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Journeys : October November 2009
Anumber of key issues emerged from a recent two-day conference of the RACT's three Regional Advisory Committees. First set up in the 1950s, the volunteer committees look at road and road safety issues within the three regions and advise the R ACT on action s that need to be taken to protect the interests of motorists. A conference of the three committees -- the first joint meeting in their history -- was a chance to be briefed by various road safety stakeholder groups, from the State Gover nment to motorcyclists and cyclists. There was also a forum involving the three major political parties. Some of the issues that the committees identified as important included: • Safety inspections of vehicles on transfer of vehicle ow nership • Increased random safety checks on cars • An increase in the road safety levy of $5, as long as the money is dedicated to road safety, such as better road line markings • Compulsory road safety education in schools • Coroners' reports to be released to determine causes of fatalities/crashes • Increased use of technology as a road safety tool • A review of speed signage, with the reinstatement of the de-restriction sign • Education campaign s to remind motorists about the road r ules Input to the conference by presenters from DIER, Tasmania Police and other groups covered a wide range of issues including general road safety issues, policies on the setting of speed limits, road works signage practices, the Gover nment's Road Safety Levy, the Midland Highway, line markings on roads and the future of technology as an aid to road safety. RACT welcomes thrust of government road safety package The R ACT has largely welcomed the Government's announcement of new measures to make our roads safer. However, as reported elsewhere in this edition, the Government has stated it is reluctant to make road safety education a mandatory subject in secondary schools, although the Greens and the Liberals have committed to it (see story on page 3). While we are disappointed at the Government's decision to maintain road safety education as a voluntary subject in schools, we are pleased with many of the other measures announced recently, such as an increase in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, vehicle clamping, and point-to- point speed cameras. It is good to see that many of these measures are based on new technology. We have advocated for some time that technology such as ANPR presents some great opportunities for advances in road safety. We are also pleased that funds generated through greater penalties because of the changes will be quarantined from general revenue, to be used specifically for road safety programs and police enforcement. Beating bowel cancer Bowel cancer kills 80 Australians every week. It affects both men and women and is the second-biggest killer after lung cancer. But if found early, nearly all cases can be cured. Screening helps find bowel cancer early, when treatment has the best chance of success. If you are over 50, national health guidelines recommend a simple screening test every two years. Regular screening is important because you can have bowel cancer without any noticeable symptoms. Screening involves taking a tiny sample from two separate bowel motions using a simple test. The test is then mailed to a laboratory where the samples are analysed for traces of blood that may be invisible to the naked eye, but could be an early sign of bowel cancer. If blood is found in either sample, your will be sent a letter encouraging you to speak to your doctor about further testing, usually a colonoscopy. For further infor mation about the national screening program call 1800 118 868 or visit w w w.cancerscreening.gov.au Warning signs Bowel cancer often develops without symptoms. However, when they do occur, they might include: • Bleeding from the back passage or any sign of blood after a bowel motion • Changes in bowel habits • Feeling your bowel does not empty completely • Abdominal pain • Loss of weight for no obvious reason • Unexplained tiredness, weakness or breathlessness. It is important to see your doctor immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms. For more detailed infor mation about bowel cancer, visit w ww.bowelcanceraustralia.com or phone 1300 369 772 for your nearest PSA phar macy and ask for a free fact card. Our Regional Advisory Committees meet together for the first time In our community October / November 09 8
August September 2009
Dec Jan 2010