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Journeys : Feb March 2012
From the President ç On the cover A classic tourer sits be ne ath the towe r of the M ercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Ge rmany. Read more on page 14. FEBRUARY/MARCH2012 Underwater spectacle page 16 Darren Moody’s First drives page36 Iam now into my second year as President of the RACT. Over a short Christmas/ New Year break I ref lected on my role and the duties I undertook in 2011. I have enjoyed my busy gover nance role as Chairman of the Club’s Board of Directors as well as being a Director of RACT Insurance and the Australian Automobile Association. The AAA is an excellent organisation to engage with Presidents and CEOs from the Club’s other constituent motoring clubs on various issues from possible tax implications to our members to ensuring safer roads and vehicles. At present, the AAA represents around 6.3 million members. One of the successes to the strong RACT brand is having a state-wide branch structure. In my first year, I have had the opportunity to travel around Tasmania to all our branches. This has provided me with the wonderful opportunity to meet our dedicated staff. In addition I attended meetings of the Club’s three Regional Advisor y Committees – North West, Northern and Southern, where I learned first-hand about their respective local issues. It was pleasing to take part in the Joint Regional Adv isory Committee forum that met in Hobart in November last year. Some great presentations and discussions were delivered at the forum – these will assist the RACT Board in its future strategic direction. This was the second time that the three committees met and future forums will now occur bi-annually. These committees are served by a diverse mix of members who offer, through individual skills and backgrounds, an invaluable service in addressing local road safety issues for their regions. They are all volunteers who contribute many hours a year into ensuring the RACT Board is fully cognisant of road safety matters throughout Tasmania. The RACT Board has another busy year in 2012 and is committed to hav ing Board meetings in all regions. Some additional activ ities will include a Board performance review, a strategic planning for um and hosting the A A A conference. The Club will continue to listen and deliver to its members its four core services – roadside assistance, insurance, travel and health insurance. This year it is my intention to undertake similar duties as last year but w ith further emphasis on continued member, community, business and gover nment engagement. It is through this process that I can ensure that the Club is endeavouring to satisfy the RACT membership as a whole. Stuart Slade President and Chairman of the Board RACT calls for an Infrastructure Future Fund The RACT has presented its priorities for the next state budget at a two-hour round table conference with Premier Lara Giddings and senior Treasur y officials. RACT representatives acknowledged that the Government was in a difficult financial position, which precluded a large infrastr ucture spend. However, to ensure vital future economic development was not impeded, we put to the Premier a recommendation that the Gover nment establish a Tasmanian Infrastructure Future Fund. This would regularly set aside funds that would eventually quarantine roads and other infrastructure projects from fiscal and economic downturns and would allow more certainty to be injected into vital infrastructure development. However, in the shorter term, the RACT told the Premier that current budgetary problems do not preclude a series of relatively low-cost measures aimed at maintaining safety and mobility on Tasmanian roads. Our recommended measures for the 2012-2013 State Budget Audible edge and centre line markings: Given the prevalence of run-off-road serious crashes in Tasmania, the RACT seeks a review by the Government of all such crashes with a view to installing audible edge and centre line markings (rumble strips) on roads where such crashes occur regularly. More high-visibility police vehicles: Anecdotal feedback we receive from our members indicates that high-visibility police vehicles have a substantial moderating effect on dr iver behaviour. A commitment to increase drug and alcohol testing: In the first six months of last year, dr ugs and alcohol represented the second- highest categor y of factors involved in serious casualty crashes. A commitment to maintain and increase ANPR operations: Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras have been used recently in police operations, where they have demonstrated their effectiveness in detecting disqualified dr ivers, unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles on Tasmanian roads. A review of recidivist driver behaviour: Repeat offending is a major factor in road crashes. A review should be held to identify measures that can be taken to lessen the incidence, and thereby make roads safer. Tasmania Police: No further funding cuts. A fundamental role of any state gover nment is to keep the community safe – the cut in the police budget this year is most regrettable, as it has the potential to impact on not just general policing but road safety as well. Weight checking stations: There is not adequate protection in Tasmania against overloaded tr ucks, semi-trailers and B-Doubles. Now that major container shipping operations have moved from Bell Bay to Burnie there is even more freight movement by road. To protect the road network the Government should regularly operate all existing checking stations and identify and build new ones around Hobart, in the North and the North West. In our community 4 February / March 2012
Apr May 2012