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Journeys : Feb March 2011
6 February / March 2011 In our community Rural speed limit cut – link to speed still needed The details we want to see The speed limit proposal will have an enormous impact on road users, so the statistics on traffic volumes and crash data must make a clear link to excessive speed as the cause of rural road trauma. On the individual 100km/h roads to be affected, the R ACT has sought from DIER statistical data that identifies the primary causes of severe road-related injuries and fatalities, and to what extent excessive speed was a factor. In addition, all other factors should be identified, including: • What was the road user type – young, old, truck or bus dr iver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, bicycle rider, etc; and what was the age of the vehicle involved • Was the crash primarily due to excessive speed, road design, the result of a head-on collision, the result of a collision at an intersection, unsealed shoulders, inattention, or r un-off-the-road on a straight stretch, as opposed to a curving section of the road, etc • What were other contr ibuting factors, such as weather conditions, drink or drug driving, recidivist behaviour, failure to wear seat belts, hooning etc The RACT has asked the Department of Infrastr ucture, Energy and Resources for more infor mation regarding the proposal to introduce a blanket speed limit reduction on rural and regional roads, which currently have a 100 km/h speed limit. We want to see sound statistical analysis of both traffic volumes and crash data that can make a direct connection between excessive speed and road trauma on country roads. The Government, through the Road Safety Advisor y Council, has conducted public forums regarding the speed cut proposal and the RACT urged members to attend so that individuals can make a personal contribution to the deliberations. In our letter to DIER we detailed some of the information we seek – information we believe should be made available to ever y Tasmanian. The R ACT has a tradition dating back to the 1920s of initiating and supporting measures that make travel safer on our roads. However, we have told DIER that we remain to be convinced of the merits of the speed limit reduction proposal. “Road crashes can be the result of a variety of sometimes highly complex and multiple factors. In this instance, a ‘one size fits all’ solution is being promoted in official circles, based on the premise that excessive speed is the cause of rural and regional road trauma. We just want to see the statistics that support this notion,” Har vey Lennon, R ACT Chief Executive says. “There is a concern in the community that the Government is taking a simplistic approach that best suits its budgetar y position. We would be most concerned if speed limit reductions were used as a substitute for adequate and proper maintenance of the road network. The RACT retains an open mind on the speed limit cut, but we require more clear-cut evidence to convince us that this proposal has merit,” Mr Lennon says. Have your say on the Gover nment’s proposal to reduce r ural speed limits. To make a submission, w rite to: Road Safety Advisory Council c/o DIER GPO Box 936 Hobart 7001 Or email: email@example.com,gov.au Please include your name, a retur n address and telephone number to enable clar ification of issues as addressed in the submission if required. Please note that your submissions will become a public document. Comments should be received by 18 Februar y 2011. Further infor mation: w w w.rsac.tas.gov.au Mixed up in the Vortex An upset R ACT member recently reported a devastating fuel mix-up and implored us to pass on the message to all Journeys readers. Caltex outlets across Tasmania have been marketing a higher- quality range of fuels for some time, using an overall fuel brand called Vortex. Some readers may be familiar with the Vortex 95 or 98 products – higher-octane (and higher-priced) petrol. But there is also a diesel called Vortex Premium Diesel with distinctive orange and black branding, which has become available recently. Caveat emptor – buyer beware! R ACT urges all purchasers to carefully check the fuel type that they intend to purchase before filling up their tank, especially if they have a diesel vehicle, as putting the wrong type of fuel into your car will have ser ious and expensive mechanical consequences. Fuel quality standards are regulated by the Australian Government. For more details on the regulated specifications that apply to fuels, go to w w w.env ironment.gov.au/atmosphere/fuelquality/index.html
Apr May 2011