The Road Ahead : December 2013
Motor way mayhem My wife and I recently returned from an extended holiday in Europe where we drove through 15 countries, both on motorways and smaller roads. The European motorways are no different to the motorways in Queensland, the M1 being an example of basically a good road surface. So why, even with light traffic, is the M1 such a mess and by far the worst motorway I have driven on? Simply put -- the drivers. If you have a close look on any given day, the left hand lane is quite often the fastest moving. Why -- because there are no cars in it. Queensland drivers have no understanding of the basic road rule -- keep left unless overtaking and, after overtaking, move back into the left lane. S. SPARROW, BASIN POCKET. HAVE YOUR SAY: EMAIL ROADAHEAD@RACQ.COM.AU. FAX 3257 1863. MAIL THE ROAD AHEAD, P.O. BOX 4, SPRINGWOOD, QLD 4127. PLEASE INCLUDE NAME AND ADDRESS. LETTERS WILL NOT RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL REPLY AND SHOULD BE NO MORE THAN 120 WORDS. editor's note EASYASA,B,C Inside our motoring section this issue, you will find the 15 winners of the 2013 Australia's Best Cars (ABC) awards. The big news this year is the addition of a dual- cab utes category, a move which reflects this segment's burgeoning popularity among new car buyers. Vehicles are scored in three key areas, within each of which is up to eight criteria. Each criterion is awarded a score of between one and 10, and then weighted as critical, high, medium or low. From these scores, finalists in each category are assembled at the purpose-built Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria for a week of final testing and evaluation by 12 judges -- including myself and RACQ colleague John Ewing -- representing all state auto clubs. After driving each vehicle and crunching the numbers one more time, only then are the 15 winners and 30 placegetters determined. Best of all, you can decide THE car for you. Simply go to australiasbestcars.com.au and click on 'My Best Car' and follow the steps from there. 'My Best Car' will calculate and identify the three cars, in order, that best suit your stated requirements. It's as easyasA,B,C. Barry Green ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 14 COMMUNITY | HAVE YOUR SAY THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2013/JAN 2014 USER PAYS -- SOMETIMES Re-reading the June/July Road Ahead, I noted the letter from J. Gambrill about vehicle registration costs. My vehicle has travelled less than 10,000km in 18 months, while its 'twin' may have travelled 50,000km or more in the same time, yet we both pay the same registration fees. User pays? Sometimes! A. JOHNSTON, CLONTARF BEACH. PUT TO THE TEST I read with interest the letter from M. Green. I agree, but any such testing has to be done properly. I am 75 and now have to be examined medically each year to ascertain whether I am fit to drive. I have been driving for 58 years without any accidents, in 14 countries. What I would like to see is people doing driving tests every 10 years. This would be better than waiting until 75 to test them medically, physically or with a practical test. That way, those who could not pass a standard test every 10 years would be off the road long before they were 75. P. CASSIDY, DEERAGUN. CALL FOR CERTIFICATE I have just completed a drive around Australia's Highway One. This journey is a major tourist attraction for overseas visitors. Europe, America -- no one else has a road to match our Highway One. However, it seems that no one here can issue a souvenir certificate on completion. How sad that not one of the information centres, state motoring organisations, tourist agencies or fund-raising charities can take the trouble. DR A. WHEELER, MACKAY. SUPPORTING SARAH I am responding to a highlighted letter in The Road Ahead that spoke about the need to honour those killed on our roads. By way of background, Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Inc has been established to: • Foster improved road safety awareness and responsibility by drivers, through education campaigns and initiatives; • Lobby governments to ensure that road policy focuses on harm elimination (especially for those who find themselves vulnerable -- including emergency services, first responders and roadside assistance personnel); • Honour those who have been killed on our roads and highways and support those families, friends and communities affected by road tragedy. A number of organisations (including the RACQ) supported SARAH's 'Drive So Others Survive!' Road Safety Week (see sarahgroup.org). The campaign was a registered event of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (see who.int/roadsafety/week/2013). P. FRAZER, PRESIDENT SARAH INC.
February March 2014