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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Inmany states, Tasmanian motorists will find the speed limits painted on the road. It is important safety information, delivered in a way that is inescapable to the driver’s notice. But it doesn’t happen in Tasmania. It’s a matter that the RACT recently took up with the State Government, but in reply, the Government said that painting speed limits on the road was too expensive. The letter from DIER states: “Unfortunately painting speed limit signs on the road is an expensive arrangement because the markings wear out quickly and need to be regularly reinstated... it is considered a better option to treat sections of road where motorists are uncertain about the prevailing speed limit by installing additional speed limit repeater signs. This has previously been done on the Midland Highway through Campbell Town and the Ar thur Highway entering Sorell.” International visitors The R ACT also raised with the State Government the need for safety signs and markings for international visitors, especially to remind them to drive on the left hand side of the road. While DIER’s response acknowledged that international v isitors were involved in crashes in Tasmania, it said most of these were caused by loss of control and failure to give way. DIER says that while there have been some crashes involving international visitors driving on the wrong side of the road, incidences are low and are dispersed around the state. “On this basis, the installation of signs and markings ...is not necessarily considered the best use of limited road safety funding available...,” their letter tells us. DIER acknowledges that there is drive-to-the-left signage on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, and says “It is understood that to date VicRoads has not yet carr ied out an evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the signs. DIER will review the outcomes of the assessment once they are made available.” The RACT will refer both matters back to our Regional Advisory Groups. We are disappointed by the Government’s response, which appears to be driven by budgetary considerations more than safety. We will be asking our Regional Advisory Committees and the wider R ACT community to provide the Government with locations where speed limits could be reinforced with additional signage. What you can’t see can hurt you W e are receiving elevated levels of complaint from members about road markings that are not in any condition to provide drivers with vital safety advice. Two roads that receive particular attention from members are Davey and Macquarie Streets in Hobart, especially in wet conditions. We have w ritten to Hobart City Council asking it to review road markings on these two heavy-traffic thoroughfares and to consider using raised ref lective pavement markers (‘cats’ eyes’). The level of complaints underlines the need for the Gover nment to invest more in a fundamental safety aid – road line markings that are visible in good and bad conditions. Service and repair costs – action needed! F or some years Australia’s motoring clubs have been monitoring a trend that disturbs them: increasing restrictions on vehicle ow ners’ ability to choose where they get their vehicle serviced. The clubs’ national representative, the Australian Automobile Association (A A A), has now lodged a submission to a review of vehicle servicing and repair being undertaken by the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisor y Council. AAA is urging the Federal Government to act to ensure that motorists are guaranteed the right to choose where they have their vehicle ser viced, maintained and repaired. “There is clear ev idence that the affordability of motor vehicle servicing and repairs has deteriorated markedly in recent years,” says AA A Executive Director, Andrew McKellar. “This problem is being exacerbated as independent ser vice providers and repairers find that vehicle manufacturers are placing more and more restrictions on the availability of advanced vehicle technical information and equipment. If this is allowed to continue, then consumers will be the losers.” Over the past ten years average vehicle service and repair costs have more than doubled. However, over the same period, the cumulative increase in overall consumer prices has been just 32 per cent. Why don’t we do it in the road? In our community 8 December 2011 / January 2012
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012