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Journeys : August September 2009
In our community 2. Build a duplicate of what we have now, with passing sections and reserve it exclusively for trucks. Without them, cars can easily fit on the existing system. On the truck road they will all cruise at the maximum speed allowed with very little need for passing. 3. Build a completely new up-to-date railway, not just a patch-up of the existing track, which was designed for wood-burning steam trains. Do not rent it to private enterprise, run it as a state business and make it pay. Bright eyes I have recently made several journeys on the open road at night, and have painfully observed that there is a new type of headlight out there. The normal lights are yellow/orange in colour. However this new one is brilliantly white, with a bluish colour at the bottom of it. It really hurts my eyes. People do not look directly into the sun – nor should they line up directly with these, if eye health is a priority. The owners are probably oblivious to the effect they are having. What are these new lights? And are they even legal? Lesley Bonnefin Stanley Xenon or high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are becoming more common on mid-range vehicles. They produce more light for a given level of power consumption than ordinary tungsten-halogen bulbs. The advantage is a brighter white light that improves night-time vision for drivers. If the lights bother you, don’t look straight into them – instead, shift your gaze to your side of the road ahead. You can control light from following vehicles by adjusting your mirrors. Scientific studies of headlamp glare show that the light from HID headlamps is 40% more glaring than the light from tungsten-halogen headlamps. However they are legal and there is no evidence to suggest they are harmful to your eyes. Darren Moody General Manager, RACT Roadside and Technical Services A fourth solution? T here are three ways to take death off our main routes between Burnie and Hobart, and all are very expensive. 1. Build dual highways, both halves duallaned from start to finish. There is one other solution, which I call the economic rationalist’s approach. This is based on the premise that the world is grossly over-populated; therefore do nothing at all. This will continue to encourage speeding and carnage. The rationalist will say ‘we need their space rather than their presence’ of each lost soul sacrificed. The roads could be seen to become better and still better as they deteriorate. On consideration that would seem to be the current Government’s line of thought! John Hodson Gunns Plains Hidden hollow dangers I would like to draw attention to a safety issue at the junction of Back Tea Tree Road with Tea Tree Road in Brighton. About 100m towards Tea Tree from this junction there is a hollow in the road coinciding with a minor creek crossing. As a result vehicles coming from Brighton along Tea Tree Road and turning into Back Tea Tree Road may suddenly be confronted with a car, possibly travelling at 100km/h, emerging from this hidden hollow. Likewise a car coming from Tea Tree may come over the crest just before the junction and encounter a car half way through a turn into Back Tea Tree Road.Having seen some close encounters at this junction I now usually pause before turning into Back Tea Tree Road to allow any cars in the hollow to clear or, if coming from Tea Tree, I slow before this junction in case I encounter a car turning into Back Tea Tree Road. As an accident at this junction is a distinct possibility I would suggest that some corrective work be carried out. This could be signage on the Tea Tree Road to warn of a hidden hollow in the road or, more effectively, the raising of the road across the minor creek crossing by a metre or two to eliminate the hidden hollow. Tom Bowling Brighton Circuit work amazed at the number of cars with defective brake and tail lights. I suspect brake lights more commonly fail as they would be the lamps operated more often than any other light on the vehicle and are also awkward to check for correct operation. A As an alternative, perhaps vehicle manufacturers could modify the way remote central locking systems currently operate. How about an additional button on the remote to flash the brake lights? This makes it easy to check them when you approach your car and unlock it. Alternatively, could the brake lights flash in conjunction with the hazard lights when remotely locking/unlocking your car as another means of checking the operation of these vital lamps? Do the current Australian Design Rules prohibit any additional circuitry on the brake lamp circuit? Stephen Thomas Acton Park Another option would be to incorporate a telltale light on the dashboard to alert the driver a brake light globe has blown. This technology has been fitted to various makes over the years, and in my experience is very reliable. Darren Moody Travelling on Stephen Thomas wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter on brake lights. 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. August / September 09 11 long with Alan Williamson (Motor News Journeys June/July), I too am
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