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Journeys : Apr May 2011
Travelling on Leonard Colquhoun wins a $50 travel voucher for his interesting idea about rules and regulations. We welcome letters on any motoring or travel-related topic. Keep them brief – we reserve the right to edit. Contact us by post or email and please include your postal address. speeds, with little regard for their own lives or innocent motorists. I tr ust the Road Safety Advisory Council will push ahead with the reforms and will disregard the views of the RACT in this matter. Robin Gray, Norwood (This letter was sent to the Road Safety Advisory Council and copied to R ACT Jour neys) Enlighten us, please! Maybe it is time that a nominated representative of whichever organisation or depar tment is responsible for the roadside speed signs these days is either asked to enlighten all of those confused and troubled souls via the pages of this publication and other media as to just how the dreaded END speed signs should be confidently deciphered. I have seen large signs displaying the rural highway speed limit on a particular stretch of road along with added clarifying advice in regards to road and weather conditions. If there are licensed drivers who need to be told such basic commonsense things then maybe for the safety of all concerned, they should not even be driving on public roads. By not openly displaying the default speed limit, maybe road authorities are less exposed to legal accusations of fault and blame in these times of universal opportunistic and knee-jerk litigation in events of accident. The cost to governments and the taxpayer of directional and speed signage on road- sides can be unbelievably expensive and at times price-gougingly exorbitant. The bland monochromatic and minimal character signs may be a cheaper alternative to colour – and perhaps the lack of a red circle is a less inviting target for those armed with feckless itchy trigger fingers. Terry J. Smith, Derby Cutting Corners For some time now I have noticed that a bad and ver y dangerous patter n has crept into our dr iving habits – motorists cutting corners. This occurs on our highways where sometimes high speeds are involved, on our countr y roads where there can be many blind corners, or in our suburban streets. Journeys readers, I bet if you take notice you w ill see at least seven out of ten drivers cut cor ners, especially in our suburbs – many drivers taking a right hand turn will be completely on your side of the road. How secure are containers on trucks? The mere sight of a truck laden with containers is enough to make me back off or give a wide berth wherever possible. This is because these monstrous containers are not really secured to the carrying vehicle. Spigots on the bottom of the container slotted into holes seems incompatible w ith those signs one sees saying ‘Secure your load’. Other types of loads must be secured with ropes or chains. Why isn’t it obligator y for containers to be chained onto carr ying vehicles? Bill Carney, Riverside It’s a cop-out! The change in speed limits is too simplistic as a complete road safety tactic, and a cop-out for the government, which has allowed par ts of our major roads to deteriorate to such a degree that 100 km/h is really unsafe. I have read that distraction is one of the major causes of accidents – this surely relates to dr iver competence. One driver may be going too fast, but if the other driver in a crash is so distracted by his mobile phone or music that he doesn’t respond to a situation appropriately, who has caused the accident? Does evidence of excessive speed over ride all other causes in the accident statistics? Jo McRae, Lenah Valley Lateral thinking on rules & regs It seems that there’s a new ‘in-car app’ for mobile phones ever y week (remember that they used to be called ‘car phones’!) – and the knee-jerk regulatory response is to promulgate a new rule (or at least add ten more paragraphs to an already over- complicated existing r ule). Then there’s speed limits, with their irritating and dangerous distraction of seemingly arbitrary changes. What if most of the r ules & regs applying above were largely replaced by an over- arching law, or limited set of laws, focusing on driver responsibility? No matter what ‘app’ contributed to a crash, from old-fashioned radio knobs to the latest IT g izmo, drivers involved in crashes could be charged with something like ‘Failure to drive with due care and attention, and/or without responsible regard to road, traffic and weather conditions’. What if speed ‘limits’ were replaced by speed ‘zones’? Urban streets and roads: 40 to 60 km/h; rural/regional roads: 70 to 90 km/h; and motorways/ div ided carriageways: 90-120 km/h? ‘Failure to drive with due care and attention, and/or without responsible regard to road, traffic and weather conditions’ would apply at 40 in a School Zone at pupil ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ times, but not at 6am Sunday mor ning nor during school holidays. ‘Failure to drive with . . .’ would usually apply at 90 most weekdays on the southernmost third of the Brooker Highway, but more rarely at 120 in parts of the Midland Highway and the NW Coast freeways. In-car apps and 60 signs don’t crash and kill – drivers do. Irresponsible, careless, inattentive, intoxicated, impatient and moronic dr ivers, that is. Leonard Colquhoun, Invermay If the police were to book ever y offender, they would make a fortune! If any reader doubts what I have written, then I suggest that you park near a corner in any suburban street and just observe. We should all keep to the left and stay on our own side of the road. We would all be a whole lot safer and there would be far fewer close calls and accidents Lance Carroll, Launceston In our community April / May 2011 13
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Jun Jul 2011