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Journeys : Feb March 2010
The R ACT is releasing a document in the lead-up to the Tasmanian State Election outlining a list of priorities and seeking commitments from all political parties to act in the best interests of Tasmanian motorists. With at least one car in most Tasmanian homes, the private motor vehicle is essential to the lifestyles of our families, the connectivity of our decentralised communities, and to the sustainability of the wider Tasmanian economy. For this reason, R ACT has an ongoing interest in gover nment policies and programs that affect motor vehicle ow ners and users. All road users must take personal responsibility for driving safely, but the State Gover nment has the primary role -- through engineering, education and enforcement -- to ensure our roads, as well as road user skills and behaviour, meet standards that are acceptable to the community. While enforcement plays a vital part in achieving safer drivers, in safer cars, on safer roads, engineering and education are just as crucial in this ongoing challenge. The R ACT believes that the majority of our members are law-abiding citizens. That's why enforcement and regulatory measures that are claimed to be in the interests of road safety need to be carefully considered and balanced. With that in mind, the R ACT has developed a Roadmap for the next Tasmanian Gover nment, outlining priorities for a safer Tasmania. It will be available to read in full from w ww.ract.com.au during the election campaign. According to recent government statistics, Tasmania has a population of just over 500,000, of which around 318,000 hold a full Tasmanian driver's licence. Our state also has around 799 registered vehicles per 1000 residents -- the Australian average is significantly lower at 719 per 1000. The importance of the family car and the work car in particular are reinforced by the lack of adequate public transport in many areas of our State and the reality that in other smaller communities, there simply is not the critical mass to support this sort of infrastr ucture. The inaugural joint meeting of the R ACT's three Regional Advisory Committees was held in Launceston in July 2009, at which a number of issues were prioritised. In anticipation of the 2010 State Election on 20 March, the R ACT is seeking a commitment from all parties and candidates to support the best interests of Tasmanian motorists on a broad range of issues, including the following: • An AusR AP road risk assessment report for all national and state roads in Tasmania and a commitment to apply the risk-rating methodology to infor m and prioritise investment programs • The development and implementation of a ten plus ten year integrated infrastr ucture strategy, along with an ideas unit and an additional junior Minister for the portfolio • Maintenance of the Road Safety Levy (paid along with registration) at its cur rent level and an openness to increasing the levy, as required, to fund further measures under the Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy • In addition, developing some for m of connection between fine collections and investment; for example, allocating all net traffic fine revenue to on-road measures such as maintenance or hazard risk reduction • Implementing compulsory road safety education in all Tasmanian high schools • Roadworthiness vehicle inspections for used cars on transfer of registration, together with more random on-road vehicle checks and annual blitzes on vehicle condition • Abolishing the mandatory on-road assessment for drivers 85 years and over and increasing educational resources for this group, especially road r ule reminders • A new broad-based system of fixed speed cameras involving a large number of security boxes and a smaller number of actual cameras rotating through them • A roll-out of appropriate warning and educational signage to combat roadkill in Tasmania • Research foc u s on inattention and distraction amongst Tasmanian drivers to better understand the significance of these crash factors • Significant immediate increases to the various budget allocations for the basic unit of road safety in Tasmania, linemarking • Additionally, an immediate roll-out of audio-tactile profiled (ATP) edge and centre line markings on the Bass Highway where required between Launceston and Latrobe, and other candidate single carriageway undivided roads across Tasmania • An immediate review of speed limit signage; in particular, the confusing End 80 style • Incremental increases to the Tasmania Police high-visibility vehicle fleet to at least twenty-four by end of 2012 • A much greater focu s on the use of technology on Tasmanian roads such as high-visibility LED war ning message signs; and more ANPR cameras and operations • A suite of much-needed key freight and tourist road upgrades, such as the link roads between the Bass Highway and Bell Bay port; freight roads in the North-East; and Illawarra Road • Where there is the critical mass to support it, there should be sufficient investment to ensure a robust, affordable, convenient and appropriate public transport system Almost 180,000 Tasmanians in around 113,000 households across the state are Roadside or Access members of the R ACT. The vast majority of these Tasmanians will be voting at the upcoming State election. State Election March 20: RACT seeks commitments from all three major parties A Roadmap for the next Tasmanian government -- priorities for a safer Tasmania In our community Audio-tactile profiled edge and centre line markings on the Midland Highway. The RACT is seeking wider application of this cost-effective road safety countermeasure across Tasmania. Gary O'Keefe 5 February / March 10
Dec Jan 2010
April May 2010