The Road Ahead : June July 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 12 THE ROAD AHEAD JUN/JUL 2014 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. NEWS | HAVE YOUR SAY Remo ve the temptation The increase of fines in respect to the use of a mobile phone by a person whilst in charge of a motor vehicle, has done very little, if anything, to stop this dangerous action. Is it time to take more drastic action? Why not double the fine for a second offence; triple for a third offence? How about confiscating the phone for each offence and destroying it in front of the offender?Such ideas would not be popular, but surely the risks of an accident involving use of mobile phones in vehicles would decrease dramatically. Something for the authorities to consider. N. BISHOP, MT GRAVATT. editor's note VALE SIR JACK As this issue of the magazine was about to go to print, word came through that we had lost one of Australia's National Living Treasures. Long-term RACQ member, Sir Jack Brabham OBE had died, aged 88, on the Gold Coast. 'Unique' is an often misappropriated word, but it's a perfect fit in his case -- Sir Jack is the only person to win the world driver's championship in a car of his own construction, the Repco-Brabham V8 in 1966. And with Formula One becoming increasingly technology driven and the realm of motor vehicle manufacturers, it is unlikely that anyone will emulate this remarkable feat. In all, Sir Jack won three world driver's championships plus two constructor's titles in a stellar formula one career from 1955-70. He will be remembered as the complete competitor who was able, and willing, to do everything within his team -- plan and manage, head up negotiations, test and develop, be lead driver, work on the cars and even drive the transporter. His quiet determination and unrelenting work ethic were legendary. It's tempting to say that they broke the mould when they made John Arthur Brabham, except that he leaves an amazing dynasty -- sons Geoff, Gary and David (all of whom raced with great success internationally) and grandsons Matthew and Sam, at 20, already race winners. Barry Green THE EYES HAVE IT I agree with H. Puxty that line markings on Queensland roads in wet weather are appalling, but a different colour may not help. In Britain, the use of reflectors, or 'cat's eyes', is far more widespread and is factored into the cost of roads at the planning stage. These reflectors are extremely effective in all weather conditions. B. HARRISON, ACACIA RIDGE. NO TO LOWER LIMIT I should like to propose an answer to the question of M. Bouy, 'Why not a zero alcohol limit when driving?' In both Canada and the United States, the legal limit is mostly 0.08 percent. There, one is able to have a civilised dinner out with a glass of wine. The road toll (from all sources, including alcohol-related), per capita, is lower than Australia. There is not one iota of evidence that lowering our limit would have any effect, other than harming our hospitality and tourism industries. R. PEARD, MCDOWALL. FUEL FOR THOUGHT If you want to go to a just and fair 'user pays' system, you would have to scrap the registration/compulsory third party insurance component on vehicles, to be replaced with an equitable addition to fuel prices. That way, those who use the most fuel pay the most for road usage. Trucks, particularly, as they have high fuel consumption would benefit from not paying anything while the trucks are standing idle and not working, while those who drive the most (taxis) would pay equal to their usage. The current system is unjust in the amount it costs just to have a vehicle sitting in a garage. H. ROELOFS, CARDWELL. UNDERTAKING RIFE The Queensland practice of 'undertaking' is rife, that is when a vehicle just sits in the fast lane and other vehicles pass in the slow lane -- a recipe for disaster, in my opinion, and which incurs a hefty fine in some countries. Most of our crashes happen in fine weather. We cannot blame snow, ice, fog and torrential rain as they can overseas. J. BUCKLEY, TOOWOOMBA. NEED FOR SPEED A vehicle overtaking should accelerate and overtake in the least possible time. Why, because the situation could deteriorate very quickly if another car approaches (from the other direction) while the overtaking vehicle proceeds at the speed limit. I believe this is the one time that the speed limit should not apply for the purpose of speeding fines. Also logic should prevail. L. PAYTON, RAVENSHOE.