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Journeys : Aug Sep 2012
Travelling on John Matic wins a $50 travel voucher for his letter about protr uding tow bars. 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 In our community An end to blind spots? Normally, side mirrors on vehicles work well but there is a slight flaw – blind spots. Consider this scenario. After having indicated the intention to change lanes, and before doing so, rather than having to lean forwards and backwards to overcome the blind spots, why can’t the side mirrors have inserts or a sort of angled split construction that will do away with the blind spots? Do you think that this could be a viable suggestion for the manufacturers to consider so that they can become a standard feature of side mirrors of all motor vehicles? It might seem a minor point, but any road safety feature should be worthy of consideration, I believe. Johnny Koay Mt Nelson The mirrors described are a standard feature on most new cars. Some manufacturers are also introducing Blind Spot Monitoring. If you have an older vehicle with standard mirrors, it’s possible to buy small blind spot mirrors that stick on to your existing mirrors. Lindy George Cross about level crossings I see occasional references on the Tasrail Facebook page to motorists who disobey level crossing warning lights. In more recent times, the favourite trick seems to be to stop, then proceed across the railway track while the train is still approaching. I have a railway involvement (although I’m not a Tasrail employee) and I can say that any form of disregard for level crossing warning lights is of major concern. Many motorists may not be aware that train drivers can, and are, taking registration numbers of offenders, to be forwarded to police. Dennis Hewitt Sharing the road John Robbo’s ‘Opinion’ ( Jour neys June /July 2012) raises some concerning issues with respect to cycling on the Old Bass Highway between Penguin and West Ulverstone. Certainly cyclists are very aware of their vulnerability when riding on public roads. In this, cyclists require a duty of care from other road users. This is consistent with the Tasmanian road rules, under which a cyclist is deemed to be a vehicle, regardless whether the cyclist is riding alone or in a group. As such, no other vehicle, such as a car, is permitted to overtake if it is not safe to do so, or if there is an unbroken line (single or double) on the road surface. Thus the near head-on collision John Robbo obser ved was due to the illegal actions of the interstate vehicle, not the cyclists. The Old Bass Highway from Penguin to Ulverstone is clearly a tourist or scenic route and should not be a route ‘heav ily used by local commuters’ as Mr Robbo states. Surely the fastest and safest route for Penguin commuters would be via Mission Hill Road or the aptly named Preser vation Roads and onto the Bass Highway. To improve the safety of all road users, including cyclists, I recommend that the Old Bass Highway be defined and signed as a tourist route – and because this road is indeed, as Mr Robbo says, a ‘ beautifully- scenic piece of road’ with many ‘sharp corners, over-hill crests and blind dips’, I suggest the speed be limited to 60km/h. This would enable those wishing to enjoy this scenic route to slow dow n and enjoy the view more safely. An added benefit would be improved safety for cyclists. Given that London-bound Olympian Amy Cure often resides in Penguin and uses this road, it might provide some protection for her and her cycling mates. We do not want any more Amy Gilletts being produced by impatient and inconsiderate motorists. Evan Evans Lindisfarne Beware of rats! I was driving home from Launceston when three warning lights came on in my six-month old Subaru Forester. I stopped to check the manual but couldn’t work out why and what was happening. I rang the dealer and was fortunate to be able to take the car straight there. The bonnet opened by the ser vice department, and it was ‘Come here Suzie and have a look. This is the problem!’ Rats (we could tell by size of droppings) had been having a midnight feast and had chewed through some exposed wiring. They also chewed a hole in a junction box and left all their traces behind them – teethmarks, droppings, husks of grain etc. Apparently the onset of cold weather has created this problem in country areas. I raced off to buy some rat bait, which is now spread every night on flat surfaces under my bonnet for them to feast on and die I hope, w ithout causing any more problems. Even though repairs have to be made, had I not checked it out immediately, I could well have not been able to start the car the next day, if there had been another expensive midnight party! R ACT country members, you have been war ned! Suzie Terry Long ford August / September 2012 13
Jun Jul 2012
Oct Nov 2012