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Journeys : Apr May 2011
Journeys came too late ... Rosemary, an RACT member from Devonport, wrote to tell us a tale of woe – one that our Roadside patrollers say is all too common! “I wish we had received Jour neys a week earlier! If I had read the story about confusing Vortex petrol with the same brand name of diesel, I would not be out of pocket over $500 after refuelling at the Devonport Caltex. We pulled in to fill up with Vortex diesel. The Vortex petrol pump was alongside and I picked up the nozzle thinking it was Vortex diesel. My husband came around just as I had finished filling the car and noticed that I was putting the pump nozzle back into the petrol slot. I called the R ACT for assistance. The patrolman wasn’t surprised – he said it was happening quite regularly at this outlet. The attendant told me the same thing when I went in to pay.” ... but help is at hand! Rosemary’s experience is not unusual – every week we get a call from nearly half a dozen motorists who have made the same expensive mistake. This clever device solves the problem. It fits into the filler spout of a diesel vehicle. It is a perfect and snug fit for a diesel nozzle – a restricting gate in the device will only open to let fuel enter when a trio of ball bearings is displaced by the nozzle, allowing it to go all the way into the spout. Petrol nozzles are smaller – they can’t move the ball bearings, so the gate remains closed. (You can see the closed gate and two of the ball bearings in the neck of the device). It’s neater and simpler in operation than it is in this description! (Be aware that if you have a locking cap, this device won’t be as secure from fuel theft). R ACT Technical Services is currently the exclusive Tasmanian distributor of the device – they’re available at all RACT branches. Price to members is about $65 – a very cost-effective way to make certain you don’t end up with a much more costly engine repair job. In the lead-up to the last state election, the RACT called for the adoption of a program to allow motorists to report instances of dangerous dr iving behaviour. At the time, senior police officers gave their support to the idea and suggested that motorists use the Tasmania Police assistance line on 131 444 to report dangerous driving. A coronial report into a 2009 crash in which four people died recommended that Tasmania Police implement a statewide system of follow ing up calls from the public in relation to dangerous dr iving. However, it appears there has been little improvement on this front. The R ACT believes that road safety is ever yone’s responsibility, and that the Tasmanian Government should engage in a specific campaign to make responsible drivers aware of the steps they can take when they notice erratic or dangerous driving on the roads. Roadside signage should be established to alert motorists to the police assistance number 131 444. Additional awareness could be provided within registration renewals and the assistance number could also be printed on the back of registration stickers as a handy reminder for motorists on the road. We encourage responsible drivers to keep the police assistance number handy – perhaps in the glovebox or saved in your mobile phone contacts list – and don’t hesitate to call if you witness an incident of er ratic or dangerous dr iving. Report dangerous driving Life on the move April / May 2011 33 6446
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011