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Your views Feb/Mar 2022

Our readers share their thoughts on roundabouts, EV affordability, speeding, and more.

Car manufacturers missing the point

It’s good to see more EVs coming out from different manufacturers. What is disappointing is they seem to mostly be based on premium versions of a particular model, increasing cost unnecessarily. A lot of people just want a good reversing camera, parking sensors and something to plug their smartphones into. A lot more EVs would be sold if they were also available in basic, cheaper versions. Also where are all the small EVs? People buy small cars for their fuel efficiency. Isn’t it logical that they would buy small EVs for the same reason? For example, in Australia, you can only get the Hyundai i20 in a performance hatch for a premium price. Why not offer the same car as an EV? Seems a lot of missed opportunities as I believe many people would like an EV but baulk at the initial cost.

Nick Sorensen, Burnie

Charging infrastructure needed in the north-west

As the owner of an electric vehicle, the biggest problem in north-west Tassie is a lack of charging infrastructure, and an unwillingness to install it.

There are almost no public chargers west of Devonport. I’ve talked to people in towns like Stanley, which has no charge points, and there’s no interest at all, even when I pointed out that the Tassie government is funding charger installation at businesses.

So, having a somewhat shorter-range EV, we don’t visit any of those towns like we used to, and those whole regions will be missing out on a lot of tourism as EV numbers ramp up.

I think the biggest issue is not changing the minds of vehicle owners, it’s convincing business owners that they should install destination chargers. This is something RACT really needs to be working on.

Lance Turner, East Ridgley

Speeding in Scamander

Speeding through Scamander has increased to a dangerous and unacceptable level. Although the limit is 50km/h and 60km/h through the town, I have observed flagrant disregard for any limits. 

I know State Growth is aware of the problem, however, nothing is done and will not be done until a tragedy occurs. A typical buck-passing exercise.

Preferably three speed cameras are required for the almost 3km stretch through Scamander.

Adrian Nolan, Scamander

Roundabout round-up

Forced slow down

May I suggest that each entrance/exit on a roundabout have a slightly raised section to make people slow down as they approach a roundabout? This will help avoid collisions and also give those waiting a chance to get onto the roundabout and thus keep traffic moving. The same should also be placed just before crossings. Again, cars would be forced to slow down and would give the pedestrian a better chance of crossing safely.

Ray Quinn, Blackmans Bay

In the middle

There have been some great letters about roundabouts but what about the safety aspect? They are primarily a large island for traffic control and safety. People now see them as places for advertising or other displays which are not only distracting but, in some instances, dangerous. The one on the old Midland Highway between Brighton and Pontville has a huge steel sculpture in the middle; so many sharp edges! In an emergency, a vehicle should be able to travel over the roundabout. 

Andy Beasant, Bothwell

Rounabout review

I think that the letter by Neville Cooper (Oct/Nov issue) about roundabouts might be more insightful than its author intends. 

I’d like to suggest an idea that might be more helpful. Over the years, many motorists have complained in this magazine and elsewhere about roundabout problems. But those complaints seem to have been ignored or, at best, considered only as individual complaints, with no one asking if there might be a pattern. 

We’ve had grandiose visions by the Hobart City Council, the state government and the RACT all claiming to address traffic problems. I hesitate to suggest another grandiose review, but maybe a simpler, smaller review just addressing roundabouts. Even if it described and documented the problems, we’d be on a path towards a solution. 

Keith Anderson, Kingston

Merging misunderstanding

We would like to give clarity around Peter Le Comte’s letter in our previous issue. Peter’s letter referenced both examples below. We would like to clarify that if your lane markings end, or the lanes of traffic are reduced, you must merge by giving way to any vehicle that is ahead of you. 

An extract from the 2021 Tasmanian Road Rules Handbook

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