Your say November 2017

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

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eBike cartoon

Easy E-Bike
What about true cost of N-E link?
What courtesy?
Read all over
Signs everywhere
Bad angle parks
Average cars
Cold comfort
It’s a chevy
Lightbulb ideas

Easy E-Bike

I’m loving RACV’s interest in electric bikes. For some reason, they are misunderstood in Australia, yet in some European countries over half of all adult bikes sold are now electric. The first myth is they’re for lazy riders: You can be leisurely on them, but you also have the choice of pedalling as hard as on a non-electric bike. You also see comments such as “you sweat less”, as you’re riding with less effort. But even when you ride with maximum effort, you still sweat less due to your higher speed ensuring a constant and refreshing breeze. And believe me, you really appreciate the extra oomph from the motor when there is a strong and relentless headwind.

Graeme Daniels, Balwyn North

What about true cost of N-E Link?

The Full Circle” (RA September) should have included the opposition “possible routes for the North East Link”. It’s a pity NELA chief executive Duncan Elliott didn’t mention the effect the link would have on air pollution, noise pollution, residents, schools, etc, and degradation of bushland and the environment. Tunnels are all very well but they must enter and exit somewhere. Whichever way it goes, noise, pollution and congestion will increase.

If Mr Elliott would like to stay at my home and experience loud trucks, motorcycles and traffic in general in the early hours of the morning, he is welcome.

You can also bet there’ll be a big fight if compulsory acquisition of residents’ homes for tunnels is flagged. We’ve seen what’s happened elsewhere through compulsory acquisition, and house prices would plummet anyway if a tunnel was planned near a residential area.

Camille Strathdee, Balwyn North

EDITOR’S NOTE: RoyalAuto outlined the case for and against North East Link in February 2016. Visit

What courtesy?

I agree with Alistair Gleeson (“All Lanes are Slow Lanes Now” RA September) that “Keep left unless overtaking” signs are ignored by many on the Geelong road (Princes Freeway) and that there is precious little highway etiquette and courtesy. However I disagree that a 110km/h limit is a solution, as it is inappropriate for this major highway because of traffic volume. The Geelong road serves what is rapidly becoming an urban sprawl rather than an open road through sparsely populated areas with low levels of traffic.  

My experience with the Geelong road has been it’s not worth using the right lane to pass because many drivers are well above the limit in that lane and aggressively tailgate anyone in their way. Further, there are far too many reckless attempts to pass during periods of moderate-to-heavy traffic which is most of the time; one should not attempt to drive faster than traffic flow.   

David Moore, Hurstbridge

Read all over

What a wonderful and informative magazine, covering topics from new cars, holiday destinations, vehicle questions, stories about individual people; e.g. the article published in July this year regarding Cameron Caldwell who survived that horrific crash – very touching.

I keep your magazine after I finish it as it’s nice to go back on certain stories.

Terrific photography as well. I just can’t fault it. 

Neil Favero, Mount Evelyn

Signs everywhere

There should be clearly displayed, and made visible away from obstructing vegetation, proper road identification signage at the intersection of every road, street, avenue, crescent and court in Victoria and in all other states.

Everyone doesn’t use sat-nav. Most people use road maps. Road maps mark intersections. Road maps are useless with non-signed intersections.

Signage is the responsibility of the relevant local councils and VicRoads. If they continue to disregard these responsibilities to the public who are paying for these (absent) services, a formal complaint should be made against them to the State Ombudsman.

Carole Dunn, Templestowe

Bad angle parks

Many motorists are booked for reversing into angle parking spaces. Clearly, ignorance of the Road Rules requirement to ‘front in/rear out’ is no excuse, but this rule should warrant councils to ensure signage includes this reminder.

Raymond Dickson, Hampton

Average cars

Are there a lot of RACV members poring over articles such as that featured on your September 2017 cover (and pages 42-46), trying to decide which $150,000 European sports sedan they should buy? Your reviews would be better devoted to vehicles in price ranges most families on average wages might be considering.

Greg Wolfe, Frankston

Cold comfort

One recent Sunday evening, my son and a car full of friends were caught out by the freezing temperature on Mount Buller which froze the diesel in his car. The RACV call centre went out of its way to organise a tow for him and many other cars caught out that night. Your roadside assist service spent many hours towing the cars from the top of Mount Buller in minus-7 degrees, an unenviable job. Thank you RACV.

Michelle Shafran, Healesville

It’s a chevy

I enjoyed “The way we were” (RA September), where a 1940s photograph showing the old RACV headquarters in Queen Street was captioned: “… with two RACV Austin 7 patrol vehicles and a Bedford tow truck parked in front.”  Some correction is necessary. While RACV did operate a Bedford tow truck, the one in the photograph is RACV’s 1942 Chevrolet. The patrol vehicles may be Austin 7s but they are not RACV’s original Austin 7 “Little Yellow Van” model. They are later and, perhaps (I’m guessing a little here) a larger model, more like an Austin 10. 

Lindsay Howe, Queenscliff

Lightbulb ideas

September’s RoyalAuto had two letters on misuse of vehicle lighting. It appears designers are thinking up many more ways to confuse road users by either putting indicators and high beams close within the same cluster (e.g. one Jeep model has to dim its headlight for the indicator to be visible), or conversely spacing them all over the place. Not much safety in design there.

Also, dark-coloured vehicles are more likely to be involved in severe incidents (MUARC 2007 report), but why do their drivers want to stay camouflaged against the road even further by not lighting up so others can see them, particularly dawn and dusk.

Visibility is a fundamental and perhaps the TAC could push headlights to be on whenever a vehicle is operating (similar to an aircraft strobe).

Vincent Galea, Sunbury


Email:  Post: RoyalAuto Letters, 550 Princes Hwy, Noble Park North VIC 3174.

Letters cannot be considered for publication unless they are under 150 words and have the writer’s full name and postal address. This applies whether submitted by email or post. Only the name and suburb will be published. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

Written by RACV
October 23, 2017