Your say August 2017

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Blood van cartoon

Frequently frustrating
Are space-savers unroadworthy?
Keep off beach
No sign of repair
Weird back lights
In the slow lane
Shock car policy
Change name
Going strong
Hack worries

Frequently frustrating

I regularly see cars with signs on the back saying “Vehicle Frequently Stopping” ...  probably also “Frequently Starting”. What is this supposed to mean to other drivers? While we are at it, what about pathology collection cars with “URGENT BLOOD” signs? What do they expect other drivers to do? What nonsense. 

John Abery, Warranwood

Are space-savers unroadworthy?

As a retired motor mechanic and former holder of a roadworthy certificate tester ticket, I wonder whether the roadworthy law on wheels and tyre sizes has changed.

When I was still conducting roadworthies the wheels and tyres had to be in pairs: same size from left to right. If the spare was a different size and fitted, that would render the vehicle unroadworthy.  On cars with space-savers, the full-size wheel cannot be secured, making the vehicle unroadworthy. Like Andrew Percy (“End space-savers,” Your Say, June), I was forced to drive at a slower speed (mechanical reasons) in the early hours and was hit from behind by a semi-trailer.

Space-saver wheels are not designed for a country like ours. They’re maybe OK for the city, but not for the bush.

Terry Leask, Lakes Entrance

Editor’s note: National vehicle safety standards for new vehicles over-rule state roadworthy requirements and VicRoads allows drivers to fit a space-saver under the strict condition that it is a temporary measure to get you to a repairer. A vehicle will not pass a roadworthy with a space-saver fitted.

Keep off beach

Your writer recently visited Kangaroo Island with his 4WD and left an intrusive footprint on the formerly pristine Snellings Beach (“The Other Kangaroo Island,” RA July). Snellings is a small beach that can be walked in a few minutes. 

This allows you to experience how nature does perfection. A bonus is that pedestrians might see the rare hooded plover eggs and the birds get a chance of survival. We have roads for cars, beaches are for the creatures that depend on them. It is a privilege for humans to enjoy them. 

Trish Edwards, Balliang

Editor’s note: The online version of the story has been modified to include our apology and to take out reference to driving on the beach.

No sign of repair

The condition of rural roads is appalling and getting worse due to lack of funding for repairs.

In my part of Gippsland, instead of repairs we see funds wasted installing signs for reduced speed limits, new speed advisory signs, endless numbers of new white posts, new catch fencing and new signs indicating ‘Rough Surface’ or ‘Traffic Hazard’. The obvious safety solution is repairing the substandard road surfaces.

Owen Rye, Boolarra South

Editor’s note: See story State of rural roads a risk to safety and industry.

Weird back lights

Recently, I’ve noticed an increasing array of non-standard light displays on the backs of motor vehicles.

Previously, cars had separate lights as follows: red marker (tail) lights, yellow turn-indicator lights, red stop-lights, and perhaps white reversing lights.

These lights were generally of standard shapes, in standard positions.  They were where one expected them to be, and were easy to identify and interpret.

With the latest vehicles, this has all gone. Now lines of lights, often wrapped up in each other in various ways, are often difficult to interpret when two or more are lit up.

A vehicle rep told me to expect more diverse offerings in the future, including clouds and bursts of lights heading in every direction. Is fashion ahead of safety a good idea?  What do Victorian legislators say about this matter?

Brian Simpson, Malvern East

In the slow lane

On a long journey, I find it frustrating when vehicles travelling at 10 to 15km/h below the speed limit suddenly speed up when they reach an open stretch of road or a passing area.

Last year, my wife and I travelled from Melbourne to Darwin in a motorhome. We found that, by keeping as close to the speed limit as possible and slowing down to around 80km/h at overtaking areas, most of any built-up traffic managed to pass and we had a much less stressful journey.

The speed reduction added minimal time to our journey. Surely it is common sense and good road manners to minimise the impact slower vehicles have on other road users.

Gerry Phillips, Somerville

Shock car policy

I have asked several politicians about easing the taxes on the Tesla Model 3 so more Australian motorists can be environmentally friendly, only to be told that it was either in an “elitist” price range or it needs charging and Victoria is coal-based so it was not an emissions-free vehicle.

I know quite a few people who have ordered a Tesla Model 3 (which is about the same price as Mazda CX-5). They will get it next year.

Many have at least a 3kVA solar installation, some have 20kVA.

At the moment,  solar panels and solar hot water systems get tax breaks but nothing is mentioned as even being a possibility for the Tesla Model 3. Many Victorians have solar installations that enable us to cover car charging. Some sort of tax break should be devised to cover an electric car in this price range as opposed to a car powered by an internal combustion engine. 

David Lloyd, Red Hill

Change name

Thank you for your enlightened and well-reasoned Future of Transport article in July RoyalAuto. You point out that we all benefit from improvements to all modes of transport and that road space (including footpaths) is a finite resource to be used as safely and efficiently as possible. I wonder whether you should change your name to RUCV – Roadspace Users Club of Victoria. Well done!

Bill Forrest, Princes Hill

Going strong

Thank you Leslie Bowker  (“Poetic message,” Your Say,  May) for creating some great memories at the June Woman’s Christian Temperance Union meeting.  In September we celebrate our 130th year in Victoria. And yes, 130 years on, our message is still the same, “Fruit Drinks for Safer Driving = Saved lives!” Check wctu.com.au to join in.

Joan Milla, Kerang

Computer hacker

Hack worries

Considering the ease with which various computer systems seem to be hacked or crash, I must say I am a little nervous about hundreds of driverless cars doing 100km/h relying on these communication systems.

Greg Coles, Somerville
 

CONTACT US

Email: letters@royalauto.com.au  Post: RoyalAuto Letters, 550 Princes Hwy, Noble Park North VIC 3174.

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