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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
10 December 2010 / January 2011 In our community END speed limit signage – time’s up ! The writer of the letter ‘What’s the problem’ can’t understand why people would be confused by END speed limit signage. Perhaps he doesn’t know that in Tasmania, two councils (Tasman and Kingborough) have default rural speed limits of 90 km/h, not 100 km/h. Not only are some Tasmanians unaware of this situation but a myr iad of tourists would also be unaware, so it’s quite obvious that the END signs are simply not infor ming motor ists of the actual situation. Surely the motor ist is better ser ved with infor mation of what the actual speed limit is, rather than a complete blank. These signs need changing for thw ith! Vern Doddridge Ulverstone Stupid, ignorant, dangerous? The arguments about the signing of speed limits ignores the original intention. When the first speed limits came into force in NSW – a 30 miles per hour limit in built up areas – there was no other limit. Once you left the 30 zone, you could drive at any safe speed you chose. Therefore the slash sign that was used made sense. Now we have limits of 40, 50, 60, 80 90, 100 and 110 km/h. Not telling dr ivers what speed limit applies is stupid, ignorant and dangerous. Stephen Cox DIER also contacted Motor News Journeys to point out that an END speed limit sign in the municipalities of Kingborough and Tasman means that the temporary default limit of 90km/h, not 100 km/h, applies in those Safer Speeds Demonstration areas. I’ll change the signs myself! Iremain unconvinced that signs that tell us what something isn’t could be less confusing than signs that tell us what it is. A normal speed limit sign tells us information we need to know explicitly and obviously in one step – we see the sign, we know the speed limit. END speed limit signs prevent us from knowing the speed limit until we perform three mental processes – we see the sign, we know what the speed limit isn’t, we remember the rules for translating ‘the speed limit is not...’ to ‘so it must be...’ and we apply those rules. It is irrelevant that the rules are simple and that we can do it. Surely, if safety is important, we should do the job the best way, not any inferior way. Normal speed limit signs are perfect – signs that tell us what the speed limit isn’t aren’t just inferior, they’re silly. The plea that similar signs are ‘common across Europe’ is unconvincing. Europe is infamous for its Euronanny bureaucracy and I think that we should avoid, not welcome, European bureaucratic quagmires. Sadly, this argument does explain why END speed limit signs are so popular with bureaucrats here. I think that this issue is important, so let me put my money (well, a little time and effort) where my mouth is. If DIER will provide the signs, a map of what sign goes where, and per mission to replace END signs with the corresponding normal speed limit sign telling us what the speed limit is, then, for free, I’ll change ever y sign that can be changed without digging holes and/or erecting new posts. I’ll also provide for free a report advising which signs I was able to change and which signs I wasn’t able to change. DIER will be left with the job of fixing only those signs that I can’t fix easily. Yes, I’ll do it anywhere in Tasmania, including the islands. It’ll be a great excuse to explore the state thoroughly. Please give us signs to help us to drive safely. Keith Anderson Kingston Road conditions matter An END road sign does not tell me what sort of road condition I can expect to find ahead. For example, when there is a 40 speed sign coming up, I can expect that there might be people working on or close to the road. And when the next road sign indicates a different figure, it tells me that the 40 sign does not apply anymore – and it will also tell me what condition I can expect for the next stretch of road. But an END sign does not tell me anything – except maybe that I should have known something before I arrived at that sign. Klaas Spaander Blackmans Bay Spot the speedo With the amount of publicity on radar guns and speed cameras, most of us, the more law-abiding dr ivers, have become speedometer watchers. Of course the multitude of different speed zones only adds to the problem. Glancing dow n to check the speedometer reading is becoming a bigger hazard because of the increased frequency we need to do it to avoid an unintentional speeding ticket. The problem is due primarily to the traditional position of the speedometer. What do you think of the idea of a digital readout being placed at the apex of the steering wheel, not to replace the speedometer but to complement it? The readout location will be well within the peripheral vision of any driver, hence avoiding the necessity of taking our eyes off the road by glancing dow nwards. Johnny Koay Mt Nelson Your views
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011