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Journeys : August September 2009
In our community Street-smart Opinion I We asked: What do you think of the idea of reducing the speed limit by 10 kilometres per hour on highways and rural roads? think it’s a knee-jerk reaction. People need to drive to the conditions and have a little courtesy. Unfortunately, given the volume of traffic on some of those roads it is inevitable that these tragic things will happen. Rob Bellchambers Lenah Valley I reckon that it’s low enough now on the main highway. Scott Bomford Geeveston T Graeme Barwick T hat is a good idea, there would be fewer accidents if people kept to the speed limit. Marjorie Curran Geilston Bay he recent appalling road statistics have prompted me to write with my thoughts. First let me introduce myself – I am not a celebrity or politician, but a relative nobody. However I have been driving cars for over 54 years and been an RACT member for 52 years. My driving experience extends to well over one million kilometres in ten different countries. My most recent overseas driving experience was last year when I drove 20,000 kilometres in Canada, USA, Ireland, England and South Africa over a period of nine weeks. I am pleased to say that I handed the five rental cars back without a scratch. Clearly what we need are safer drivers, safer cars, safer roads. slower pace is a really positive thing. By driving too fast we often miss out on seeing the beauty of the countryside and surroundings. A I Kevin Follett Montrose t wouldn’t hurt but it is the drivers that we really need to be aware of. Alison McNeice Mt Nelson T August / September 09 great idea. I think anything that encourages us to take life at a Safer drivers – with better attitudes This is the most difficult issue to solve, as the other two are quite easily addressed with money. The two things that must be tackled are the skills and attitudes of drivers. The skill aspect is already receiving attention with some secondary schools introducing driver training into their curriculum and the extended hours that learners must practise under supervision before obtaining their P-plates. Attitude is the big problem and this starts with the whole society attitude to drinking and drugs as well as macho behaviour. Unfortunately this attitude extends to the driver at the wheel. The claim that all motorists will be breath-tested over next Easter is a positive move. (I can’t say whether it happened this year, as I was in Wagga for an old car rally. I certainly was not breath-tested in either Victoria or NSW during the 1500 kilometre trip.) he biggest problem is that people need to stick to the speed limit so if it brings them back a bit it would be a good thing. It’s not always the speed limit though, it is driving to the conditions, especially on country roads. Alana Atkins Dairy Plains Photos and interviews by Kelly Madden 12 Speed limits are only effective to a certain extent, because drivers must learn to drive to the conditions. The limit on most of our major highways is now 110 km/h. Like the ad says, ‘It’s a limit not a challenge’. There would be times when 110 on a major highway would be suicidal – for example, in thick fog. Drivers must learn to rely on common sense as well as speed limits. I also think that drivers get frustrated by speed restrictions for road works – although of course, every family has the right to expect Dad to come home from work after repairing our roads. What I do question is the placement of signs. In the USA for instance the restriction signs are only placed where there are road works, not a kilometre either side of the works. Also in several USA states the speed indicated is followed by the words ‘when workers present’. Road slashers quite often have the de-restriction sign attached to the tractor.
June July 2009
October November 2009