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Journeys : October November 2009
A positive approach All this negativism about the road toll is getting rather boring. Instead of saying everyone else is a mug driver, how about rewarding good drivers? For example, if a driver doesn't have any traffic offences after 10 years, their licence fee would be reduced. This would make drivers think a bit more about reaching a goal and reducing the fee. The incentive idea could continue for 20 and 30 years -- you would be surprised how many people enjoy a reward for effort. You would also find out how much more careful older drivers are! Keith Ward Sorell Enough. Full Stop. Period. In the letter 'Inattention and complex technology' (Motor News Journeys August- September), Waine Whitbread highlights the paradox that as our cars get safer with things like ABS and airbags, they are also being filled with more distractions 'such as complicated radios, DVD players or sat-nav devices ... without any regulation.' This raises the question -- what sort of regulation does he want, and how much of it? It reminded me of the three nicely- laminated pages of closely-typed, small- print 'Ter ms of Admission/Spectator Code of Conduct' that my dog and I saw, still displayed at the main gates to Aurora Stadium a fortnight after a recent A-League soccer match. Anyone who took the trouble to read it all before entering would have missed half the match. On past form, drivers will be slugged with a similar host of new laws and ga zetted regulations for each device such as sat-nav or DVD, and for each new app as it appears. Perhaps those who wrote the three above-mentioned pages will be hired to draft them. Surely, what we need is something like this -- 'Drivers have the legal responsibility to maintain concentration on their driving, and to drive to the traffic and road condition s, at all times.' Enough. Full Stop. Period. Surely any further detail is no more than make-work for bureaucrats, and an open invitation to send lawyers on a loop-hole hunt? Leonard Colquhoun Inver may Blame the fools behind the wheel In reply to Waine Whitbread, I feel compelled to comment that legislation to control the importing, fitting, and use of the devices he mentions, (complicated radios, DVD players, or GPS units) would do little to change the current situation. Legislation has proven to be ineffective in stopping drivers using mobile phones or even video cameras while driving. Every day I see at least 10% of drivers, particularly log truck drivers, using their mobile phones while travelling through our little town. Ultimately, it is up to the driver of any vehicle to do the right thing. If a person lacks so much common sense, or has the incredible stupidity, to 'play with a GPS navigation device' while driving (or using any device that takes their attention from the road) then road trauma will continue to happen. Let's not blame modern technology, but the fools behind the wheel! Wolf Hoffmannbeck Derby The lights are on and nobody's moving The passenger bus that I drive has a ma xi- park brake. When the park brake is applied, the brake lights also come on. If you're stopped at traffic lights or an intersection on a hill, you apply the hand brake and wait for the traffic to move. Normally the traffic behind would not be aware your hand brake is on, as no brake lights are illuminated when your foot is off the footbrake. But under this system, other road users will be aware that you are not about to move. It might save a shunt from behind. Greg Hyland Reflect on this How to check your brake lights are working? I find the best way is when you go to a shop with a car park in front, most shop windows act as mirrors. So if you reverse into a parking spot, you can check your brake lights and tail lights in your rear vision mirror! A.H. Eykelkamp Paper Beach End END speed limit signs Can we please abolish END speed limit signs? How can a sign telling me what the speed limit isn't be less confusing than one telling me what it is? END signs ensure that we will not know the speed limit unless we understand speed limit areas and default speed limits. Obviously, this all seemed clever and amusing to an exhausted committee late some evening after too much coffee or something stronger than coffee, but is too complicated to be practical. We need to remind our traffic authorities that road safety is serious and important, and that we need signs that are simple, obvious and explicit, not signs that force us to play clever, amusing and dangerous guessing games. Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix. For all new installations, it is easy to install normal speed limit signs instead of confusing END signs. For existing installations, the expensive work has been done and need not be done again. The END signs can be removed easily and replaced with appropriate nor mal signs. Please give us signs that help us to drive safely. Keith Anderson KingstonTravelling on g Keith Ward wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter on positive reinforcement for good drivers. 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. In our community 13 9 October / November 08
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