FLASH FOR­WARD

Wheels (Australia) - - Inbox -

My first ex­pe­ri­ence of the new 40km/h rule with sta­tion­ary flash­ing-lights emer­gency/ po­lice ve­hi­cles came in an 80km/h zone, di­vided road. I was be­hind a truck in the right lane, and we were both pass­ing a slower bus in the left lane. Sud­denly, both the bus and truck braked sharply, which wasn’t an is­sue for me as I wasn’t tail­gat­ing and was do­ing my best to drive the road ahead (though there was no chance of get­ting ad­vanced no­tice of the im­pend­ing speed re­stric­tion). The Hi­ace be­hind me, which would have been in a bet­ter po­si­tion to see ahead than I, and which was trav­el­ling much closer to me than ideal, didn’t re­act quickly to the brak­ing re­quire­ment and, if I hadn’t left the room ahead to al­low me to ease off the brake to ac­com­mo­date him, could well have rear-ended me.

There were sev­eral oc­ca­sions in the pre­ced­ing kilo­me­tre or more that mo­torists com­ing the other way could have warned us about what was ahead with a sim­ple light flash, but as we all know, this prac­tice is def­i­nitely frowned upon by the po­lice as a way to deny them rev­enue and as such is, I think, il­le­gal.

I pro­pose that such a light flash not only be made le­gal, but en­cour­aged, to in­form driv­ers ap­proach­ing such a scene to re­duce their speed in ad­vance and so re­duce the like­li­hood of pile-ups that could re­sult, espe­cially in higher speed ar­eas. Thoughts? Brett Pem­ber, email

We’re firmly of the opin­ion that this whole process needs a se­ri­ous re­think and sus­pect that data will demon­strate that it’s caus­ing more harm than good. – Ed

“I pro­pose that such a light flash not only be made le­gal, but en­cour­aged”

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