The Road Ahead : February March 2015
HAVE YOUR SAY ON CYCLING LAWS RACQ MEMBERS AGED 18 and over are being invited to take part in a survey to measure the effects of the Queensland Government's new cycling laws. In March 2014, the State Government began a trial of new laws requiring drivers to leave at least a metre distance when passing cyclists where the speed limit is 60km/h and 1.5 metres in higher speed zones. It has commissioned the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland (CARRS-Q) at the Queensland University of Technology to measure the effects of the new rules. As a part of their research, CARRS-Q is inviting RACQ members to complete a survey about how practical the rule is for drivers, what effects they've had on them as drivers, and what drivers think about them. The online survey will take about 15 minutes and there are five $200 Coles-Myer gift cards to be won. The survey is anonymous and you do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to. Access the survey by using the QR code below or typing www.carrsq.edu.au/cyclinglaw into your computer's internet browser. An information sheet is provided at the beginning of the survey and more details can be obtained from Amy Schramm on 3138 4944 or email email@example.com. A similar survey of cyclists is being conducted through Bicycle Queensland. ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 70 MOTORING | DRIVE NEWS THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2015 BMW ELECTRIC BUBBLING ALONG DRIVING OUR FUTURE WITH GENEVIEVE GRAVES FAQS ABOUT ROAD RULES WITH SENIOR ROAD SAFETY ADVISOR JOEL TUCKER Q: When can I drive on or over the central island at a roundabout? A: The general rule is that drivers must drive to the left of the central traffic island at a roundabout. However, if their vehicle is too large to negotiate the roundabout without driving over the left-hand edge of it, they are permitted to do so, provided it is safe. SUVs are not normally too large to follow the rules. Q: What rules apply at pedestrian refuges and safety zones? A: Road users must drive to the left of safety zones at a speed that does not put pedestrians at risk. Pedestrians must not move into the path of vehicles and must not stay on the road for any longer than necessary to cross it, to or from the safety zone/refuge, safely. THE CHAMPAGNE WAS flowing at BMW Brisbane with the release of the long-awaited i3 late last year. The company sold 17 of the fully battery electric cars in the first week. While that is no iPhone 6 type of sales record, it is better than other Australian electric vehicle (EV) sales to date. But why is this something to celebrate? I took the i3 for a spin and it felt good -- it certainly has some significant advances over the other EVs on offer. The cabin is high, so the car feels more like a small SUV than a hatch. This is a plus for road view, and I didn't feel cramped or as though I would hit my head if the car went over a big bump. It has all the kit you need, including rain sensor wipers, passenger temperature settings, and navigation and communication systems that include internet connectivity. That is useful to provide up-to-date traffic information and route alternatives. It also has a pedestrian alert that sounds outside and inside the vehicle, and will even override the driver and brake autonomously to avoid a crash if the driver fails to react. Like all EVs, the car is whisper quiet. The EV detail seems pretty well sorted. Clearly the German technology focus has played a role here. The car body is made of carbon fibre for weight reduction and the battery range is up to 130km. It plugs into a normal wall socket. The other reason for the champagne is because this is another small step in diversifying our vehicle fleet. Australia has a petrol-dependent car fleet. All well and good unless we have an interruption to supply and are left no alternative but long walks or bike rides. In my view, the more choices we have the better. Electric vehicles are a great start. Let's hope the champagne flowed in the Formula 1 style (think shake and spurt), rather than in the traditional break over the bow used for ships. I am sure Ruthie and Howdie Farrar (pictured) agree, as they took delivery of the first i3 to be sold in Queensland.
April 1st 2015