Our community

Your views Dec20/Jan21

Our readers share their thoughts on potholes, road works and cutting corners, while others have their questions answered by one of our car experts.

Holey highway

Hennie Meyer, East Devonport

We recently travelled the A1 highway between Devonport and Launceston and experienced rather poor road conditions from Latrobe to the Meander River bridge at Deloraine. Many, many potholes. We also came across three motorists changing tyres and this was only on the above stretch. We decided to count the potholes on our return the same day, starting at the Meander River bridge on the A1. We came across 247 potholes! On our return, we came across two more cars changing tyres. None of the potholes were marked with white corners. Needless to say, many motorists had to do all kinds of erratic movements to avoid the potholes. We’ve travelled this road for the past nine years and gradually noticed the deterioration. No sight of roadworks could be found. This morning on ABC Northern Tasmania there was a talk on the increasing deaths on Tasmanian roads and all I can say is this stretch will add to that statistic. I am a South African migrant and what I have experienced is exactly the same road conditions as in Africa.


 

Cause(way) for concern

Warwick Chapman, Dodges Ferry

The Midway Point causeway is close to commencing along with years of misery for a large section of the local communities – Sorell and Midway Point. Sorell’s Mayor, Kerry Vincent, has indicated that the first part to be done is through Midway Point. I feel the best thing for Sorell and all traffic coming down the Arthur Highway is for the first stage to be from the Nugent Road and Arthur Highway junction, to the beginning of the causeway, including roundabouts as per plan, bypassing Sorell and avoiding gridlock in future.


Cutting corners

John Spence, Sandford

I’m amazed how many drivers cut corners (often on blind corners) even whilst an oncoming vehicle is close to them. When I learned to drive in NSW the police would book anyone who crossed over an unbroken line, even if there was no oncoming traffic. So we learned to stay on the correct side of the road at all times. My assessment of this is that so many drivers are used to being lazy in the face of oncoming traffic and less likely to correct the situation should danger arise.


 


Questions for our car medic

Question

The check engine light on my car keeps coming on, then going off again. Should I stop driving it? Lucy Stevens, Burnie

Answer

The ‘check engine’ light coming on happens relatively often and there’s no need to panic.

In most cars, the light – shaped like an engine or a triangle with an exclamation mark – will turn yellow or red. Yellow is more common and alerts you that the vehicle’s computer has noticed an abnormal reading and logged this fault.

Stopping and restarting the vehicle sometimes makes the light disappear, but it’s likely the error has been logged and can be accessed by your mechanic. With so many sensors on modern vehicles, it could be absolutely anything causing it – from electrical to ignition issues.

If your light’s yellow, scan the dashboard for other lights or odd gauge readings. If all’s normal and vehicle performance isn’t affected, still contact your repairer as soon as possible. We’ve seen people cover the light with tape rather than get it checked, (I’ve even heard of people removing the light, which sounds harder than repairing it!). My advice is to contact your workshop quickly.

More serious is the red check engine light, which indicates a major issue. Many modern vehicles will reduce power and switch to ‘limp mode’. In this scenario, pull over in a safe location, turn off the vehicle and call our roadside team. Darren Moody, General Manager Mobility Services