Your views: spring 2023
Our readers share their thoughts on electric vehicle charging stations, road sign placement, reversing cameras and more.
Charging towards the future
With the sale of electric vehicles on the increase, Tasmania could take a lead and establish more public charging stations – encouraging tourism and adding to our clean-green credentials. For as little as $1m, we could establish about another 100 such stations throughout the state. This seems a small outlay when the potential benefits are significant for motorists and the environment. If governments won’t come to the party, surely there is an entrepreneur with an idle million dollars to invest in such a scheme. Get them set up now before the demand is too great.
Why is traffic travelling north on the Brooker Highway just before the Lower Domain Road junction not diverted into the right-hand lane during non-busy times to facilitate reduced delay for turning traffic at that junction? It is frustrating that traffic often queues when the Brooker Highway isn’t busy but uses both lanes.
Roundabout we go
Having lived interstate for 26 years, and now back home in Tassie, I would like to see bigger roundabout signs. They are so small compared to interstate ones, and hard to see upon approach. Also they need to be placed well before the roundabout, not on it
In favour of screens
The screens on the dashboards of vehicles, which are subject to complaints (Journeys, Winter 2023), have very good reasons to be there.
The upswept body shapes, now almost universal, lead to shallow side and high rear windows which render the old method of twisting around in the driver’s seat for reversing mostly ineffective. Without a reversing camera, an obstacle, or even a young child, could be behind and the driver would never know until it’s too late.
Another task often relegated to the screen is radio tuning. As that’s something not normally done every few minutes of any journey, it’s no worse an attention-grabber than an old-style receiver.
Some vehicles also have other screen-based functions, none of which require any more of a driver’s attention than an old-style button placed at random somewhere on a dashboard
Dennis Hewitt // Austins Ferry
Norway has the lowest annual road death toll in the world, at 2 deaths per 100,000 population. Tasmania had the second highest in Australia in 2022 (after NT), at 9 per 100,000 with 51 deaths, five times Norway’s toll. Can we learn from Norway’s experience?
The Scandinavian country is approximately 2400km to drive far north to far south. Tasmania is 555km Marrawah to Cockle Creek. Their roads are far superior to Tasmania’s, but almost universally two-way narrow roads with the potential for head-on collisions.
What do they do to achieve the exemplary statistic? The most significant measures are:
1. Absolute speed limit of 80km/h except for the few fully divided roads
2. A blood alcohol limit of 0.02%
3. Wide use of speed camera enforcement
Could Tasmania adopt these strategies? It would require courageous political leadership, education and public support.
Perhaps promote lower, safer road speeds as a tourism benefit – slow down, be safer and appreciate our beautiful scenery. Also, lower speed saves on fuel costs in these times of financial stress for families. Recent tragedies have again highlighted that we must do better.
If Norway can make such life-saving measures acceptable to its population, why not Tasmania?