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Journeys : Apr May 2012
Travelling on Peter d’Plesse wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter about speeding enforcement. 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 There was a documented case last year of a mainland motorcyclist charged with driving at 149 km/hr in an 80 zone. The radar reading was proven to be false and the case was won at a cost of $65,000 (that’s not a typo!) Fortunately the defendant was represented by his father who was a law yer. None of this implies support for speeding and the police have an important task in trying to reduce the number of people killed needlessly on our roads. ‘Speed kills’ is a powerful, two-word message that is difficult to argue against, but it camouflages the complexity of road safety. It doesn’t take much research to learn that drivers (irrespective of whether they are fast or slow) who are involved in the least number of accidents share two characteristics – they adjust their driving to the conditions and maintain situational awareness. Like fatigue and inattention, these are impossible to measure, so speed cameras will remain the prime traffic ‘s afety’ tool. Education and training would be better but this costs money, so speedo watching is a habit we must become used to, regardless of any downside. Peter d’Plesse Rosny Designs from the ‘Don’t pages’ Like Roger Walker, I think that many of our road rules are unreasonable, and getting worse, not better. I often joke w ith friends that the committees designing our road rules use a book of Dos and Don’ts of Traffic Management, but confuse the Do pages with the Don’t pages. Fortunately, a seemingly unrelated article in the same issue, the She Says, He Says tests of the Peugeot 508 GT, cheered me up, and might cheer Roger up too. Like most models of Peugeot, this car has not just conventional cr uise control, but speed limiting cruise control. This aid helps us to obey speed limits, not only on highways but also within cities, tow ns and suburbs. I don’t recommend that Roger should r ush out to buy a new car just to reduce the risk of a few speeding fines, but it is useful to know that we can protect ourselves from some ‘Designs from the Don’t pages’. Keith Anderson Kingston When the red and blue lights flash Roger Walker, your stor y in the Febr uar y/ March Journeys really made me smile. I can picture you humming along the Boyer Road past the Newsprint (not only Pulp) Mill with your eyes glued to your speedo locked onto 95 km/h. What a shock when those red and blue lights began f lashing. Roger, if you were dr iving from New Norfolk to Bridgewater there are in fact seven 80 km signs on each side of the road in the three kilometres between the town boundary and the mill area and if you were driving in the other direction there are fifteen 80 km signs in the 11 kilometres from Bridgewater. Sorry old boy, I can’t agree with you that this road needs to be better signed to prevent you getting your occasional ticket for exceeding the speed limits. And I certainly don’t agree w ith your attitude to our police. Inattentive drivers, especially harassed mums with kids in their cars and retired shoppers who are exceeding our sensible speed limits, are just as dangerous to themselves and other road users as motor bikes and hotted-up cars. More police on the roads and in the community and fewer bureaucrats in front of computer screens is my attitude. Mike McBain New Norfolk Not a wasted word Rik Atwell (Februar y/March Journeys) asks whether other RACT members can see his point of view with regard to orange rego stickers being mistaken for indicators. In a word, no. John Wilson Magra Speed differential frustration There is a problem with lowering speed limits on rural and country roads that needs to be addressed before implementation – that is, no speed differential between heav y vehicles and light vehicles. Generally on these roads where heavy vehicles are slow there are no safe overtaking opportunities. Where there are safe overtaking opportunities, heav y vehicles tend to speed up to the allowable speed limit, making overtaking unwise because it is at these areas where speed cameras are set up. It appears that neither the State Government nor the R ACT understands the psychology of frustration caused by having to follow a slow vehicle on these roads for 40 to 50 kilometres or more. This type of situation needs to be addressed for the safety, health and well-being of all road users. Dennis Camplin Ravenswood The Ultimate praise After moving from Western Australia approximately one year ago, we recently decided to take out RACT Ultimate membership. I told Wendy at the Devonport Branch that hopefully I would never have to use it. Lucky for me that I listened to Wendy and my wife, as we were recently over at Strahan and had a vehicle breakdown. The vehicle had to be taken to a dealer in Launceston. I would not have liked to pay a tow truck driver for that jour ney. The people from Strahan who are the RACT towing agents, Kerry and family, were more like family to me than a customer. They went a lot further than you would expect people to do. Thank goodness for Tasmanians! The staff at Launceston also went further with help, arranging a similar replacement vehicle to our 4WD. This enabled us to keep showing our family visitors our new home state. All this was made possible by your wonderful staff. I have thanked them in person and would be delighted if you would publish some of the content of my message in your magazine. I have been a member for over thirty years (since 1979) and this is the first time something of this nature has happened to me. It keeps my faith in your excellent service and commitment to the community that you all ser ve. Thank you again. David Dunn West Ulverstone In our community April / May 2012 13
Feb March 2012
Jun Jul 2012