Your say May 2017

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Fair cop on the rego, officer
Road toll
Left-turn lunacy
It’s safer to stop
Spare change
Smoking hazard
Safety for all
Living within tent
Sat-nav rip-off
Milestone maybe
Poetic message

Fair cop on the rego, officer

Recently, I was pulled over by police and told my car was unregistered. Did I forget to pay my registration? No, my car is registered until June 2017. Is it an unroadworthy old bomb? It’s three years old, purchased new, in immaculate condition and serviced regularly. Am I a tyre-burning hoon? I’m an aged pensioner with a spotless record. The officer told me that, as my car was unregistered, my insurance company would probably not cover me in the event of an accident. It appears that as a result of an administrative error within VicRoads, an over-zealous employee decided that the solution was to suspend my registration. It’s inexcusable that VicRoads didn’t notify me so the matter could be rectified. Thank you to the police officer who pulled me over and saved me from potential disaster. I would suggest that all drivers regularly check their registration status on the VicRoads website (vicroads.vic.gov.au) as this may not be an isolated case.

Cheryl Scully, Spring Gully

Road toll

While he claims not to vilify riders (“Two-Wheel Toll”, RA, March), Assistant Commissioner Fryer’s selective statistics argue otherwise. He groups rider fatalities into many categories but barely mentions the most important: in how many were other vehicles involved and in how many was the other vehicle to blame? Certainly inexperience can contribute to an incident, but death should not be the price of inexperience. He cites the presence of certain other factors but fails to explain how these contributed. There already is demonstrable animus by drivers towards riders, and the tone of this article does little to reduce this. While I do not argue that riders are blameless, my 40 years’ riding experience convinces me that only when drivers start to care about the welfare of all road users will the disproportionate toll among riders be reduced.

Dr A. Bryan Fricker, Mount Martha

Left-turn lunacy

I have a comment after seeing drivers breaking the law while I’m with my daughter driving towards her 120 hours on her L plates. Driving east on the Dandenong Bypass, we counted 34 cars in the emergency lane to eventually turn left onto the South Gippsland Highway. When it was our turn to turn left onto the Highway, we had cars coming up on our left and needed to use our horn to move into the turning lane. This dangerous driving and dis-regard for the law was not what I wanted to show my young learner. We need some regular police here at peak hour to stop this dangerous practice.

Dean Hutton, Berwick

It’s safer to stop

I refer to the letter “Stop Means …” (RA, March). If you do not stop, how easy it is to miss a cyclist, motorcycle or small van coming in on your right or left by the body of your vehicle. In my own experience just that small amount of moving forward and there you have something right in front of you. The consequences can be disastrous. It happened twice to me at a roundabout near a big hospital; a near miss but a big wake-up call. It’s twice as dangerous now with the fast take-off and aggressive driving of some cars and motorcycles.

Denise Smith, Barnawartha

Spare change

Your recent review of Australia’s Best Cars (RA, March) rightly castigates cars that have space-saver spare wheels. I believe these have an 80km/h limit and a very limited travel distance – not much use for an interstate trip and the next service station may not have your size in stock. You also list a Mazda as having a digital radio; the digital coverage around Melbourne has gaps – the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas are poorly covered, and the spa region has nothing. The ABC AM radio is the emergency radio system for Australia; in particular it broadcasts fire and traffic warnings. I have crossed Mazda off my list of possible cars.

Brian Fleming, Ivanhoe

Smoking hazard

In the March magazine on page 76, the illustrator has put together a collage of pictures for the Get Auto Motivated information. Did she want us to find “what’s wrong with this picture”? Well I found it then. A VW Beetle billowing smoke out of its engine from the front bonnet of the car?

Rose Watkinson, Croydon Hills

Safety for all

The Institute of Transportation Engineers Australia and New Zealand supports RACV President Kevin White’s call to government to mandate lifesaving technologies, such as crash avoidance and warning systems, for all vehicles, not just the upper end.

Nick Szwed, ITEANZ President, Auburn

Living within tent

I was surprised tents received short shrift in the last issue (“Outwardly Mobile”, RA, March). Despite the increasing numbers of caravans, motorhomes and camper-trailers on the road, tents remain popular. The range has never been greater, and swags are making a surprising comeback. Young people especially enjoy pitching a tent, and music festivals are seas of tents. Life under canvas is a different experience to living in a van. It is closer to the earth and draws on a set of traditional skills in which campers take great pride. And you can take a tent almost anywhere. Many delightful spots are inaccessible for caravans and motorhomes, and at popular camping grounds, such as Wilsons Promontory, tents rule.

Bill Garner, St Kilda

Sat-nav rip-off

We are travelling to Europe and will be hiring a car. The add-on option of satellite navigation is nearly the same cost as the car hire. All rental companies are the same. How can they charge so much? Satellite navigation devices are not that expensive, and you would think most cars would have it built in. Is it better to buy a local SIM card and use the navigation on the phone?

Raffaele Nardella, Strathmore

Milestone maybe

Re the letter and photo Remember This Milestone? (RA, March): assuming that the “M” on the marker refers to Melbourne, and the suspicion that it came from north-west Victoria, I think it would be either Ouyen or possibly Robin-vale, as 262 miles equates to about 450 kilometres. It would have been on a major road, or it could possibly have been on a train line.  

Doug Brockfield, Milawa

A town 262 miles north of Melbourne is Holbrook (NSW). Could this be the home of Pam Graham’s milestone?

Margo Clarke, Burwood East

Poetic message

I thought you might be interested in this vintage anti-drink-driving poster (pictured right). Growing up in the 1960s, our family spent most holidays on camping, fishing and driving trips. My father John had so much memorabilia in the garage; it was more like a men’s shed. Cleaning out the family home in Eltham after 45 years, I tried to save a lot of his collections. This poster is one item that was hanging in the garage as long as I can remember. I’ve just now discovered that the W.C.T.U. along the bottom stands for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Leslie Bowker, Smiths Gully


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