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Journeys : Feb March 2012
Your views Put an elephant in your tank I would like to correct a statement made in the recent Jour neys article about confusion with Vortex petrol and diesel at Caltex Service Stations. It was written that ‘the diesel nozzle is too big for the unleaded tube’. In fact with most older cars this is not correct. My car, a 56 Triumph, has a fuel filler that would accept an elephant’s trunk. On a recent tr ip to Queensland in company with a friend in a similar car, he made the mistake with Vortex and filled the tank with diesel. It took three days to clear after draining and fortunately there was no damage. What I did find amazing was the attitude of Caltex stations we later v isited when told of the problem. They did not accept there was a problem and that was that. To make sure I never fill my car with diesel, I will never go to a Caltex station and I advise anyone with an older car to do the same. I don’t think this can be a problem only for a small minority – witness the 640 cars of vintage and veteran status that turned up for the picnic at Ross this year. Peter Cousins Mt Stuart I’m on DIER’s side! It is unusual for me to side with DIER on any controversial issue, but I hope that the R ACT doesn’t give them a hard time over speed signs painted on the road (Journeys, December 2011.) We need to be reasonable and to distinguish between ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’. Speed signs painted on the road certainly look good, and probably are a good idea in a few locations, such as at school crossings, but they are expensive, deteriorate rapidly, and are almost invisible in wet weather, particularly at night. They can be useful when they augment normal speed signs, but are inadequate substitutes for nor mal speed signs. The DIER proposal to install more normal signs is much more useful, practical and sensible. On the other hand, I am very pleased that you are giving the Hobart City Council a hard time over road markings and it really made my day to read that at least some members of the Southern Regional Adv isory Committee recog nise that the notorious roundabout at Mornington is ‘dysfunctional’. I can certainly confirm that some motorists change their travel plans to avoid it – I’m one of them. Keith Anderson Kingston I moved to Tasmania in 2001 and in 10 years, travelling only 15,000 kilometres a year as I am now semi-retired, I have received six infringement notices – five for 1 point and one for 2 points. Am I a worse driver than I have ever been? I don’t think so. After 50 years of driving everything from race cars to trucks, I am a reasonably competent driver and make a point of driv ing to the conditions and trying to obey the myriad of speed signs. I haven’t learnt, however how to avoid the tax collectors masquerading as traffic police, lurking behind telegraph poles. After 10 years I must be a slow learner! I now find, rather than paying full attention to the road and surrounds, my eyes are constantly scanning the speedo. Perhaps this is why I missed the 80 km sign coming past the pulp mill in the Derwent Valley and, thinking I am in a 100 km zone as there are very few houses and a good road surface, I was very happy cruising along there at 95 km (94 according to the police officer). This is the first time that I had driven on this road and feel that it could be better signed. I live on the Channel Highway and drive up and down this road on a regular basis. There are two places that the police hide regularly – one at the top of Bonnet Hill and one in a side street in Taroona. I have only seen them there during the day, when the only drivers they are likely to catch are harassed mums taking and collecting children from schools, or retired mums and dads going to the shops. But they should be in the evening, when hoons on motor bikes and hotted-up cars scream up and down the highway. I could go on and on but feel that this expresses my frustration with the attitude of the police. Roger Walker Is it an indicator or a sticker? Just a quick note to outline a concern in regards to the orange rego stickers on virtually all cars at the moment. A few days ago I was nearly caught out by one of these while following a 4WD vehicle. Sunlight flickering through roadside trees or buildings illuminated the orange backing and momentarily gave the impression that the driver had engaged the left indicator and was about to turn. This Slow leaner or worse driver? We doubt it! I started driving in 1960 in r ural England, driving about 20,000 miles a year. After nine years I received no infringement notices. I came to Australia in 1969 and spent a year in rural NSW, dr iving approx imately 30,000 kilometres all over northern NSW with a civ il engineering company. I received no infringement notices. I moved to Sydney and in 30 years of driving around 40,000 kilometres a year all over mainland Australia, including Darwin, Broome, Alice Springs and Fremantle, I received three infringement notices for minor speed offences. In our community 12 February / March 2012
Apr May 2012