Our community

Your views April/May 2021

Our readers share their thoughts on speeding, littering and travelling with pets, while others have their questions answered by one of our car experts.

Paws for thought

Chris Gillies, Tranmere

I totally support the comments by Elaine Duggan in the Feb/March 2021 issue of Journeys (‘Travelling with pets’). To emphasise, we cannot find, for love or money, any Tasmanian holiday accommodation that allows travellers to bring their pets during their stay (in our case, a golden retriever). As a result, we don’t travel in Tassie. Mainland hotels and accommodation houses have recognised the tremendous market advantage and earnings potential of providing and allowing for pets to accompany their owners during their stay. So come on Tassie accommodation providers, get with the trend and reap the rewards.

Our response

We heard you! Check out our guide to dog-friendly Tassie destinations.

Speeding at Sisters Beach

David Ingoldsby, Lenah Valley

I am alarmed by the excessively high posted speed limit of 100 km/h on the road into Sisters Beach on the north-west coast. This is a narrow, winding road almost entirely consisting of sharp, blind corners and crests. It has become increasingly busy in recent years with commuters, school buses, tourists and locals. Factor in animals, occasional pedestrians and cyclists, plus trucks and tractors, and you have a recipe for disaster. I believe a speed limit of 70 km/h to be more realistic. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Just bin it

Annette James, Beauty Point

For an island with such a strong focus on tourism, I am constantly amazed by the level of roadside litter. On the wild west coast recently, we were treated to the sight of a mammoth fried chicken meal for what must have been a dozen participants. Boxes, bags and drink containers just left behind on a lovely grassy mound. Wouldn’t hurt to pack a garbage bag and dump it in the next litter bin, would it? 

Questions for our car medic


I have a red light shaped like a battery illuminated all the time on my dashboard, does that mean I need to get a new battery? Maria Knox, Berriedale 


When your battery light is illuminated with the engine running, it means the alternator isn’t charging the battery. Reasons could include a broken or slipping alternator/drive belt, but more likely a faulty alternator or voltage regulator. Ignoring this light can lead to a couple of outcomes. If it’s a broken alternator/drive belt, this same belt also often drives the water pump, so the vehicle will likely overheat, leading potentially to significant engine damage. If you know what you’re looking for, pull over in a safe place, pop the hood and see if the belt is intact. If it isn’t (or you’re unsure), it’s time to call our roadside team. If the belt is still in place, continued driving will lead to the battery going flat as it isn’t being recharged. Eventually the vehicle will cut out when the battery is depleted, so don’t ignore it – get to your repairer before it stops. Julian McGarry, RACT Roadside Patrol