Your say Dec 20/Jan 21

Giving members a voice.

Helpful Strangers

We just returned from a 6258km caravan road trip through Queensland. While we saw everything we planned to see, it was the generosity and awareness of total strangers that we’ll never forget. The Jayco dealership in Mackay (our van isn’t a Jayco) attended to us immediately to replace our disintegrated van door lock. No waiting, no delays… terrific. The next day, heading to Bowen, a couple travelling behind us noticed that a nut had fallen off one of the bolts that secures the independent suspension. Pulling alongside and alerting us avoided a real catastrophe. After I carried out temporary maintenance we limped into Bowen. There, the local Goodyear Tyre & Suspension and Maltby Engineering combined to repair our van straight away. These are great examples of Australians helping strangers on the road to stay safe. We’re hoping that the couple who noticed the suspension issue read The Road Ahead. It’s the only way we can sincerely thank them for their attention and rapid thinking.

Keep crossings safe

I was deeply saddened to read the letter “Red-light rage” in your last issue (Oct/Nov 2020). My family is still grieving deeply after two years from the loss of my brother’s beloved wife of 38 years, who was using a pedestrian crossing, with a green “walk” sign. She was struck by a car and later died as a result. The driver had a green light. Her sister lobbied to have a red arrow installed at that intersection so future pedestrians could safely cross in the knowledge that no vehicle will use the road at the same time they are. We are thankful for that installation and only wish it had been there on that fateful morning my brother lost his wife and my two nephews lost their mum. Yes, it does hold up the traffic, but it allows a pedestrian a greater chance of survival on what should be an expected safe way to cross a road.

Heart-felt thanks

Knowledge is not only power but the power to save lives. Greg Page was so affected by his near-brush with death he decided to shine a timely light on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) (Oct/Nov 2020). The original Wiggle owes his very existence to this amazing piece of equipment and being able to spread the message will save many more. Greg Page has put his money where his heart is.

Traffic light frustration

It would appear the people who program traffic lights are more interested in controlling drivers than traffic flow. I get the feeling that, according to these people, we drivers are no longer capable of making a right-hand turn with safety. When the green light appears, the drivers who are turning right get right of way regardless of how many vehicles are going straight ahead. Conversely, if one is turning right and you happen to get the red arrow, one has to wait until the whole light sequence changes before you’re able to make your turn only when another green arrow appears. In the past there would be a green arrow, then a red arrow, then after the main body of oncoming traffic had moved the red arrow would extinguish, allowing one to turn right after giving way to oncoming traffic.

Charging ahead

The EV doubter (Oct/Nov 2020) has probably not experienced EV motoring.  I have and I absolutely love it. I cannot imagine ever going back to a fossil vehicle. EVs with a range of 600km are now being produced and prices are falling fast. EV battery recycling is now recovering all the raw materials at one tenth of the original cost. The mining of rare metals is reducing significantly. The future is undoubtedly electric, in my view.

Nervous commute

I wish I could drive a truck to work so that I did not feel like the threatened little guy that is about to be beaten up by a gang of trucks. I travel to work in Carindale using the Gateway Motorway and each morning between 6.30am and 7am I have a near-death experience travelling in my Nissan Dualis on the stretch between the Mount Gravatt Route 21 and Old Cleveland Road Route 22 offramps boxed in by trucks. They aggressively race to get in front of each other, use any and all lanes and the worst moments are when the one on the left of me has his right-side wheels on the white line and the truck on the right of me has his left-side wheels on the white line with his left indicator on and the truck behind me is driving right up my back and I am wondering whether the truck wanting to enter my lane is even aware that I am there. I look at the smaller cars and wonder how they must feel, all fighting for a safe place in a safe lane on this stretch overshadowed by monstrous thug trucks.  I am a person in my early 50s that loves driving and it is nothing for me to drive overnight to Sydney for the weekend, leaving Friday and returning back Monday morning ready for work, and I panic when I hit this stretch of the motorway. There really isn’t a lane that a motor vehicle can choose to travel safely in as the trucks are numerous and dominate every lane 
at speed. 

Roads to adventure

People who complain about the condition of our highways could look at it from a different perspective where tourism is concerned. Today we have “boring roads” where, in 1957 on a motorcycle trip around Australia, we had “adventure roads”. The road to Cairns was wet and boggy at times, but the one between Cloncurry and Mount Isa was as dry as a bone with enough bulldust to support a motorcycle without using the normal side stand. 

Accident was 'reportable'

In “Road scare unreported” by Mike Dillon and Janice Tidemann (Oct/Nov 2020), they wrote police who attended said it was a “non-reportable accident”. I had nearly 24 years in the police and I would say it was certainly reportable. They should make a complaint to their nearest police station.