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Journeys : June July 2009
Life on the move Roadkill solutions T he RACT recently hosted a conference on the issue of roadkill. The meeting brought together considerable expertise and it was agreed to convene again over winter. Scientific experts, road engineers, wildlife specialists, RACT Insurance, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and government advisers heard about possible solutions to a problem that impacts on road safety, tourism and animal welfare. CSIRO biologist Dr Alistair Hobday, who spent three years recording and mapping road kill carcasses, briefed the meeting on his research. He estimates that about 290,000 animals are killed on Tasmanian roads each year. Roadkill is dominated by a relatively small number of species such as wallaby and brushtail possums, although other species are also affected. For example, Dr Hobday estimates that around 3000 Tasmanian devils also fall victim each year. Most incidents occur at dawn and dusk. Dr Hobday’s mapping shows that there are roadkill hot spots where most incidents occur. The RACT meeting discussed possible solutions to mitigate the problem in these hot spots, and these will be discussed at the next meeting. The mapping undertaken to date does not yet cover the entire state and participants are investigating how a statewide map of hotspots can be completed. Dr Hobday is keen to see his data uploaded into cars’ GPS devices so that motorists with satellite navigation can be alerted when approaching roadkill hot spots. The results of the mapping so far can be found at www.roadkilltas.com. If you’re undertaking a journey, Dr Hobday urges you to visit the site and print journey maps that show where hot spots occur, so that you can be alerted to areas of higher risk. Helped – when he needed it most! R ACT Roadside Ultimate member Allan Jones sent us this good-news story. I had a flat battery in April at 3:30pm when I needed to get to the hospital to pick up my newly-born son. I wish to highlight the amazing service provided by RACT on this occasion when I was assisted by your roadside staff, David Blain. I know David personally and already have an appreciation of his exceptional trouble-shooting and his mechanical and electrical automotive skills. However, on this occasion it is worth highlighting how efficient, professional and customer-focused David was on this job and the additional service that he provided (which cost no time but saved me significant pain later in the day and also allowed a win-win situation with me purchasing a new battery from RACT on the spot.) My vehicle is a Lexus RX330 and disconnecting the battery means a trip to Toyota to reprogram the power windows, sunroof etc, etc – quite painful. I mentioned to David that perhaps I should just have RACT get me started so I could go to Toyota to get a new battery put in. But David provided an alternate plan. He explained that RACT Batteries were very reliable and had a three-year warranty and that he could most likely keep power on the vehicle to save reprogramming the computer. Due to his Lexus knowledge he said that even if he wasn’t successful, the reprogramming could be done later. From the time he arrived to the time I was able to start the vehicle with its new RACT Battery (including paper work) the job took less than ten minutes. He provided exceptional customer service and a high level of professionalism. It reminded me why my RACT Roadside Ultimate membership is such a valued motoring asset. Please pass on my thanks to David Blain and the RACT Call Centre staff for their responsiveness and for providing excellent service. With sincere appreciation, Allan Jones, Tranmere June / July 09 21
April May 2009
August September 2009