Your say February 2017

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RACV strip maps

We saw the dog, then things got hot
My life has changed forever
Screen saver
Crossing the line
Take their phone
Name dropping
Basic care is key
When the goat comes in

We saw the dog, then things got hot

I really enjoyed the story by Hannie Rayson relating her car trip to Sydney way, way back (“Are we there yet?” RA December-January). It brought back so many memories. And her dad and mine were so similar. Yes, we stopped in Gundagai and visited the Dog. I recall we ate at a cafe. It was the first time I had ever eaten out. It was memorable for that reason and also because the place caught fire just after we left. Most of all I recall my mum reading all the information from the RACV strip maps we had for the trip. A thought, folks at RACV, what about reissuing the old strip maps from the 1950s era as collectors’ items?

Paul Pearce, Croydon

My life has changed forever

Re your road safety feature ( On 16 August 2008 I was in a car accident. I was a passenger when the vehicle collided with a tree at Plenty Road, Mill Park. I clashed heads with the driver and was knocked unconscious.

I was put into an induced coma and taken to The Alfred. I was in a coma for 11 days and spent 25 days in hospital. I then went to the Victorian Rehabilitation Centre for nine weeks where I had to learn how to walk, talk, go to the toilet, use money and shop again.

My balance is affected and I can no longer drive a car. I get fatigued easily and can have severe mood swings. My life has changed forever. I have no real friends and my independence is gone. No one knows how I feel about life and living with an acquired brain injury.

I do volunteer work in two cafes twice a week because paid employment is hard to find. I have four support workers on four separate days each week. They help me with cooking, hydro, gym and 10-pin bowling. This is paid for by TAC who have been really helpful. Also I thank God for my family.

Paul O’Dwyer, Montrose

Screen saver

Congratulations Paul Azzopardi for your comments (“Movie made me a safer driver,” Your Say, RA, Dec-Jan) about road safety. I too saw this film about road crashes. In the 1970s a film called You Just Don’t Realise was made in Australia and sent a very strong message. It took us into the morgue to see the sad consequences for crash victims.

Ron Pescarini, Cottlesbridge

Crossing the line

On one occasion I have had a truck head straight at me on the Sunraysia Highway – the driver was asleep at the wheel. As a motorcyclist, several times cars have crossed to my side of the road and only by leaving the road have I avoided a collision.

Locally, within Wyndham, I have had vehicles travelling on the wrong side of a divided dual-lane carriageway heading for me. I attended an accident that happened in front of me where a vehicle swerved to the wrong side of the road and hit another car head-on. Just yesterday I had a car swerve over to my side of the road and only quick reaction allowed me to avoid a collision.

Speed cameras and other automated detection devices do not pick up this common but deadly action.

Doug Mullett, Werribee

Take their phone

I am appalled at drivers who use their mobile phone while driving. The situation keeps getting worse, in spite of hefty fines being imposed when they are caught.

There is a blindingly simple solution to this problem. As well as fining the offending motorist, the law should be changed so that, if one is caught using a mobile phone while in charge of a motor vehicle, the phone is confiscated on the spot.

As most phone users these days have their whole life in their phone, not too many people would risk it being confiscated.

No exceptions.

No appeals.

A hefty fine and lose the phone forever. Problem solved!

Iain Messer, Glen Iris

Name dropping

The Association of Sculptors of Victoria welcomes any publication that highlights the variety of public sculpture to the public.

The article Art in the Right Place by Ronald Millar, which appeared in your November edition, gave exposure to a range of different works in different locations.

However none of the sculptors whose works were featured were acknowledged in the captions. I would suggest you publish a list of the sculptors and the title of their works.

Gillian Govan, President, Association of Sculptors of Victoria

Basic care is key

Would it be too much to ask road authorities to undertake the most basic road maintenance on our rural roads? I’m referring to shoulder maintenance and table drain maintenance.

Shoulder maintenance would address the ongoing destruction of our sealed road edges while table drain maintenance would prevent water entering the road pavement resulting in deformation and ultimately failure of the road pavement, particularly along the outer wheel paths.

I accept that recent wet conditions have accelerated these problems but they were occurring anyway and efforts by road authorities to patch both these types of failures continue to be a waste of time unless they are carried out in conjunction with shoulder and table drain maintenance.

From what I’ve observed this has not been occurring.

Gary Mawby, Wodonga

When the goat comes in

I was a photographer on the Horsham Times/Wimmera Mail Times for some 43 years. Recently, on tidying my darkroom, I found many pictures of RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance mechanic Hans Verheul. Many RACV members have been rescued by Hans over the years. I took the picture of Hans in 1958 when he was a young lad. He was so enthused to make things go that he created his own goat-powered vehicle.

Ian Ward, Horsham

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