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Journeys : October November 2009
Your views The personal touch Iwas very impressed with RACT Motor News Jour neys for August-September. It was encouraging to read 'A student's view' by Ashton Wynn and to see your focus on young drivers. R ACT is to be commended on your approach and commitment to alter the Government's way of thinking (or is that non-thinking?) I enjoy the personal touch, with photos and inter views. There's always something for everyone in every issue -- and this time, I read most articles. Janet Loomes Devonport Starting early ... As a child I had road safety drilled into me. I was allowed a bicycle and freedom, but for whatever I did, I was responsible. I recall a monthly children's newspaper that concentrated on road safety issues and contained competitions, crosswords, quizzes and colouring-in pictures, so it covered all school ages. It was distributed through the schools and reached thousands of children. Safety islands, bollards, barriers and signage will not prevent crashes from happening -- but care, respect and responsibility will. People have to change their attitudes to driving and that begins early -- high school is too late. Let's get back to the basics of care and respect for ourselves and for other's lives and property; of taking responsibility and accountability for what we do; and being courteous. After all, courtesy is catching -- that slogan has stayed with me for over sixty years and I have never had an accident. Angela Prosser Green Norwood ... and even earlier Have you ever watched toddlers in play school? Riding bikes and cars, they crash into each other -- great fun! But this is where drivers learn. They have paths to follow, so why shouldn't they lear n some r ules of the road -- keeping to the cor rect side, stopping at stop signs, looking out for people crossing? The next step up to school proper should be teaching more about road safety, with later lessons in real cars, so that when they get to driving age they will have more concer n for others. Olive Dean Wynyard (84 years old and still driving safely) The tailgating question I have been following the cor respondence that has resulted from Helen Arnold's letter on tailgating with a great deal of interest. Like most drivers, I do not enjoy being tailgated and because, like Helen, I choose to drive at speeds lower than the legal limit, I often find myself with a driver right up my exhaust pipe. As my comfort zone is obviously at a lower speed than the tailgater, I am more than happy to pull over and let the tailgater move on. However from my experience of driving on Tasmanian roads, it is often impossible topulloverandgetoutofthewayina safe, well-controlled manner. There are few if any designated pull-over areas, such as well-constructed lay-bys, with the necessary advance notice of such an area indicated on road signage. So at present, to get a tailgater on their way as quickly as the road conditions permit, I am often forced to consider using a less than desirable pull-over spot, with minimal decision time. Because of the lack of advance notice, the available time for the use of indicators is minimal and is not assisted by the usual closeness of the tailgating vehicle. Can I put in a plea for the con str uction of many pull-over areas with advance war ning sign s, so that we slower drivers can let the more speedy among you move on as quickly as possible with due regard to safety? David Hancock Howrah Begging the question Given the recent focus on speed and speeding I feel compelled to add some balance to the largely emotional response, calling for harsher penalties and reduction in speed limits. There have been two very large studies looking at what causes accidents, put out by the UK and the US Departments of Transport. In both studies, exceeding the speed limit was a factor in only 5% of all accidents. The other 95% related to factors such as inattention, failure to look, judgement errors, aggressive driving, poor turning or manoeuv ring. This begs the question as to why so many resources are focused on prevention of exceeding the speed limit while paying little attention to the other 95% of factors that cause accidents. Maybe a quick five minute test when you go to renew your licence might be more useful, to check, for example, that you know how to give way at an intersection or round-about. David Brown Bonnet Hill In our community October / November 09 12
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