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Journeys : June July 2009
In our community and which allows for road conditions, vehicle conditions and driver ability. The capability and confidence levels of drivers no doubt covers a significant range. P-plate drivers are required to display P signs and not to exceed a speed of 80km/h. Perhaps slower drivers who are uncomfortable or incapable of travelling at the speed limit under ‘normal’ good driving conditions should display an ‘S’ sign to remind and indicate to other drivers to make allowances and to be patient. The best we can do to maintain the peace is try and assist our fellow road-users by not tailgating, by not dawdling when we have the ability to not do so, by not accelerating on reaching the overtaking lanes, which might prevent people overtaking, by actually allowing the lefthand lane to merge out of the suicide lanes of the current overtaking lane system and by not blasting the horn and gesticulating. M. Fyfe Glengarry Tamar Highway gets a rough patch job on only some of its length. The worst sections have been left! Is the government aware of how much truck traffic uses the Frankford Highway/ Birralee Road route? I’m guessing it’s the preferred route for Bell Bay to points west. Birralee Road is particularly narrow and ill-suited to the traffic it gets. Bill Donald Gravelly Beach Tolerance training needed I am only a car driver but I am in favour of bike lanes and other improvements to our roads. However perhaps all road users need to undergo ‘tolerance training’. For example, in Motor News Journeys we’ve heard a truck driver who likes to lay down the law as to how everyone around him should use the road. Also, many cyclists need to understand that just because they are accustomed to breaking the law with impunity, doesn’t mean they have the right to do it. Car drivers would benefit as well, with many prangs avoided by the simple method of not letting the ego get in the way of reason. Why is it so important to so many road users of all types of vehicles, that they be first? Being determined to be in front, to be first off at the traffic lights, to get in front of that bus, truck or car, to travel at your chosen speed at all times, is childish, egotistical and intolerant. It is also no better than the hooning behaviour deplored by so many, and has the potential to cause just as much grief. Lights out the number of brake and tail lights that are not operating. It is almost beyond belief that the motor manufacturers have never to my knowledge developed and installed a warning light or alarm to notify the driver when one or the other of these items is malfunctioning. How hard can it be? A simple circuit-breaker would do the trick, problem solved! Unless some observant and helpful person informs you of the problem, it can go without notice for some time and it does create a safety problem to the person following. A Allan Williamson Patch-up job W hile a super highway is being built on parts of the little-used East Tamar Highway, the much busier West s I drive along the highways and byways I am constantly amazed at Jo McRae Lenah Valley Tough on the bush T he government’s changes to pensioner eligibility for concessions on registration are unfair to people in the bush who may need both a ute and a sedan. The new changes mean that single pensioners can only get the concession for one or the other. the restriction of the concession to one trailer also means people will have to pay full fees on other purpose-built trailers like horse floats or boat trailers. I urge readers and the RACT to complain to Minister Sturges about these changes. J. Robin Meander When you need it most A note of appreciation to the RACT for the friendly, efficient service afforded us recently when our vehicle developed a mechanical problem and had us stranded a long way from home in Oatlands. Within 20 minutes, RACT agent Paul Ward was on the scene, assessed the situation and made arrangements for our vehicle to be delivered to our Tasman Penisula address. The promise was duly honoured and our car arrived home the next day. The whole operation went very smoothly and left my wife and I so very thankful for our Roadside Ultimate cover. Doug Broughton White Beach About time! Hooray for the Liberal Party’s promise to upgrade the Midland Highway to four lanes. It’s about time! I look forward to when I can poddle along down to Hobart with full peace of mind, knowing that speeding souls can overtake me without spreading death and destruction in their wake. Let’s just hope the Liberals keep their promise and that it won’t take too long to eventuate. Bev Allen Riverside Police on Patrol W ithout trying to further Americanise our country, we could take at least one leaf out of their book. Our Police Minister should consider a highway patrol as a specialised arm of the police, with the sole duty of patrolling our highways and other roads outside urban areas, in both mobile and stationary positions. A person would be lucky (or unlucky if doing the wrong thing) to see a police car on a trip from Smithton to Hobart, apart from maybe in a speed reduction zone or built-up area. Plentiful and highly conspicuous patrols on the roads would make motorists reconsider the need to overtake dangerously, smoke with children in the car, use their phones or speed up on overtaking lanes. I doubt if these reckless acts would occur if a motorist had a highway patrol car in their line of traffic! (see our story on page 19) Craig Hensley Burnie Travelling on Jo McRae wins a $50 travel voucher for her letter on tolerance. 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. June / July 09 11
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