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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Travelling on Ian Watson wins a $50 travel voucher for his warning on the dangers of small children and fully-extended seat belts. 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. • It is just as easy to miss a speed limit sign as an END speed sign, which shows a basic fault with the whole signage system When driving out of tow n I spend more time worrying about what the speed limit is in the section I am in, than I spend enjoying the drive! DIER's lack of response to calls for improvements, from R ACT and the public, suggest road safety is not their first concern. Jo McRae Lenah Valley Stupid and useless! I strongly agree with your correspondents who condemn the stupid End Limit signs. As they point out, who cares or wants to know what the speed limit is not? The sooner DIER has the common sense to remove the useless signs, the better! Stan Watts Cradoc Round about the library I've been at the library recently, reviewing past traffic r ule booklets. Roundabouts were introduced in the early 1960s. For at least three decades, until 1999, they were usually explained with one simple diagram and two or three simple paragraphs of text. The r ules were simple, easy to understand, highly consistent with common sense and uncontroversial. Then in 1999, our traffic rules changed significantly. Roundabouts and quite a lot of other road str uctures have been problematic and controversial since then. The traffic rule booklets from 2000 to 2009 provide an audit trail of the turmoil. Early attempts to describe the new r ules for roundabouts needed three diagrams and twelve paragraphs of text, but omitted important information and to be frank, explained the new legislation incorrectly. In successive editions, errors were corrected and explanations improved. By April 2009, the explanation needed seven diagrams and about 18 paragraphs of text. From the latest changes made on 30 November 2009, it is rather obvious that our traffic authorities are still experimenting, and if we are really honest, floundering. I am sure that roundabouts will remain problematic and controversial, at least until we understand that small roundabouts aren't roundabouts, despite being round. Keith Anderson Kingston Going round again I note with interest the ongoing debate with regard to roundabouts. I moved to Tasmania from Queensland seven years ago and continue to be astounded by the difficulties people face with understanding and obeying basic road rules -- indicating, giving way, merging, not tail-gating -- and in particular, on using roundabouts. My view is that when a lot of Tasmanian drivers obtained their licence, roundabouts didn't exist, and if they aren't avid readers of Motor News Journeys then they have no way of learning how to use them! When I lear nt to drive, roundabouts were explained to me as 'just like an four-way intersection' in ter ms of indicating -- with the addition of 'signalling your intention to exit' -- (i.e. indicate left, which you do just as you pass the exit prior to the one you intend to use). Alter natively, tur ns that occur at roundabouts can be described by imagining the roundabout to be a clock face. Any turn that exits the roundabout before 12 o'clock can be considered a left tur n (and you indicate your intention to do so). Any turn that exits after 12 o'clock can be considered a right tur n (indicating your intention to tur n right, before indicating your intention to exit/tur n left as you pass the exit prior to the one you intend to use). If you are going straight, then you indicate your intention to exit, prior to the exit you use. The quote from the Tasmanian Road Rules in the April/May issue is fairly simple and straightfor ward, yet few motorists appear able to comprehend these (as seen at the Mornington roundabout on a daily basis). Indicating your intention to exit a roundabout at all times eliminates the need for drivers awaiting to enter the roundabout having to use their ESP/ mind-reading skills or guess what other drivers are planning to do. This allows traffic to flow through the roundabout with minimal stopping and fewer accidents (as can be seen in states where roundabouts have been in place for longer and drivers are aware of how to use them. I certainly agree with previous views that a widespread education campaign is the only way to ensure all drivers are aware of how to negotiate roundabouts safely. Anne-Marie Dean Lindisfar ne What comes out after dark? Why is there not a test for motor vehicles over a certain age in Tasmania? Is it my imagination or do the old bombs come out after dark? If the lights aren't working properly then what about the tyres, windscreen, steering, brakes, suspension, oil leaks, exhaust and so on? Get your act together, someone! Philip Lowe Sandy Bay Give me a sign! On a trip through the Huon area a few years ago we passed through a piece of roadwork. We slowed dow n as instr ucted as we entered the roadwork area but on leaving it, the only sign told us what we could see for ourselves -- 'End of roadwork'. My husband and I both watched carefully for a speed sign but could see none. Later we received a notice that we had driven over the speed limit! We went back to look -- yes, there was a sign, up the bank behind a leafy green tree! A similar thing happened on the Bass Highway -- the sign at the end of the roadworks was on the other side of the wide road. The policeman who pulled me over while I was busy looking for the sign pointed it out. If the roadworkers have to move speed signs, they should put them in places to be seen. So I agree -- no end of roadworks signs, no end of limit signs -- just tell us the speed we are to keep to until the next speed sign. Or perhaps these odd sign s are there to help motorists go over the legal limit and be fined? I think the r ule should be -- no speed sign means speed camera nearby -- drop your speed! Olive Dean Wynyard In our community 11 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010