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Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
Travelling on Anne-Marie Loader wins a $50 travel voucher for her letter on sound driving advice. We welcome letters on any motoring or travel-related topic. Keep them brief -- we reserve the right to edit. Contact us by post, fa x or email and please include your postal address. Suburban test-track Ienjoyed the comment in the last Motor News Jour neys about the state of Nelson Road -- it did make me think of a letter I meant to w rite following a recent trip to Launceston and back, on the state of the Midland Highway. While driving to and from Launceston, I kept seeing signs that said 'rough, uneven surface ahead'. Other than a small patch north of Campbell Town that does need repair, I thought it quite a good road (certainly compared with many city roads, especially Nelson Road, where I live) and I couldn't see the rough, uneven surfaces. Sure, there were some patches but nothing serious. The trip reminded me that roads don't kill people; drivers do (themselves or others), and it is into drivers that we need to put the effort. On that point, it was interesting to see in the same magazine, the reference to Mike Bowyer's views on driver aptitude testing. Could the Government look into that? Now, in defence of current Nelson Road. I recently bought a new car, and the road was ideal for testing the suspen sion and ride of the three vehicles I tested. Much better than a good highway or country road -- and all in the suburbs. Patrick Quilty Mt Nelson Good advice from Dad A recent near-miss on the single-lane bridge area on Montana Road (I was saved by slow and cautious driving) has made me even more thankful for a Dad who not only taught me how to change gears, reverse park and use indicators, but also taught me the ethos of safe driving. 'When you are behind the wheel of a car, you are never in a hurry' was a phrase dr ummed into me as lear ner driver by my Dad, 27 years ago. Having recently seen my eldest daughter drive off proudly with her P-Plates and my younger daughter tentatively displaying her L-Plates, I understand the ama zing angst and responsibility of teaching someone you love how to drive. My Dad sat me dow n and being the accountant that he is, calculated the time it would take me to drive from Launceston to Hobart at 80, 90 and 110km/h. I can't remember the exact difference but it wasn't a great amount of time. That phrase still rings in my head on a regular basis and reminds me to slow dow n and drive with care because you just never know what is around the cor ner. Thanks Dad for teaching me the fundamentals of driving -- don't be in a hurry, drive to the conditions, watch out for 'idiots' and above all be careful. Anne-Marie Loader Montana Are the penalties adequate? Loss of life, trauma, grief, huge hospital and medical expenses, over-taxing of hospital facilities, interr uptions to the transport system, property damage as a result of road rage, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and inattentiveness -- in my opinion, these are all the result of inadequate penalties. By now it ought to be obvious to gover nments, law-makers and law enforcers that young people in particular will not lear n from the indulgence often show n by the courts to irresponsible drivers. It is high time that these authorities inter vened in order to protect the innocent as well as the inane -- and to hold the latter responsible for their car nage. Potential offenders might think twice before committing their offences if they knew that they would lose their vehicles and their licences, as well as being held responsible for complete compen sation. Jim van Ommen Taroona Service at the servo I take exception to Paul Granston's article 'Remembering the ser vo', which stated "It's a rare thing nowadays that you have the chance to respond to such pleasantries as 'Which way you headed?' or 'What d'ya reckon about this weather?'" I work in a ser vo and admittedly I am unable to offer forecourt ser vice but I do interact with each and every one of my customers, many of whom know me purely from 'ser vo' contact. It is a pleasure to have these conversations. On the flip-side, were customers rude to their attendants in the good old days? Because some of them sure can be now! So it is still a service industry -- excuse the pun -- and I enjoy the interaction with my customers. Hele n White Top marks to Holden While we love our new Holden Colorado 4WD utility, my husband and I were very disappointed not to be offered much choice in the m atter! Sourcing a dual-cab for the family for the first time, I was aghast at the number of manufacturers who didn't install three rear lap-sash seat belts as standard. Surely all vehicle manufacturers are aware that a lap-only seat belt is not as safe as a lap-sash belt, and has even been reported as being quite a danger to a child? When we enquired of the dealers about the option of a third lap-sash their responses ranged from 'It couldn't be fitted' or 'It could be fitted at a (very expensive) cost', to 'I'm not sure'. Even finding somewhere to fit a new belt, with all the insurance implications, proved difficult. It was all just too hard. That left the Colorado. Top marks to Holden for having the sense and consideration to include not just two, but three, safe lap- sash rear seat belts (after all, that's what they're designed for) to allay the concerns of a mother for the paramount safety of her children. Would other manufacturers (namely Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota) care to respond? Shelley Sutcliffe Sorell In our community 11 June /July 2010
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