Your say September 2017

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Image by Anne Morley
Image by Anne Morley

Star struck
Slow lanes now
Spare us please
Outlaw them
Phone dangers
Indicate intention
Sign of the times
Hole response
Odd front lights
Drivers dream of electric tax?

Star struck

I have often admired, should I say envied, the photographs by Anne Morley in your magazine. However, the photograph on page 22-23 of the August edition (right) is amazing. I wonder could Anne provide details on how she did this?

John Collins, Mentone

Anne Morley reponds: Camera: Nikon D750, Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 wide open at 14mm; Aperture: f2.8; Exposure: 20 seconds; ISO: 2500; White balance: 3450 Kelvin. The photo is a single RAW file from which I created four separate edits to be combined in Photoshop; sky, train, foreground and headlights. It's ususal to take several images from the same location, varying focal length and white balance. I had to make do with a single image and make adjustments in editing. The headlights blew out on the 20-second exposure and caused lens flare which I digitally removed. Floodlights on a goods shed 500 metres away lit the carriages and staff had placed lanterns alongside the train to light the way for passengers disembarking for breakfast and sunrise.

Slow lanes now

A 100km/h speed limit across three lanes on the Geelong Road has been bad for traffic flow.  Lane discipline and highway etiquette has been trashed. Keep left unless overtaking signs are ignored and the middle lane has become a slow lane.

Banning trucks from the right lane without raising the limit to 110km/h has made things worse. Those car drivers afraid of trucks drive slowly in the right lane to avoid trucks.

All major highways in other states change to 110km/h as soon as possible exiting major cities. VicRoads argue that 110km/h to Geelong will only save a moment in travel time and that’s right. But it’s not about time saved, it’s about driver education, attitude and behaviour, and most importantly, it’s about traffic flow.

Try driving behind three cars abreast travelling a true (not speedo) 92km/h and you may see why there’s road rage.

Alistair Gleeson, Geelong

Spare us please

The review of the Audi Q2 SUV (RA, July) states that it has a space-saver spare wheel. Why would a vehicle sold in Australia that has been designed for touring and light off-road use have its use handicapped?

In this case it is even more mind boggling as it has sufficient space for a full-size spare wheel!  A Q2 owner will have to buy a full-size spare to be confident that they can continue more than 80 kilometres after suffering a puncture.

Stuart Symonds, Maiden Gully

Outlaw them

Re Terry Leask’s letter (“Are space-savers unroadworthy?” RA, August), I believe space savers should be outlawed. How is it that when a motorist is pulled over with a bald or faulty tyre, they must not move their vehicle, yet one is supposed to drive on this ridiculous piece of “rubber band”?

Max Burnside, Euroa

Phone dangers

As a driver of 48 years’ experience, I believe I have seen most things on the roads. However, the most dangerous and unsafe practice I have ever known is the relatively recent explosion of drivers who text (or otherwise use mobile phones) while in charge of a motor vehicle.

It would now be exceptional not to see at least one driver at all traffic-light intersections either texting or speaking on a mobile phone that is not hands-free.

The bobbing head of a driver swapping attention from a phone to the road ahead has become the norm.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have needed to alert the driver in front that the traffic lights have changed.

Similarly, I often leave the driver behind me stationary at the intersection long after I have moved off.

There must surely be technology available to catch, punish and stop this dangerous practice.

Mark Bennett, Newtown

Indicate intention

The use of indicators seems to be considered optional on our streets these days!

What has happened to common courtesy to others on the road to show your intentions. It irritates me when I am waiting for an oncoming vehicle to go past so I can turn into a road, only to have that vehicle turn off, no indicators, before it gets to me.

Many drivers move into the right-turn-only lane without indicating, then turn on the indicator while waiting for the green arrow to allow the turn. That really is useful!

Cynthia Scott, Ringwood

Sign of the times

Melbourne is getting harder to navigate. Street signs are in small print and frequently obscured by trees, posts, building works and other types of signs.

Consequently, I have often missed a turn as I cannot see the sign until the last minute or even at all. Sometimes they are not there. Recently, even though I was using GPS, poor signage forced me to take a long detour, making me late for an appointment.

If this can happen to a born Melbournite, what must it be like for visitors?

Barbara Mann, Ormond

Hole response

Re “Hole lot of trouble,” (RA August) on the state of rural roads, in Melbourne we have too much road repair. For example, the same stretch of road near Chatham Station (Canterbury/Surrey Hills) has been dug up and resurfaced three times  in the past few months.

If only the money could have been redirected to rural areas. Also, superfluous and distracting permanent road signs have been put up boasting that this road ‘repair’ is a government project. Why not use the money to make  name signs for the streets that don’t have name signs at T-intersections or crossroads?

Esther Anderson, Surrey Hills

Odd front lights

Brian Simpson wrote about “Weird back lights” (RA, August) and I agree. More worrying is some of the weird headlights. An increasing number of people are leaving fog lights on when there’s no fog, many in high four-wheel drives.

Some drivers have high beams on all the time. I find this is blinding, especially in suburban streets while watching for bicycle riders in black with no lights.

Chelsea Mostyn, Nunawading

Petrol cartoon

Drivers dream of electric tax?

Tesla’s electric vehicles, and announcements about Volvo’s commitment to producing only electric or hybrid cars from 2019 highlight the ‘elephant in the room’: fuel excise. The Federal Government raised $15.2 billion in fuel excise in 2015-16: road users contributed 38 cents in every 150 cents spent at the bowser. And drivers of electric vehicles? Nil to government. So, revenue is lost. A small discrepancy at present, but knowing the aeons it takes governments and regulators to be goaded into action, it’s an issue that needs to be faced up to now. 

Jeremy Caldicott, St Kilda


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