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Journeys : June July 2009
In our community Your views P Leave the limits alone lease don’t encourage our traffic authorities to reduce our speed limits. Although excessive speed is a major cause of crashes, including fatal crashes, this rarely means that the speed limit is excessive. Instead, it almost always means that the driver was driving faster – often much faster – than the speed limit. Reducing the speed limit leaves the cause of the problem unchanged. Motorists who currently comply with speed limits will continue to do that and endure the nuisance of driving more slowly, but because they are already driving safely, their contribution to the crash rate will still be small. Motorists who currently ignore speed limits will continue to do that too. Their contribution to the crash rate will remain large – the crash rate is just as likely to increase as decrease. Road safety depends at least as much on education as on enforcement. It is easy to educate motorists to comply with reasonable laws, and darn near impossible to educate anyone to comply with unreasonable laws. Our speed limits are about right as they are – please keep them that way. The problem is poor compliance – please fix the problem. Keith Anderson Kingston Elderly hoons? sprout after the 1967 bush fires in Tasmania and the feeling of hope it engendered. In the same edition, well written Eric Hartill! It is good to read that I am not alone in my criticism of Aurora. I thought I had been carrying on a solo campaign to get them to repair malfunctioning street lights. I regularly ring and report faulty lights and if I cannot quote a pole number they get very stroppy. I have told them that as a lone driver I am not prepared to get out of my car, walk to the offending pole, attempt to locate a pole number in the dark and return to my car to write it down before ringing them with details. Surely it is adequate for me to describe the position? I would have thought in this day and age there was a more effective way of ensuring all lights are functioning than relying on the general public to ring in. I suggested some sort of incentive to report-in if the general public is to do Aurora’s work. I was told that would only encourage people to take a pot-shot at lights! And what about Aurora employees? Do they drive along the same roads as me? Do they report the outages? If so, they have no more success than I do because some lights stay out for weeks on end. Like Eric Hartill I note that there are numerous intersections with faulty lights. I have been told that the cherry picker is only hired periodically to make repairs but this is not good enough. Loss of even one signal can add to confusion at intersections and could cause an accident. Please keep on lobbying on behalf of motorists. Margaret Eldridge Sandy Bay Going for the shadow New life, dead lights C ongratulations on the cover picture of the April/May edition. It really symbolised regeneration after the bushfires as well as being a beautiful picture in its own right. I remember my amazement when blackened and apparently dead gum trees started to 10 June / July 09 experience while driving at night, an animal on the verge will hop away if I dim or flash my headlights. If I don’t, the animal is likely to hit me – it seems that animals go for the shadow under the car. I I suggest putting a light beneath vehicles that would come on with the headlights for night driving. Surely this would be an easy experiment to try. Kerry Johnstone Battery Point t is an unhappy thing to see animals on the road dead or maimed by cars. In my Your article on carbon offset through revegetation appears to support the actions of Targa Tasmania driver Jim Richards to buy-off criticism of his waste of nonrenewable resources and pollution of the environment with fumes and noise by paying someone to plant trees. A more responsible action would be to stop invading peaceful rural environments to feed his need for an adrenalin rush and not create the pollution in the first place, while setting a good example for everyday drivers. It’s time for Jim Richards and the other elderly Targa hoons to grow up and stop creating problems for society. Rod Broadby Kaoota In support of driver van Dijk... responses supported Helen Arnold and were based on Helen being permitted to ‘drive to her ability’ (at a speed of 100 km/h on the Midland Highway.) I But if Helen were driving to her ability at a speed of 70km/h in a 110km/h limit, how many of these respondents (and indeed how many motorists) would be offering Helen the same empathy? Certainly nobody is obliged to drive to the speed limit but if you don’t you may want to show some consideration to those who do. If someone is tailgating you (and I don’t advocate tailgating by the way), they are asking you to speed up. If this is beyond your comfort zone, pull over and let them move on. Then everyone is happy. Walter van Schie North Hobart ... and again I was surprised to see Darren Moody’s comments on speedo accuracy. I have checked three vehicles – a 97 Mirage read 5km/h high, a 2001 Tribute read 5km/h high and a 2006 Mazda 3 read 7km/h above, all when the speedo showed 110km/h. I did the checks using GPS, a Hume Highway speed indicator and the Epping Forrest speedo check distance. I think Mr van Dijk was probably correct with regards the speed Helen Arnold may have been travelling. Mr van Dijk has a valid perspective, as does Helen. We all have the right – indeed the obligation – to travel at a speed (not exceeding the limit) at which we feel safe read the reactions to Robert van Dijk’s correspondence with interest. All
April May 2009
August September 2009