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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Travelling on Robin Frith wins $50 for his letter about Launceston's Southern Outlet. Vince Taskunas comments: Robin, you’ve made some very good points about speed limits on this important road. We will discuss the issue further in our Northern Regional Advisory Committee and I will also seek DIER’s views. 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. Email the editor at email@example.com Check your licence before you drive in the UK Some R ACT members may be intending to visit the UK and have access to a relative’s or friend ’s car. If so, beware! I have just been to England and during previous visits I have driven my sister-in-law’s car. She just added my name to the insurance policy, paid a small amount and I had use of the car. It now appears since my last visit four years ago, things have changed. The large majority of insurance companies will only insure UK or EU licence holders, (I’m not sure about International Permits). It may be a recent policy change, as I read two letters to the papers from car owners who had been refused permission to use their Australian licences. Brian Rawding We advise checking your friend or relative’s policy before driving their car. The state of the States ... My wife and I have just returned from a nine-week trip driving across North America. We found it challenging, enjoyable and illuminating in the differences between what happens on our roads and what happens on theirs. While all American states are subtly different, many states have adopted the ‘R ight turn on red’ rule. If you arrive at a red light and stop, if it is safe to do so, you may then proceed to turn right. This is a significant help to easing congestion and maintaining traffic flow. NSW has this law, why can’t Tasmania? Many states have pedestrian crossing signs similar to the ones described by Andrew Ross, which he saw in St Petersburg ( Jour neys Oct /Nov 2011). Countdown lights did seem to stop some people jumping off the curb too late, and speaking as a person with limited mobility, they helped me see if it was safe to cross or not. I think the R ACT should mount a campaign to install these lights at busy intersections in Tasmania. The national tendency seems to be to travel at 5-20 mph above the speed limit, regardless of whether the posted limit is 25 or 70 mph! In most cases, to go with the f low would have meant travelling at around 10 mph above the speed limit. One felt distinctly intimidated if one tried to stay on the speed limit, coping with cars and trucks sitting inches off the rear bumper bar. Despite seeing copious signs promising enforcement by radar, aircraft etc., the only time we saw any significant police presence was on the Labor Day weekend when the Virginia State Police were out in force. If politicians want to impose lower speeds in this state they must provide the resources to enforce them. That means more police on the roads at all times, otherwise there will be an increase in the behaviours we saw across the USA and any crackdown will be seen as a revenue-raising exercise, not a safety campaign. Chris Spiegel Lenah Valley Thank you Chris – you make a good point about the need for a strongly-visible enforcement presence if lower speed limits are to work. R ACT has published a target of an increase in the fleet to twenty-four high-visibility police vehicles by the end of the 12/13 financial year. I think the State Budget cuts will delay these increases – we will keep lobbying. With respect to countdowns at crossings – we have previously lobbied the Hobart Council and DIER on more than one occasion regarding this, and other alternatives at higher-risk intersections in Hobart’s CBD. Our view remains that simply reducing the CBD speed limit to a consistent 50 km/h will not, in itself, achieve the full risk reductions sought. Their view has been that countdowns should not be ‘relied on’ for safety – they say they may lead to people not doing the usual types of checks that they would do at a normally-controlled intersection. I’m still not sure that really adds to the debate or not. In the interim, we will still lobby for examining all other options – including innovative intersection controls – rather than just speed limit reductions in isolation. Vince Taskunas R ACT General Manager, Public Policy and Communications ... andhowtheydoitinDili You don’t have to go to Russia for timer traffic lights ( Journeys Oct /Nov 2011)– go no further than Dili in East Timor. I drive from time to time in East Timor and have found these traffic lights take the stress out of dr iving. For a countr y once ravaged by war, East Timorese drivers are very courteous and patient. Apparently there are speed limits but I don’t know what they are. It would appear a self-agreed limit of about 30 km/h does the job and a little toot of the horn to say ‘I’m coming past you’. No road rage, just a happy drive around town. John Tickell Port Sorell No more junk mail in Journeys I wish to give some feedback regarding the extraneous advertising material that came with the October RACT magazine. Put bluntly, the material that was included cheapened the integrity and quality of the magazine. I could understand something inserted that was about giving support to humanitarian organisations such as World Vision, but to allow what was inserted was a bad choice. I (as others, also) do not ask for this type of advertising material. We just want the magazine. Dee Harms I received a number of calls and emails about the quality and the amount of advertising material that was inserted with the October issue of Journeys. As editor, it’s my responsibility to approve or reject advertising placements in the magazine, and although advertising revenue does subsidise production costs, I should have reviewed the material more carefully. In view of the response from Dee and others, I will decline bookings for similar catalogue-style brochures in fut ure. Chris Viney In our community December 2011 / January 2012 13
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012