Your say February 2018

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Home burglary cartoon

It pays - and pays - to have a pooch
Left leaning
Horns dilemma
Starry skies
Limit scooters
Rescued by RACV
Sticky situation
Brilliant Beau
Great nana Miki’s war

It pays – and pays – to have a pooch

I read ‘Interview with a burglar’ (RA Dec/Jan) with interest, and perhaps a dog’s presence does discourage some burglars, but I would have to disagree with the statement, “Low-budget, invest in a dog”. If you look after your dog, feed nutritious food for peak health, provide a quality kennel outside and bedding inside, pay for six-monthly vet checks, monthly flea/worm medication, health insurance, microchipping, council registration, collars/ID tags, leads, combs, toys etc., and keep escape-proof fences in repair, a dog is not low-budget, and never should be.

Lorraine Jarrett, Brighton

Left leaning

I sympathise with the author of ‘Unlimited Anger’ (RA November). However, I am prompted to ask which lane you were travelling in when you were the target of such anger? 

Europe’s motorways are both faster (many with a 130kmh limit) and better flowing than ours – despite heavy congestion. This is due to the adherence to the slow/medium/fast lane rule. Despite seeing huge “Keep left unless overtaking” signs on all Australian freeways, it angers me that slow vehicles and trucks constantly block up the entire freeway by travelling in the right lane.

Peter Williams, Ashburton 

Horns dilemma

The unexpected, abrupt and sharp car horn is a major contributor to road rage. The blast is often not commensurate with the offence, fanning the “offender’s” temper and retaliation, particularly if they have had a ‘hard day’ or are under the influence of dubious medication.

The car horn has never progressed in design; manufacturers continue with the ‘one size (blast) fits all’ approach.

Could thought be given to a two-tone blast, a soft/high, or a multi-tone? Many drivers, unfortunately, use the horn to say hello to their friends, using the excessive blast, without an option of a softer, less urgent tone.

Ross Walker, Mont Albert North

Starry skies

Members of the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society read your article Star Struck (RA Dec/Jan) with great interest. But you do not have to travel into the country for celestial sights. At the Briars Astronomy Centre, Mount Martha, we have a well-equipped observatory with powerful tele-scopes for viewing planets, the moon and deep space objects. Public star-gazing nights are on the first Friday of every month. These are family-friendly events and members are on hand to answer any questions. Visit

Anthony Nightingale, Chelsea

Limit scooters

Having also been injured by a thoughtless scooter rider, I agree with Arthur Comer’s call for speed control for scooters (RA Dec/Jan). These are mobility aids, not cars, and should be limited to walking pace and not ridden on the road when there is a footpath available.  

Elisabeth Thevenet, Clunes

Rescued by RACV

I fractured my left hip on holiday in Vietnam. I was extremely lucky to have RACV Travel Insurance. Within three days, RACV arranged transfer for my husband and myself to return to Melbourne by air ambulance and paid all expenses to the hospital in Vietnam. After we returned to Melbourne, the lost portion of our tour was refunded and my husband’s hotel expenses in Vietnam were paid.

I wish to thank the insurance team for the painless process of rescuing us from a difficult situation. We’d never before claimed on travel insurance and we are very happy that RACV took care of everything to bring us safely home.

Alicia Ducatel, Melbourne

Sticky situation

As we no longer have registration stickers on our cars, it has made it easier for petrol theft, wrong or stolen plates on vehicles, people getting fined for not remembering to pay their rego and speed and red-light camera avoidance. So why not issue once-only labels, with a big bold car rego number on the outside and rego due date on the inside. One for the front windscreen and one for the rear window for red-light and speed cameras. Petrol-station cameras can match the sticker with the plates. With the due date for renewal on the inside, drivers will know when to renew and have no excuse. There’s just not enough forward thinking by people who like to make changes to save money and fine drivers.

Tony Chircop, St Albans 


As a motorcyclist I can hardly wait for FACs – fully automated cars (RA Dec/Jan). By taking advantage of a FAC’s programmed willingness to avoid an accident, me and fellow non-FAC road users may be able to manipulate the traffic around us to our advantage. I will be able to ride down the Monash Freeway and my sheer presence will part the traffic for me in a similar fashion to how Moses parted the Red Sea.

Also, I would attribute most of my near-misses to increasingly woeful driving practices that police and the authorities choose to ignore. So when FACs become a reality, abysmal driving habits will decrease and I for one will breathe a loud sigh of relief.

A word of caution, however: relinquishing our right to control our cars is a pleasure for some of us which our nanny authorities will not hand back.

Darren Gibbs, Cranbourne North 

I had a giggle when I saw the photo of the driverless car (RA Dec/Jan).  I think some drivers believe this automated driving is already here. I have witnessed this driverless technique used by many morning travellers: eating breakfast, texting, reading, putting on makeup, hair grooming, shaving, teeth brushing … the list goes on.

Sorry for my warped humour.

Pat O’Meara, Sandhurst

Brilliant Beau

I love the photo of the RAAF Beaufighter A8-95 in Melbourne At War (RA November). This was an Australian-built Beau that would have been assembled at Fishermans Bend. These aircraft played a very significant role in Australia’s war effort and in particular the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943. Winston Churchill described it as “a striking testimony to the proper use of air power”. It was a much-loved aircraft.

In March, the 75th anniversary of the Bismarck Sea battle will be commemorated at Richmond RAAF Base in NSW.

David Redfern, Wattle Glen

Phyllis May Shaw

Great nana Miki's war

My husband was reading RoyalAuto (November) and had it open at Mike Rosel’s article on the Shrine and WW2. He said: “This woman looks so much like your mother.”

I looked and said: “It is my mother!”

Phyllis May Shaw, known as Miki, became a gunner and then a bombardier, serving most of her time in Cairns. She delighted us with many stories over the years. Our family was delighted to see this lovely photo of Mum/Nana/Great Nana Miki.

Julie Evans, Mornington 


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