Split­ting lanes

Read­ers have their say about ev­ery­thing on wheels

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad - Doug Mul­lett, email

MYS­TERY SUV

LAST month on the out­skirts of Al­bury I saw a car on the side of the road in black cam­ou­flage.

It ap­peared to be a mid-sized diesel SUV and the front had two open­ings like a BMW. I re­alised later I should have stopped and asked a few ques­tions.

Ron Rus­sell, Al­bury Now you’ve got us won­der­ing. It could have been al­most any­thing, in­clud­ing the com­ing re­place­ment for the BMW X3. Next time please, please pull out a cam­era.

DO IT LEGALLY

THERE is noth­ing wrong with hot­ting-up cars and driv­ing them fast — it is it in an un­con­trolled man­ner on pub­lic roads where a lot of peo­ple could get hurt that gives us the trou­ble.

Why not redi­rect these ‘‘hoons’’ to the ap­pro­pri­ate motorsport club? This would give the clubs a healthy in­jec­tion of num­bers, en­thu­si­asm and funds, while pro­vid­ing a safe out­let for these ten­den­cies among our young peo­ple.

And the young would un­doubt­edly im­prove their driv­ing skills so they could drive on nor­mal roads in a safe and re­spon­si­ble man­ner, which would ben­e­fit us all.

Paul Ostaff, email It’s a great idea and some­thing be­ing pushed by driver-ed­u­ca­tion groups. Drag rac­ing at Calder Park has been a huge suc­cess over sev­eral years. But, as al­ways, there is no sup­port from govern­ment.

OUT OF THE PIC­TURE

SPEED cam­eras can be shown, by analysing the road toll fig­ures in Vic­to­ria since 1970, to have no ef­fect on the toll. This is im­par­tial anal­y­sis, not hype or opin­ion.

Also, the pro­pa­ganda that ‘‘speed kills’’ is not only demon­stra­bly false but also may con­trib­ute to frus­tra­tion by mo­torists who travel in the right lane at or be­low the speed limit se­cure in the knowl­edge they are sav­ing other peo­ple’s lives. Road deaths in­creased from 1950-1970 when a con­certed pub­lic­ity cam­paign be­gan to cut the toll.

Since then we have had seat belts and 0.05 in­tro­duced. Over that time road deaths have steadily de- creased. In 1989 speed cam­eras were in­tro­duced. How­ever, the rate of de­crease has not changed.

One con­clu­sion — speed cam­eras are not ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing the road toll.

With speed cam­eras there is no sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in the num­ber of non-com­pli­ers. Con­clu­sion — speed cam­eras do not re­duce the in­ci­dence of peo­ple speed­ing.

Bet­ter road en­gi­neer­ing and an in­crease in the safety fea­tures in ve­hi­cles will lead to a de­crease in road deaths as the dis­tance of im­proved roads in­crease and safer ve­hi­cles in­crease their pro­por­tion in the fleet.

What as­pects of driv­ing are un­safe? Tail­gat­ing, un­safe lane-chang­ing, er­ratic speed changes, fail­ure to in­di­cate, un­road­wor­thy ve­hi­cles, un­reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles and un­li­censed driv­ers — and of all these, cam­eras only de­tect speed.

Get off the road: a reader sug­gests a way to stop hoon driv­ers.

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