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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
December 2010 / January 2011 13 In our community Member in focus Meryl Thurlow lives in Wynyard. She has three sons and eight grandchildren. Meryl has been a RACT member since 1977. Why did you join the RACT? I was on my own and I just felt it gave me some security. It was a nice feeling to have it. What’s the most memorable time you’ve been helped by being part of the RACT? Soon after I got my car, my husband and I went to an Australia Day Festival. My husband sat in the car with the air conditioner on and when I got back to my brand-new car it wouldn’t start. I couldn’t believe it! The R ACT came and got it started, we hadn’t realised that the air conditioning would drain the battery so fast. Tell me about your current car. It’s a white 2007-model Toyota Corolla. We had a Camr y before we went down to a smaller car. It is a beautiful car to drive. What is your biggest motoring gripe? It annoys me when I am doing the speed limit and the person behind me is too close and is trying to hurry me up. After the family photos, what is your most precious material possession, the thing you would try to grab if there was ever a fire? I don’t think material things are really important. If the family are all safe, material things can be replaced. What is your most memorable holiday moment? We’ve travelled a lot and had some wonderful holidays. In our later years we did cruises because my husband was sick. The worst thing that happened to us, which was very memorable, was when we were stranded in the USA when 9/11 happened. We were in Florida at Cape Canaveral on the day and they took us off the site in case it was a target. We were meant to be flying home too but all of the airports were closed. It was fr ightening. When we finally did get back to Australia we were stranded in Melbourne. I thought I would kiss the ground when I got home! What about your favourite holiday destination? Probably Paris I think. Paris and Italy because I love the history there. Where do you plan to spend your next holiday? I haven’t really planned anything yet but I hope to go to Adelaide to see my son and grandchildren this year. On my return trip I called in to the business that was close to this roadside display. I spoke to a lady working there and after telling her my experience earlier that day I suggested that the colourful sculptures could cause a ha zard for motor ists, especially when the road is busy. She was friendly and polite and I left feeling I may have at least planted a seed for them to ponder. I also noticed that in this area there were half a dozen cars and boats for sale on the roadside, with the usual signs on them to lure passing motorists. Later that day on Sandy Bay Road, I saw two motorcycles towing trailers with huge posters for a well known fast-food outlet. These are blatant distractions and visual pollution on our busy streets. I also recalled an experience I once had when I was selling my car. I’d put an envelope-sized FOR SALE sign in the rear w indow while I parked outside my work address. One afternoon I was amazed to find a war ning infringement notice under my wiper blades – apparently it’s illegal to have any signage on a car’s windows! When I queried it at the Council they told me it was posing a visual distraction for passing motorists. Give me a break – my car was parked behind another vehicle, which every day of the week has a one-square metre front-to-back advertising sign on its roof! I was left feeling a little frustrated at all of these grey areas when it comes to attention-grabbing advertising, signage and displays, on and off our roadways. My local council passed the buck three times in my search to find the literature on the laws pertaining to visual pollution of our roads and roadsides. I wasted lunch breaks tr ying to get to the bottom of the subject, but no one was forthcoming with any really definitive explanation as to how these laws are made and whose responsibility it is to enforce them. I hope this letter may enlighten the responsible authorities to take a diligent look at the laws about visual pollution, as seen from the all-important viewpoint of motorists. The last thing we want is for roadside distractions to be the unwanted ingredient in a road tragedy. I wish drivers all a safe journey – and of course, attentive motor ing! Rod Scoles with his sons Brodie (left) and Jai
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011