The Road Ahead : April May 2008
APR/MAY 08 27 Fuel is the fossil I'd like to comment on R. Ryan's letter 'Get Rid of Cars' in the December 2007 edition. To a lot of people, the statement "Cars probably are the cause of more pollution and more energy wastage than any other aspect of our lives" would seem correct. But the cause is in fact the fuel used in vehicle engines. It has been proven that using cleaner fuels like ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen in existing engines will reduce harmful emissions. With the world having such a huge investment in the internal combustion engine and the urgency to reduce greenhouse emissions, I suggest that directing more efforts towards replacing mineral oil as the major fuel source may be quicker and less expensive than trying to replace the vehicles themselves. M. Goon Chew, Mundingburra Fix inconsistencies The Disabled Motorists Association congratulates the RACQ for taking the initiative for greater national uniformity. Reading the article in The Road Ahead (February 2008) about L-plates interstate, identifies the great anomalies existing in Australia. This is most evident in the Disabled Persons Parking scheme and vehicle modification and for hand controls standards that differ from state to state, causing great confusion and frustration for drivers with disabilities. It is heartening to know that the new government has a policy to create a Nationally Consistent Disabled Persons parking scheme, however this is only a small step in a whirlpool of inconsistencies. The differences between state laws and regulations, for the use of hand controls, vehicle modification, engineering standards reports and compliance and so on, becomes a costly and often impossible task for a person who has already committed to great expense in modification to have a minimum of independence as a driver. If we are to enjoy the experience of travel or move states as residents, why must we be impeded by laws and regulations that have no relevance to a great country? National consistency and uniformity is achievable and will make Australia accessible for all drivers and motorists. Keep up the great work RACQ. You can be proud of your achievements on behalf of not only your members, but all Queenslanders. W. Peacock, Disabled Motorists Association Queensland Division Representative Paying a premium Why are some service stations (e.g. Shell) removing 95 RON premium petrol and forcing us to buy 98 RON? Sounds like a rip off to me. M. Downes, Coorparoo Let them get fined I was disappointed to read 'Club raises camera concerns' (February 2008 edition). I'm astounded that the RACQ, as a champion of road safety, would suggest that motorists who break the law should be warned of the location of speed cameras. Motorists who flout the law should not have the privilege of warning signs. J. Healy, Toowoomba Public scepticism over police revenue-raising is understandable, given your example in the February edition's 'Short Cuts' of the Mackay learner-driver booked by NSW police for incorrectly displaying his 'L' plates due to unaligned state laws. Surely any reasonable police officer would have simply pointed out the differing rules to the young man and his dad and suggested they rectify it on any future trip, or as soon as practicable if they were staying in the area. This does not send the right message to learner-drivers, who have enough on their plates just venturing onto local roads, not to mention travelling south of the border. The last thing they need is a heavy handed approach from the law, which would be better served by providing understanding and acknowledgement that not all youngsters and their supervisors will have had the forethought to check interstate regulations before setting out on a training drive. I think the dad should be congratulated for trying to give his son broad driving experience, the lack of which is a major factor in our young driver road toll. C. Chasling, Cleveland Learners need more support Editor: For writing this edition's best letter, Mrs Chasling will receive the suite of Beautiful Accommodation Guides, including the titles Beautiful Accommodation in Victoria and Tasmania, Beautiful Accommodation in Queensland and New South Wales, and Beautiful Accommodation in South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory. The three guidebooks include more than 600 hand-picked accommodation choices around Australia, ranging from stunning beach houses and B&Bs through to country cottages and city escapes. The guides are available for the special member price of $24.95 each ($29.95 for non-members) from the online store at racq.com and most RACQ branches.
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