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Journeys : Apr May 2012
From the President ç On the cover Canals of Amsterdam. Read more on page 14. APRIL/MAY2012 Sex, death, beer and handbags – the museumsof Amsterdam page14 RACT in the Twittersphere page 6 New risk map report on Tasmania’s highways T he East Tamar, Tasman and Brooker Highways have been assessed as high risk for road users in a study recently released by AusRAP, the Australian Road Assessment Program, a safer roads program coordinated by the Australian Automobile Association and its member clubs, including R ACT. AusR AP’s latest report How Safe Are Our Roads? analyses the performance of highways across Australia in the period 2005-2009. It follows a similar study conducted in 2000-2004. It reinforces the concern of the R ACT about the need for an adequate funding structure to ensure that safety upgrades and proper road maintenance on existing roads can occur, even in difficult economic periods such as the one the Tasmanian Gover nment is currently facing. The East Tamar, Tasman and Brooker Highways were assessed as high risk over their entire lengths. This was based on the total number of casualty crashes over a given length of road, which AusR AP described as collective risk. Sections of the Midland Highway (Evandale Main Road to Howick Street) and the Bass Highway also rated as high risk (Railton Road to Forth River Bridge and Nine Mile Road to Stowport Road). A total of 371 kilometres on five Tasmanian highways (all part of the National Land Transport Network) were assessed by AusRAP. This Tasmanian network represents two percent of the highway network analysed throughout Australia by AusR AP, although it represents six percent of the national network in terms of fatalities in the period 2005-2009 (74 deaths). AusR AP found that the most improved section of roadway in 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004 was the Bass Highway from Forth River Br idge to K nights Road, which moved from a medium- high individual risk rating to low. Individual risk maps effectively identify the risk faced by an individual driver, by dividing the frequency of crashes per annum by the distance travelled on each section of highway per annum. If you want to read AusRAP’s full Tasmanian risk map report, go to w w w.ausrap.org/ausrap/performance-tracking-report /pdfs/ AusRAP-report-2011-Tas.pdf AusRAP’s other assessment protocol is the star rating – a one-star road being high-risk, while a five-star road is the safest rating. VinceTaskunas The West Tamar H ighway at the Brady’s Lookout area. Serious pavement failure (road surface breaking up) during 2011 led to road signs being installed warning road users of the rough conditions In our community 4 April / May 2012 T he dangers of ‘road rage’ have been mentioned on occasions in Journeys. As President, I wish to discuss more broadly this growing phenomenon that is occurring on our Tasmanian roads, and which can result in perilous outcomes. Wikipedia describes road rage as aggressive or angry behaviour by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. It should also include cyclists and other road users. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults and crashes that result in injuries and even deaths. The term or iginated in the US during the 1980s, specifically from Newscasters at KTLA, a local telev ision station in Los Angeles, California, when a rash of freeway shootings occurred. These shooting sprees even spawned a response from the American Automobile Association to its members on how to respond to drivers with road rage or aggressive manoeuvres and gestures. In Tasmania we are now being informed through the media, sometimes on a daily basis, about assaults that have taken place through the actions of a dr iver displaying road rage. Although detailed statistics are not available for Tasmania, a recent 2011 sur vey of nearly 4000 Australians is quite alarming. 85% believed drivers are more aggressive than ever before. The study revealed that Br isbane drivers are the angr iest, while Sydney motorists are involved in less road rage than drivers in any other major capital city. In total, 95% of Brisbane motorists have been on the receiving end of road rage. Adelaide and Perth tied for second with 90% of drivers exposed to road rage. Perhaps surprisingly, Melbour ne (87%) and Sydney (84%) retur ned the lowest levels of road rage among Australia’s mainland capital cities. Across the country, 88% of respondents said they had been the victim of road rage. The rate was higher for women than men. We all have a role to play in reducing road rage on our Tasmanian roads – Tasmania Police, governments, R ACT, motorists, other road users and the general community. I urge all Tasmanian road users to be more patient when travelling and have greater respect for others on the road. If you are the unfortunate victim of a road rage incident or if you see a potential road rage incident, I recommend that you contact Tasmania Police immediately. Stuart Slade President & Chairman of the Board
Feb March 2012
Jun Jul 2012