Your say December 2017/January 2018

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A roundabout

Roundabout or forest?
Unlimited anger
Too big to park
Texting law
For the dogs
Jeep is a 4x4
Carn the pie

Inspiring Susie
Pothole assist
RACV to rescue
Scooter speeds

Roundabout or forest?

Your road rules article in September states “roundabouts are meant to flow”. Why, then, are they turned into forests, botanical gardens or paddocks of tussocks which were considered noxious weeds on farms, and road signs, which impede the view greatly and the only option is to stop and scan these jungles for any danger. One might even see wild animals come out of the forest one day.

I am surprised RACV has not looked at safety at roundabouts, so the view of motorists can be clear to see blinkers or other signs of entering traffic. Are they being installed to save on traffic lights? Strict rules should apply to their construction: height above roadway, circumference and signs, such as the one in your article, which blocks the view of indicators on approaching traffic.

Desmond O’Connor, Edithvale

Unlimited anger

At 5am, due to lack of and unreliability of public transport, I needed to drive from Taylors Lakes to the centre of Melbourne.

The Calder Freeway between Taylors Lakes and Keilor and beyond is clearly marked at a speed limit of 80km/h.

I have been cut off, high-beamed, honked at, abused and nearly run off the road, all because I am doing the speed limit. Cars, tracks, taxis and motorbikes flash past me so fast I can’t begin to estimate their speed.

Yes, there is the temptation to put the foot down at that time of the morning when traffic is a lot less than usual, but why have speed limits if nobody is going to pay attention to them?

Johanna Wyngaard, Taylors Lakes

Too big to park

With our ever-increasing propensity to purchase bigger vehicles, is there a size limit to fit normal car parks? I feel like I’m often driving beside huge trucks that are used in everyday life and parked in normal carparks. But they don’t fit! It is becoming an increasing problem. 

Alaine Beek, Werribee

Texting law

Government must make it mandatory (like seatbelts, airbags etc) that car manufacturers install software rendering the text-messaging feature on a mobile phone useless once Bluetoothed with the vehicle.

Around 60 per cent of drivers admit to texting while driving. That’s an awful lot of motorists ‘driving blind’. Imagine such statistics for alcohol or illicit drug use while behind the wheel of a car.

What are we waiting for? 

Chris Teazis, Pascoe Vale

For the dogs

Thank you so much for running our Dean & District Sheep Dog Trials (Old Sniff Classic) in your events listings in October RoyalAuto.

I received more than 50 phone calls as a result in the week leading up to the event, mainly from Melbourne, Geelong and surrounding areas.

Many of these city folk, most of whom had never been to a sheep dog trial before, made it to the event.

I took the opportunity to introduce our visitors to some of the dog trainers who explained the rules of the trials, and they really appreciated the friendly atmosphere at the Dean Recreation Reserve, as well as the home-made cakes. They even got to hear a rendition of bush poetry.

We raised $730 on the day through an entry donation and raffle tickets for Soldier On Australia and it was great to be able to bring more visitors to the Hepburn Shire.

Brian Maher, Dean

Jeep is a 4x4

It was great that a Jeep was featured in the RA October issue. The writer is trying to inform the public about this awesome brand so people have an option when looking for a solid off-roader.

However, there are some critical mistakes. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is not an all-wheel drive; it is a 4X4 or four-wheel drive. 

Secondly, this Grand Cherokee is not Jeep’s “most serious off-roader”. That’s the Wrangler Rubicon. I totally agree the Grand is a serious off-roader in the Jeep line-up, but it’s a close second.

Andrew Tan, Cowes

Carn the pie

After reading the story about Adelaide (RoyalAuto, October), I have a question for writer Jeremy Bourke: where did you get the recipe for a pie floater?

There are only two ingredients for a floater: a meat pie and mushy green peas – no pea soup and no gravy.

Floaters were originally sold from pie carts in Adelaide, one at the railway station and one outside the GPO. They were a great supper after a night out.

Lila Lowe, Ouyen

Jeremy Bourke writes: Alas, with the decline of the pie carts, the floaters now available in Adelaide have gone upmarket, in that they’re served at cafes in pea soup (gravy optional) and to be eaten with a knife, fork and spoon. The original style, however, can still be found at a handful of pie carts in Sydney.

Inspiring susie

If nothing moves you except your car, then you must read “The Art of Giving” (RA August) to appreciate the selfless attitude of Susie O’Neill. Irrespective of her own personal situation, she makes time to practise what a human being is capable of doing in a single lifetime.

We are gifted with certain attributes embracing ‘do unto others’ and it is up to us to exercise them when we can.

With more Susies in our fragile world, we could all be blessed with love. Words seem so empty when my heart is so full.

Esma Rose, Croydon

Pothole assist

Regarding ‘Testing For A Driverless Future’ (RoyalAuto, October), none of these features, such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition, will be any use unless you have pothole recognition because you won’t go far with punctured tyres and buckled rims, particularly in the Geelong area. 

Peter Littlewood, Charlemont

RACV to rescue

We were heading to Perth when my VW Transporter motorhome went into limp mode 12km from Wave Rock. We rang RACV and they put us onto the RAC in Western Australia. Within no time their man came from Kondonin and diagnosed our problem, which he over-rode with his computer so we could follow him back to his garage. But he insisted we stop for half an hour at Wave Rock so we could see this wonderful sight.

He was unable to get parts for many days so he immediately arranged to put my vehicle on his long trailer and run it the 300km to the VW service centre in Perth. This man, Alan Nelson, is a credit to his organisation, as were RACV staff in Melbourne, keeping in touch to make sure we were OK.

I’ve been a proud member of your road service for more than 50 years and will continue to do so in Total Care, to have the peace of mind you provide.

June Rance, Mornington

Scooter speeds

Recently, a lady was badly injured when struck by a mobility scooter. I understand her MP husband called for a speed reduction to 6km/h for all scooters. To me this is ridiculous. Since giving up my car last November, after driving for 62 years, I have covered almost 1500km without incident. I regularly travel into Ballarat CBD, 6-7 km away, the journey typically taking 45-50 minutes and involving crossing several busy intersections.

With my limited speed, this requires careful judgment. Were I to be restricted to 6km/h, such crossings would become even more difficult, and the extra time to get into the city and back would be prohibitive on a hot day. So please leave the scooter speed limit alone.

Arthur Comer, Sebastopol