The Road Ahead : February March 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 50 MOTORING | DRIVE NEWS THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2014 COMMUNITY ROAD SAFETY GRANTS OPEN AGAIN The Queensland Government's Community Road Safety Grants program is open again with funding worth $1.184 million available to eligible groups for local road safety projects. Round 1 of the program last year received 76 applications. Forty-one were successful in sharing $815,000 of grant funding. Among the initiatives to receive grants were: • Child restraint education and awareness programs, including training in regional communities. • School bicycle education programs. • Driver mentor programs to assist learners without access to vehicles or licensed drivers to achieve 100 hours of on-road supervised driving. • A trial of innovative road safety treatments at high risk rural intersections and sharp corners. • Signage for heavy vehicle drivers and tourists to alert them to upcoming fatigue rest stops, and trivia signage to help keep them alert. For the second time, non- profit, school and local government groups are invited to Join the Drive to Save Lives by implementing local road safety projects. Grants of up to $25,000 each are available. Applications close on March 10. tmr.qld.gov.au/roadsafetygrants DRIVING FOR EFFICIENCY ECO DRIVING WITH RACQ'S PUBLIC POLICY DEPT FAQS ABOUT ROAD RULES WITH RACQ'S TECHNICAL & SAFETY POLICY DEPT WHAT'S WITH WIDE CENTRE LINES? Q: I've sent in a photo of some wide centre lines on the Bruce Highway. What do they mean? A: The Department of Transport and Main Roads is marking over 300km of wide centre lines on the Bruce Highway to help reduce the potential for head-on crashes. The wide centre lines provide a 1m gap between oncoming vehicles. They can be made up of broken lines, continuous lines, or a combination of both. Similar to traditional centre line overtaking road rules, drivers can only overtake where there are broken lines, or a broken line to the left of a continuous line. IN 2012, RACQ did some research with about 1200 drivers that found learning (or re-learning) fuel efficient driving techniques helped them reduce fuel consumption. With fuel prices near record highs, a reminder of these driving strategies is timely. Of course, driving strategies to conserve fuel are not new. We probably all learnt them when we first learnt to drive, though we may have forgotten some. Eco-driving strategies include how you drive, caring for your vehicle and trip planning to minimise distance travelled. Try monitoring your fuel to know how much you are using and see whether eco-driving saves you money. Driving strategies include: • Watch ahead and cruise smoothly – knowing what is ahead can help you avoid unnecessary stopping and starting • Brake and accelerate gently – harsh acceleration uses a lot more fuel. Braking early and gently will save your brake pads and may allow you to roll through rather than stop completely. • Use the right gear for the conditions, shifting through as quickly as possible – the higher the gear, the less fuel you will consume. • Don’t park and idle – modern cars prefer a gentle drive to warm up all moving parts and idling while waiting wastes fuel. • Maintain a steady cruising speed – use cruise control on highways when safe and traffic is light. • Minimise airconditioner use, weather permitting. Care for your vehicle: • Maintain vehicle tyre pressure to its maximum. This reduces road resistance and improves fuel efficiency. Check them every second fuel fill. • Remove excess weight and reduce aerodynamic drag. Any excess luggage and roof racks will increase fuel use. • Service your car to the manufacturer's schedule to ensure it is in top form. Plan your trips: • Combine activities and share rides to reduce the number of trips. • Where possible, avoid congestion. • Consider walking or cycling for short trips and public transport where it is available. Try the RACQ online learning or watch the video at racq.com/ecodrive.