Your views Oct 2020
Our readers share their thoughts on highway speed limits, lack of public transport options, bad habits and retesting drivers.
Bass Hwy speed limits
Victoria Cochrane, Hellyer
We live on the Bass Hwy at Detention River and are concerned at the number of trucks travelling at 100+ km an hour in the area from the Hellyer turn-off to the Rocky Cape Tavern. At busy times there could be three trucks parked across the road from the store and more on the store side, plus school buses and store patrons turning in and out. Trucks that are not stopping travel in the middle of the road at full speed to avoid parked trucks. It’s a disaster waiting to happen but State Roads are not interested. We wrote to State Roads to ask them to reduce the speed limit to 80km but they said their reviews showed there was no evidence. They should come and have a look for themselves!
More public transport needed
Damien Codognotto, Howrah
Public transport in Hobart is a bus. No choices. More public transport in the Tasmanian capital is needed. The bones of a rail system exist and the Derwent offers ferry routes waiting to be used. Melbourne’s tram system is world class and Hobart-built ferries crisscross Sydney Harbour every day. In the mid-to-long term, ferries, trams and trains are solutions. In the shorter term, encouraging bicycles, scooters and motorcycles is cost effective.
It is true that Hobart’s population is smaller than Melbourne or Sydney’s. It is true that infrastructure costs money. It is also true that Hobart’s traffic congestion problem will get much worse if the majority of commuters continue to use single-occupant cars to get to and through the CBD.
Review Hobart’s inadequate motorcycle parking areas and plan for secure, free parking for bicycles, scooters and motorcycles at public transport park and ride facilities.
Jo McRae, Mornington
I am accustomed to the organised turmoil of traffic in Indonesia (though only as a passenger), but still amazed by the inability of Tasmanian drivers to cope with roundabouts and indicators.
Yesterday at the roundabout in West Hobart, waiting to turn right, there were four cars on my right but the fourth had its indicator on to turn left, and I checked that his indicator was still on just as he entered the roundabout. I admit I was a bit frazzled at the return to the usual school-leaving traffic after the recent restrictions, so did not wait as I usually do to make sure the driver’s intentions matched his driving skills.
Clearly not, in his case, as he was astonished that I should enter the roundabout before him, tossing his hands up in the air in puzzlement.
What is it about indicators that drivers don’t get?
Are modern cars no longer provided with the indicator’s sound/light on the dashboard? My car is more than 20 years old, and is quite audible and visible.
I am frustrated at how underrated and poorly applied indicators are, when they are a clear warning to other drivers.
John Seaton, Prospect Vale
Assuming that all car learner drivers are taught good driving habits as opposed to simply trained to pass a driving test, I continue to be horrified at the ineptitude of both new and experienced drivers, of all ages, in implementing even the simplest of road rules and procedures associated with safe driving.
This, evidenced with many other bad driving habits, is to me sufficient cause to introduce periodic and stringent retesting of all drivers. I would suggest every five years to be appropriate.
I am confident getting bad/unsafe drivers off the roads and rigorous good habits/skills development retraining would significantly reduce road safety injuries and fatalities and all of their associated emotional and financial impacts.
David Hayden, Howrah
I totally agree with the MAIB TV promotion that younger and new, inexperienced drivers should get more practical hands-on experience before driving without any supervision. However, my brother has run a driving school for many years interstate. His comment has always been that he often has to spend a lot of time unlearning young and older learner drivers’ bad skills and habits, plus mindset passed on from both family members and other risk takers, who unfortunately pass on incorrect driving skills and non-road rules compliance.
Additionally, has anyone considered that by lowering the speed limit through central Hobart, with vehicles forced to use low gears, what amount of pollution this will cause from exhaust fumes to both the inner city area, and those both working and being a pedestrian there?
Safety on our country roads
Helen Tait, Launceston
Last weekend we heard news of a double fatality for two elders on Bridgenorth Road; grandmother and grandfather, mother and father, brother and sister of someone. We were informed that it was a horror crash. That means, in my eyes, that the young men, going about their rightful business, the witnesses, the first responders and the people of that community would be hurting now. This weekend I went out to visit friends at Bridgenorth to see how the people there were caring and faring. Slowing at the straight approaching the corner to the death scene, a car came up behind me and pulled out into the path of an oncoming car. I held my breath for a moment of more horror and then exhaled in a fit of rage demanding that we will remember least we forget. Please drive carefully, as you are encouraged to meander about enjoying the beauty from our beloved country roads.
Keeping to your side
Ian Martindale, Ellendale
In her message in the July edition of Journeys Ms Westwood wonders how we can reduce vehicle crashes and the subsequent death and injuries. One simple method is to educate drivers to keep on their own side of the road. That way there would be no more head-on crashes for a start. Every time I go out in either my car or motorhome I have dash cam footage of drivers with either part or even all of their vehicle on the wrong side of the road. Yes, I have footage of a tow truck straight lining a double bend just outside Hayes and many more beside. In over 56 years of holding a drivers licence and having driven in over a dozen countries in Europe and every state and territory in Australia I have never seen as much of this as I have since I moved to Tasmania eight years ago.