital readouts are most likely to have an error of plus or minus 1 on the last digit – very accurate indeed. R It would be worth a comment by the RACT technical team. As far as suggesting that Helen Arnold would not be a road hazard if she drove at the speed limit of 110 km/h, one has to wonder how effective the Road Safety Task Force messages have been to Mr van Dijk. Is he ignorant of the fact that the speed limit is not an advisory notice of the speed required but a legal limit that must not be exceeded, and that the Task Force suggests that slowing down by 10 km/h reduces crashes? On the Midland and Tasman Highways heavy trucks do consistently exceed 100 km/h and can be found doing 110 along with passenger coaches that seem to always run at the speed limit, so the questions raised by Denis Camplin (on compliance checking and enforcement of heavy vehicle speed limiters) do need an answer from some authority. Just drive along the Tasman between Hobart and the airport any day to find examples of high speed up and down the Mt Rumney cutting and the intimidating tailgating by truckies if you are in their way. Not all truckies are as polite, courteous and law-abiding as Mr van Dijk might like to think – and yes, motorists can be obnoxious too. Ray Hernan Howrah Gardens Until 1 July 2006 (for new models) and July 2007 (for all vehicles), Australian Design Rules allowed a +/- error of 10% at speeds above 40 km/h. After these dates, ADRs state that the speedo reading must not be less than the true (actual) speed; and the amount by which the speedo reads over the true speed must be not more than 10% of the true (actual) speed, plus 4 km/h. In practice, it would be very unusual obert van Dijk is an experienced truck driver, however I question the for a vehicle manufactured after 1 July 2007 to have an under-read of more than 3-5 km/h at 100 km/h. Darren Moody General Manager, Roadside & Technical Services Free buses for Lonnie? I t was interesting to read the CEO column referring to a free bus service in Sydney’s CBD. We will be sure to take advantage of that later this month during our visit. The suggestion for the Tasmanian Government to introduce a similar service in Launceston is a splendid one. It would not only be a means of reducing traffic in the city, but a boon to tourism if it covered the CBD, Inveresk, the Cataract Gorge, Home Point, Sea Port, Windmill Hill and Kings Meadows. Launceston would then be a truly tourist-friendly city. Bill Carney Riverside Back off, King D river van Dijk has carefully explained why it is OK for him to tailgate. The solution he suggests to offended drivers is that they speed up. He speaks of his frustration occasioned by ‘small things like car drivers going 5 km/h under the limit, showing no common road courtesy and just not being aware of the road and the actions around them.’ (My italics). Mr van Dijk is a professional. He is responsible for heavy machinery and goods worth dozens of thousands of dollars, which he must move safely around, across and through the state within a limited time-frame. It is therefore quite understandable that he may have acquired a ‘King of the Road’ attitude towards other vehicles. As a lifelong professional driver who has been under the same delusions, I can offer him these assurances: 1. The driver doing 105 km/h may be going as fast as she safely can, considering her ability and the limitations of her vehicle. 2. She has paid her road taxes and has rights equal to yours in the use of the public thoroughfare, and some expectation of common road courtesy from others. 3. Her awareness of the road and the actions around her, notably a large truck snorting down her neck in breach of road law, common courtesy and rationality, certainly slowed her down. Slowed you down too. Back off, King. She’s doing the best she can. You don’t need to help her do the worst. Doug Francis Mt Nelson A sticky issue I have an issue with vehicle registrations. No doubt I am sensitive to this, following the change in pensioner concessions, which was designed to prevent couples registering two or more vehicles under the name of one eligible pensioner, but which adversely affected the single owner of more than one vehicle. During one of my twice-daily walks recently I counted four vehicles displaying out-of-date registration stickers and saw another pass me on the highway. One vehicle had no sticker at all and a couple had both the old and the new, which I understand is illegal. I also noticed a couple of registration stickers strategically placed in the top tinted area of the windscreen, making it almost impossible to see the colour of the label and the month of expiry. I suspect that this too is illegal. Could this be typical of other suburbs? If so there is a lot of revenue to be gained from unpaid fees or police fines – or both! It would be comforting to know that some of the wrongdoers were contributing to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles’ coffers. Leonard Clipstone Taroona Travelling on Doug Francis wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter on tailgating. We welcome letters on any motoring or travel-related topic. Keep them brief – we reserve the right to edit. Contact us by post, fax or email and please include your postal address. April / May 09 11
June July 2009
June July 2008