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Journeys : Apr May 2011
Your views We should drive like the English! Iam appalled to think that there is a move to reduce speeds on countr y roads. This is nothing more than a simplistic theory that lower speed equates to fewer crashes. The answer is simple – Tasmanians on the whole are not very good drivers and require more dr iver education. The cur rent T V adver ts are going some way to cor recting this and this is the sort of initiative we should be looking at. Hav ing just returned from a few years in the UK, I can report that driving there is of a much higher standard. With the intensity of traffic there it has to be, but incredibly people are far more tolerant and helpful towards other drivers. To survive on the roads over there requires constant concentration and that is where these proposed speed reductions fall down. The more legislation there is, the more people are lulled into a false sense of security, in that because it is legal then it must be OK. I find my concentration levels are at their best if I am doing my own speed and making my own judgments. Lower speeds will tend to bunch drivers up and reduce their attention levels as they are dulled into the tedium of travelling at someone else’s pace. Please do not go ahead with this speed reduction proposal – it isn’t that straightforward and it isn’t likely to achieve its aim. Mike Wellman, Legana Selfish control freaks? Honestly, you have to question the mentality of too many drivers, or at least I do. I’m a vehicle-driving commuter who uses the Lyell Highway between New Norfolk and Granton on a daily basis. AndIwantittostaythatway,soItrynot to break the speed limit, as I can’t afford to lose my licence. I’m not knocking those who speed and break the law – but those who don’t! No wonder there’s so much road rage, with so many selfish unthinking moron dr ivers on our roads. Too often it happens to me. I’m driving at the r ight speed limit of 100 before, and in, the overtaking zone, only to be over taken by drivers w illing to go faster than me. I don’t mind that. But what really gets me upset is when the overtaking section ends and they slow down to drive at a slower than 100 speed, where 100 is still allowed. But when they arrive at the 80 zone, where they should only do 80, they don’t. They go faster. And when they get to the 70 zone, they’ll still go faster. So what exactly is the matter with them? Selfish control freaks or what? Go too slow in the 100 zone, only to go too fast in the below 100 zones? And by the way – according to the erected signage, the Tasmanian Government spent an estimated $14 million on fixing up the Lyell Highway between New Norfolk and Granton. You’ve only got to drive it to see that $14 million wasn’t enough, as already it’s falling apar t again in several places. Phillip Truscott In praise of speed limiters Iam pleased that Barbara R Benson (RACT Journeys in February) is pleased with the speed limiter in her Peugeot 308. Like Barbara, I think they should be standard on all vehicles. Currently, they are available on most models of Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Mercedes vehicles. They are more useful than speed alerts that just make annoying beeping noises, and more useful than the expensive active cruise control systems being marketed enthusiastically on many luxury and semi- luxury cars. Importantly, they work in traffic, including heav y traffic, and help us to comply with the 40km/h and 50km/h speed limits that are becoming increasingly common in urban areas. Normal cruise control systems set a minimum speed and need to disable themselves if we touch the brake. They are nearly useless in traffic. (I have a friend in Adelaide who claims that he uses his in traffic, but he is very clever, and when he describes how he uses his cr uise control stalk as a hand throttle, I think of a golfer and a hammock.) The speed control systems that Barbara and I find so wonderful set a maximum speed, so don’t need to disable themselves when we touch the brake. While we dr ive slower than the speed limit, we have full control of the vehicle and just drive normally. To pre-empt a potential complaint from readers who think that they need to exceed the speed limit ‘to get out of trouble’, the systems are very clever, and use the kick- down mechanism of the transmission to disable themselves if we insist on being photographed by Cecil B de Speed Camera. Keith Anderson, Kingston In favour of speed limit reductions Iwr ite to support the need to reduce speed limits on Tasmanian rural roads. The only exception I have to the proposal is that I believe that there are sections of sealed roads where the speed limit should be reduced to 80 km/h. Ex amples of this are the Tasman Highway between St Patricks River at the foot of the Sideling, r ight through to Scottsdale; and on St Marys Pass and Elephant Pass. There are also many others where 90 km/h is too fast. I drive an average of 30,000 kilometres per year and face frequent dangerous situations. I emphasise that not many of these are the result of bad driving by truckies but more are caused by car drivers just driving too fast where no benefit can really be seen from their speed. I find interstate dr ivers (identified from the hire-drive ads on the rear of the cars) are also travelling too fast on roads they aren’t familiar with. Why they bother to visit beautiful Tasmania and drive round the state pretending in many cases to be Jack Brabham I am at a loss to know. I would also draw attention to the dangers created by motorcyclists. While their T V advertisements paint them as careful r iders, I have found most of them hug the centre white lines and travel at excessive In our community 12 April / May 2011
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011