Your say March 2018

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Don't walk comic

Go-slow campaign
Mind the gap
Driverless cars
...And buses
Bike bell blues
Not so Great Ocean Road
Drive … or drive?
Pay every time
Seeing stars
Where are the women?
Mobile phones
Now that’s a car
Humans at the heart of design

Go-slow campaign

Besides cars blocking intersections, one of the other big issues is people dawdling on the pedestrian crossing when the light has turned red. As a consequence, very few cars can turn left and this, too, blocks traffic. Some people seem totally oblivious to the rules designed to keep both pedestrians and motorists happy, let alone traffic moving. I wish VicRoads would run an educational campaign.

Jennifer Grimwade, Richmond

Mind the gap

I applaud the recent TAC advertisements outlining a safe passing gap to cyclists. 

While riding my bicycle recently on some narrow country roads, I reflected that the vast majority of drivers do try to do the right thing, and many times drivers are hesitant to pass. 

Drivers should also know that they may cross a single dashed line when safe to do so to provide a safe distance to a cyclist.  

It can never be a level playing field on the road, but with roads becoming more congested by the day, it is vital for all road users that cycling becomes a safe and viable means of transport and recreation. 

Rex Jewell, South Melbourne

Driverless cars

Driving the Future (RA Dec/Jan) was certainly useful in gaining greater understanding of where this technology might take us.  However, all that I read indicates the conversation on driverless vehicles is urban-centric, and I see little on rural applications.

I’m curious about driving situations that may include back country roads, unmarked tracks, or even use on farms etc.  Will these veh-icles’ driverlessness be available in all situations, or will we swap to driver operation in less well-defined environments?

Peter Smith, Geelong

...And buses

Driverless buses (RA February). Great! Unless, of course, you’re a bus driver.
Artificial intelligence doesn’t pay tax. Nor do the unemployed.

Bec Wheatley, Kilsyth

Bike bell blues

I support everything that was written in A Safe Space (RA Dec/Jan) on the plight of cyclists when being passed by vehicles. On a slightly different topic, it is hard to see if the bike in the picture has a bell or not.

Many cyclists do not have or will not use a bell while passing pedestrians on shared pathways, unnecessarily annoying them, if not making it unsafe for both. Perhaps it is time to make bells compulsory on all bicycles.

Balkrishna Kamat, Ocean Grove

EDITOR'S NOTE: Under road rule 258 bicycles are required to have a bell, horn or similar warning device, in working order. The fine for not having one is $198.

Not so Great Ocean Road

We had the opportunity recently to travel the Great Ocean Road, towing our caravan to picturesque Marengo just west of Apollo Bay, a road we haven’t travelled for 30 years. This road has become one of the main tourist destinations for buses laden with overseas travellers.

We found the road surface from Lorne to Apollo Bay dangerous in lots of places with pot-holes or deep wheel trenches on some corners. It was a general embarrassment to the state of Victoria.

This road should be maintained in showroom condition for the safety of all who use it and to leave an indelible impression on our visitors, but instead we have an accident waiting to happen. 

Even the gateway sign used as a tourist photo stop needs reconditioning and sprucing up.

Allan Callaway, Mornington

Drive … or drive?

The cover of the December/January edition of RA promoted Best Drives of 2017. I was most disappointed when I couldn’t find an article on interesting trips/journeys, and the penny dropped when I realised the term ‘drives’ was used colloquially to mean ‘motor vehicles’. Maybe you could include some interesting drives (as in trips) in a future issue, especially if they start or finish at RACV Goldfields Resort.

Anthony Clements, Creswick

Pay every time

I was ashamed of our western attitude of ‘take what you can get when the opportunity arises’. To quote your article on Himalaya trekking (RA Dec/Jan) in the teahouses section: “Free rooms were the norm on our monsoon trek but expect to pay $15-$20 per night in November.”

For such a tiny extra cost in the holiday expenses, why not volunteer to pay this any time of year? Imagine how much difference this could make to the local economies, especially in light of the fact that our overseas aid is now the lowest it has been since aid programs began. 

Rob Davis, Kensington

Seeing stars

Thank you for Star Struck (RA Dec/Jan), a most interesting and very readable article. Perry Vlahos did a great job presenting this scientific information in a format that was easy to digest.

The article was most timely given the warmer summer nights provide a wonderful opportunity for viewing the night sky and, if out of town, away from the light pollution that drowns it out.

Patricia Thomas, Box Hill North

 Where are the women?

Congratulations to Shannon Morris and Peter Hanlon for the words and beautiful photos of the RACV chefs (RA February). It’s so good to see them ‘behind the scenes’ and I’m sure they are all excellent. I just ask the question: Where are our talented and wonderful women chefs?

Jenny Jarman, Chewton

Mobile phones

Until we have driverless cars, the simple solution to drivers using hand-held mobile phones must come from smart electronics – such as a device that shuts the phone off the moment the car engine starts. Infringement on rights? Try telling that to someone injured or the family of someone deceased. The penalty for by-passing such a device could be a long-term loss of licence.

James Knowles, Flynn

Now that’s a car

The article on tolls on a VW Amarok (RA February) raised some questions for me. Why have “cab chassis” type vehicles grown in size over the last few years?
My neighbour drives his 10-ton tipper home for lunch, can he call that a family vehicle?

Life is a compromise and using what is really a light truck for the daily commute will have its costs. I drive a Corolla, that’s a “car”! How lucky are we to live in a country where this is apparently a major issue.

Peter​ Stephens, Swan Hill

Humans at the heart of design

I am fascinated by the work Louise Sporton (RACV People, RA February) is doing. Have you ever tried to hold a cup where your fingers don’t quite fit in the hole and you have to pinch the handle to hold it? If you have a minor hand shake or disability this can be tricky.

Ever tried to get butter and jam out of those little packages? It’s very difficult if you don’t have nails and your glasses are not quite right for up-close vision. The RACV Club could be a great place to test human-centred design methodologies and functions to get rid of those “pain points”. Loved the profile.

Bruce Anderson, Frankston

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