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Journeys : August September 2009
In our community standards by many of your southern drivers. I noticed motorists failing to indicate their intentions at roundabouts, weaving in and out of traffic, not giving way to the speeding motorists cutting in from the extreme left lane, and on a zip lane, I observed a bus forcing the car ahead of it to brake sharply as the bus cut off his right to continue. On the other hand, many motorists did let traffic changing lanes into the traffic flow. This seldom happens on the Victoria Bridge in Devonport. Why are southern drivers allowed to get away with not indicating, whereas on the North West Coast, we would be booked for such an infringement? It’s time the police educated these offending drivers, by doing their job properly and booking them, after giving one warning. Jim Campbell Ulverstone Your views O Upgrade your act, southerners n a recent visit to Hobart, I was dismayed at the poor driving Judith-Anne Tahir Deloraine Astronomical costs? So be it! is clear that there has not been for many years a Minister or Head of Department in the Department of Infrastructure and Resources with the willingness or ability to clearly assess Tasmania’s transport needs, nor to determine what needs be done to rectify matters. R I am not a pessimist by nature but the current state of affairs leaves one wondering how much longer will it be before our road and rail systems collapse completely? I dare not think about the air and shipping ports! More rest bays needed tired. One stated ‘Disturbingly, Tasmanian drivers are below the national average for using driver reviver stations – 59% percent nationally compared with only 50% of Tasmanians.’ Another report said that there were only five of these Driver Reviver bays throughout Tasmania. R It has concerned us over many years that there is an extreme scarcity of rest bays in this state. Drivers may read signs alluding to rest being vital to driver safety, such as the ‘Rest & Survive the Drive’ signs – but in fact there are scarcely any for a tired 10 August / September 09 ecent press articles have drawn attention to the risks of driving while I confess that I am an observer and not an expert on these matters but I suggest the place to begin would be the modernisation of our rail system. We need a standardgauge track, modern diesels (removing the need of coupling three together and overloading on the present worn-out track) and railyards designed to accommodate large trucks for the distribution of freight. I feel certain that manufacturers and other producers, importers and exporters would gladly use an efficient rail system if it were available to them, to say nothing of travellers. The next group of people to benefit from rail up-grading will be motorists. We will notice that our roads, which are not built for the present heavy use to which they are subjected, will not be in constant need of patching. However, we must recognise that as a small state we are not in a financial position to provide the level of upgrades eading the many letters published in Motor News Journeys and elsewhere, it Inattention and complex technology A recent car accident involving a colleague has highlighted a major problem in the installation of pre-market and after-market auto devices that are already causing many deaths and serious injuries. Unless a total overhaul of in-car navigation and entertainment regulations occurs very soon, these devices will be the major cause of death on our roads. The accident involved an overseas visitor playing with a GPS navigation device. He drifted across the centre line and had a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle. Luckily, no one was killed but the injuries, the trail of doctor’s visits and counselling to the victim driving the oncoming vehicle and his family has been horrendous. They will never totally get over it. It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving – and for good reason. Anything that takes your attention from the road is deadly. Then why am I allowed to install a complicated radio, a DVD player or a sat-nav device in my car without any regulations? Why is there not a code of compliance that will prevent from entering the country any electronic device that cannot be used without having the driver take their eyes off the road? We have advertising slogans saying ‘Just Like That!’ – and that’s how my mate’s accident happened, from someone using a totally legal device. The fact that it was installed in a hire car adds fuel to the fire! Waine Whitbread Wilmot necessary for 21st century commerce unless these are supported and funded from Federal Government funds. driver to pull over to rest in! The few that do exist are often not adequately signposted. We travel regularly from Deloraine to Launceston or Devonport, and with the exception of maybe a couple of bays, a tired driver would have no choice but to pull into a farmer’s gateway entrance to rest, which of course is not recommended. Mainland states have an abundance of rest areas – they are large enough for a semitrailer to pull into with ease, as well as other cars, and each one has a large sign indicating a rest bay 300m before it. Why has nothing at all has been done to provide this safety measure for tired drivers? We know the costs of bringing Tasmania’s transport infrastructure up-to-date and capable of meeting future needs for many years to come will be astronomical by comparison to the sums being spent now, but if we are to leave future generations with safe and viable transport infrastructure, then, so be it! Dan Rough Snr Devonport
June July 2009
October November 2009