Your say Dec 2016/Jan 2017

Boarding a train in peak hour

Movie made me a safer driver
It could be me
Record injuries
Dead on time
Fatigue busters
Straight talking
CD not needed
Let us see behind
A fix for jams
Time is what we need
Make mine an express

Movie made me a safer driver

I read the articles in your continuing road trauma series (racv.com.au/impact) and in doing so my mind goes back to when I was conscripted into the Australian Army in 1970.

In those days a major problem existed for the army, which was losing more soldiers to road trauma  travelling back and forth on short weekend leave than they were during the Vietnam conflict.

As a result, and in endeavour to educate us on the dangers and the consequence of road trauma, they introduced as part of our training, a half-day film session on road accidents.

One film stuck in my mind and still does 46 years later: it was called Mechanised Death. I remember it when my foot gets heavy on the accelerator.

I’m of the view that such films should be used as part of the course when a person is attempting to get their driving licence and for the next three consecutive years after obtaining their licence. I’m sure that such films could play a big part in driver behaviour as they did with me all those years ago.

Paul Azzopardi, Gladstone Park

It could be me

Your article The Long Road about trauma victims and emergency services (RA, October) hit home.  I have always been a reasonably careful driver but often it’s that one lapse of concentration or a stupid act such as using your mobile phone that can be detrimental.

Often I think it won’t be me but after reading your article I have found myself being more cautious every time I get into my car. Thank you for sharing the heartfelt and courageous stories of those who have suffered road trauma and those who risk their lives every day to help others.

Lisa Hay,  Boronia

Record injuries

More notice should be taken of the injuries from road crashes. Road deaths are recorded but not injuries, which are often another result of those crashes.

The loss of a life can have extensive consequences, yet there seems to be little recognition of the (often) months and years of rehab needed for the victims to recover some semblance of their previous lives, let alone the sufferings of their loved ones.

John Hobson, Croydon

Dead on time

Just reading the November issue and agree totally with Anna Sutton, the MICA paramedic. Another phrase could be: “Drive to arrive alive, rather than be dead on time?”

Suzanne Baudler, Ferntree Gully

Fatigue busters

Nine months ago I bought a new car – mechanically the same as the old one except it has autonomous emergency braking, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. These features make driving more relaxed – especially on the freeway or in heavy traffic – and reduce tension and fatigue.  I feel better when I arrive.  And this is a quite ordinary Japanese car.

The President (November), argues for government leadership to speed up the adoption of these features and reduce deaths and injuries – maybe by 25 per cent – a real saving in the pain and trag-edy which road accidents bring.

RACV car reviews can help by being clearer on when a car has a full package of safety features and can help to move expectations to establish a “new normal”.

Andrew Laing, Williamstown

Straight talking

Roundabouts save time and fuel. Making cars go slowly, as Jill Birse (Your Say, September) suggests, would defeat that.

Almost every street with speed bumps is a good short-cut. Rather than increase  capacity and speed on the nearby arterial, authorities use speed bumps to make the side street more uncomfortable to use. They are a cheap, nasty solution.

Speed bumps on the approach to roundabouts would be uncomfortable and dangerous, upset the balance of the car and make braking and turning harder.

If a roundabout can’t handle peak traffic, it probably should be re-designed to increase safe traffic speed and/or widened to increase the traffic flow.

Justin Scott, Chelsea Heights

CD not needed

Shane Doyle (“Reverse needed by CD decision makers,” Your Say, October) is concerned about the lack of CD players in new cars. I replaced my car last year, and the new one retains a CD player and also has a USB port. I have not used CDs since. I copied my music and audio books to a USB stick, and play that.  Perfectly legal if one has purchased the original CDs.  I am a very senior old person but managed to move to the new technology with ease.

Anastasia De Valera, Edithvale

Let us see behind

Why don’t vehicle manufacturers let us use the car’s navigation screen as a rear vision “mirror”? The screen, hooked up to the reverse camera, could provide a clearer rear view than the mirror.

Rodger Hyde, Hoppers Crossing

A fix for jams

RACV’s Redspot Survey found the intersection of the Eastern Freeway and Hoddle Street is the No 1 congestion spot. Imagine being able to travel with peak hour traffic from Bulleen Road to Nicholson Street in only 35 minutes. Imagine 2000 fewer cars on the Eastern Freeway.

All doable by building the North East Bicycle Corridor. Better again, why not build Melbourne’s first true cycleway in the middle of the Eastern Freeway. Just burrow up from the existing underpasses and cantilever off the existing bridges.

A very simple but significant contributor to the solution for a seemingly complex No 1 trouble spot.

Robert Cook, Aberfeldie

Time is what we need

In response to “Train Barriers” (RA, November), I feel the biggest reason rural and city dwellers drive to the station is being missed: people are time-poor.

People are busier than ever; both parents work to pay the mortgage, children need to be kept busy and food needs to be on the table.

Many of working people have families at home who need to be organised before and after work, meaning parents are often dropping off and picking up children from school, childcare and recreational centres. Many will also need to shop on their way home and people often need to check on elderly parents or other relatives daily.

The need to drive to the station does not revolve around the driver alone.

Wendy Tonkin, Williamstown

Make mine an express

If we are serious about getting people out of their cars and off overcrowded trains, how about permanent express buses from the furthest suburbs. Many commuters who travel to the city from Sunbury do not want or need to go on a sightseeing stop-and-go train trip through the north-west suburbs. An express bus starts at point A and with no stops until point B. I would suggest a park-and-ride area adjacent to a freeway as the start point. These express bus services would be used by car and metro train commuters and would free up seating on the trains and take some cars off the road. A peak-hour service would be a starting point.       

Margaret Abernethy, Diggers Rest