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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Swipe card protection Sophisticated security systems in public buildings deny access by any person who has not been issued with a swipe card. Why is it that car manufacturers in conjunction with Federal Police have not come up with a similar system? Then, cars could only be driven away by people who have been Rear seat belt safety warning Most modern cars are fitted with inertia belts, which when fully- extended engage a mechanism to prevent you from pulling the belt out further until it is fully retur ned. This is great for securing a child seat but what if a child becomes entangled in the belt? This happened to my son only last week. He was sitting in the rear middle seat and had taken off his seat belt, fully extended the belt and let it spool back into the retractor. Unfortunately he had somehow looped the belt around his neck. When he panicked he pulled the belt tighter -- and as it is designed not to come back out it started to strangle him, causing difficulty with his breathing. We were lucky to be in the driveway of the house and I ran inside to get a kitchen knife to cut him out. It had a traumatic effect on my child, his friend and myself. If a child were to be playing alone in the car it could result in a more tragic outcome. I hope that in sharing this story, others will consider how quickly a child can get into this predicament and be prepared to either cut them free or protect their air way until help can be summoned. I have contacted both Toyota Australia and w w w.productsafety.gov.au and I await their reply. Ian G Watson Lauderdale authorised to do so and who have been issued with a driving licence incorporating a microchip that activates the ignition of that particular car. Just imagine the benefits! Not only does it put a total stop to vehicle theft, it also prevents traffic offenders who have lost their licences or their vehicles, or both, from re-offending. Criminals trying to escape from a crime scene by car could only do so in their ow n vehicle and that vehicle's registration number will be directly linked to the owner. My main concer n is for the law to have an effective tool to keep ir responsible drivers off the road for as long as necessary and thus reduce the road carnage. Last but not least, I would imagine that the insurance premiums will go dow n considerably because of the increased security against theft. Jim van Ommen Taroona See the light While many drivers use headlights when driving in fog, about as many don't, or rely on feeble park lights. This applies equally to cars, trucks and buses. Those drivers who don't use their headlights seem to think that as long as they can see a few metres in front of their bonnet, all is well. Not so! Pedestrians about to cross a road need to see oncoming traffic as early as possible. So do other drivers who wish to pull out from the kerb or a side road, or make a right tur n. Often, an oncoming vehicle being driven without headlights on cannot be seen until it is dangerously close. On most vehicles, park lights are very weak and it is not unusual for one to be blow n. How are they supposed to war n of the approach of a ton or more of metal? There is no saving at all to be made by not using headlights. Conversely, a minority of drivers, whose vehicles are equipped with bright rear fog lights, leave them on ir respective of the weather conditions. This is an illegal and dangerous practice that needs attention from traffic police. Dennis Hewitt Austins Ferry End the speed limit confusion Weighing into the 'End Speed Limit' debate, I wish to draw attention to the following anomaly. On entering several Tasmanian tow ns on the old Bass Highway (Westbury is one and Deloraine is another) you are greeted by an 80 sign, followed some 250 metres further on by a 60 sign. However, on the reverse side of the 60 sign it says End 60. This would infer that you can freely increase speed to 100 km/h on the way out of town, and yet you must slow down to 80 when approaching tow n inside that 250 metres. This implies that there are two speed- limits on the same stretch of road, depending on whether you are driving into or out of tow n. I could name other towns where this is the case. No doubt this was dreamed up by some bureaucrat who never drives anything faster than a desk! Perhaps this is why they hold the St Patrick's Day celebrations in Westbury? It does prove that there are three ways of doing something, namely, the right way, the w rong way and the Tasmanian way! John Young Devonport Replace them! End speed limit signs cause confusion, therefore it doesn't matter what DIER's rationale is for using them -- they do confuse so they should be replaced with speed limit signs. In response to DIER's reasons for not signposting the default speeds: • Ma ximum speed cannot be achieved over some sections of all our roads, not just the areas where default speeds apply • If many different speed sign s are required, naturally we expect DIER to sign them as such, not leave us wondering as we try to do the right thing In our community Your views August / September 2010 10 June / July 09
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010