The Road Ahead : December 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 58 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2014/JAN 2015 MOTORING | DRIVE NEWS FAQS ABOUT ROAD RULES WITH RACQ'S SENIOR ROAD SAFETY ADVISOR JOEL TUCKER 'BIG' RULES Q: What should I do if I encounter an escorted oversize vehicle on the road? A: You must always give way to an oversize vehicle that is being escorted by a pilot or escort vehicle, even if the oversize vehicle would normally be required to give way. Oversize vehicles may take up more than half the road, or need to drive in the centre of the road to clear roadside objects. If you see a pilot or escort vehicle, slow down, obey any instructions given by the escort operator or police, be ready to move over or off the road, and stop if necessary. LIGHTEN UP Q: When can I drive with my headlights on high-beam? What about my fog lights? A: You can use your high-beam headlights provided there are no vehicles within 200 metres in front of your vehicle, whether oncoming or travelling in the same direction. Drivers must not use front and/or rear fog lights unless they are driving in fog or other hazardous weather conditions, such as heavy rain, causing reduced visibility. Motorists must not use their lights in a way that dazzles other road users. HOW OUR BEHAVIOUR CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE DRIVING OUR FUTURE WITH GENEVIEVE GRAVES OUR TRANSPORT DECISIONS can have a big impact on our lives and neighbourhoods. Cars are costly. Buying, maintaining, registering, insuring and fuelling them all add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year, even if the car is small and efficient. Traffic causes congestion, crashes and air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions cost millions. We can reduce some of the negative effects by our own travel choices and behaviours. These choices can save money or time and reduce stress and pollution. Here are a few tips to help: 1. Get the best fuel economy you can. Improving fuel economy isn't rocket science but requires some knowledge and focus. In 2011 RACQ worked with about 1300 drivers to develop tools to learn about fuel-efficient driving, called eco-driving. This included a computer-based learning game that you can try http://appstore.racq.com.au/elearninggoeasy/ content.aspx. We know this works, as the average driver cut their fuel bill by 5% and many were able to save 15% or more as a result of using the techniques they learnt. 2. Walk, cycle or take public transport where possible. Active people should walk or ride a bicycle for short trips. About half of our car trips in Australia are less than 5km, which is an easy distance to cycle. With no need to find the keys and a car park, it may be just as quick for some short trips to walk or cycle. Easy enough to try it out -- time yourself walking or riding. That extra bit of exercise also means you don't have to feel guilty for not going to the gym. A short walk or ride can be relaxing and you may learn something interesting about your neighbours. 3. When buying a car, focus on fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency is a major selling point for car makers. Every vehicle class offers fuel-efficient options, so we no longer need to compromise on size or quality. Look for the fuel consumption label and remember the lower the number, the better. Information on fuel efficiency for most cars is available at www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au. CHECK YOUR REGO BEFORE YOU GO The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is urging motorists to make a few simple checks to avoid unwanted presents when you return from you driving holiday this Christmas. Now that registration labels are no longer being issued in Queensland for cars, trailers and motorbikes, TMR is stressing that it's important to remember that 'no label' does not mean 'no registration'. You still need to register your vehicle -- and if you don't, you might end up with a fine. To support the removal of labels in October, the department has expanded the deployment of its Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera technology (including fixed and vehicle-mounted cameras) around the state. If you are snapped driving unregistered by one of these cameras, the vehicle owner may automatically be sent an infringement notice. The Queensland Police Service will also continue to check registration status via the number plate using in-car and hand-held devices. Ultimately, TMR is encouraging drivers to do the right thing and pay their registration. TMR says it would prefer no-one receives any fines. To avoid a fine for driving unregistered, check your rego before you leave on holidays on-line through the department's Registration Check Tool (www.qld.gov.au/ checkrego), ring 13 23 80, check the due date by looking at the most recent registration bill you paid, or download the free QLD Rego Check app from iTunes or Goggle Play.
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