Your verdict: Aussie Motoring Survey Jaedene Hudson 05aug05 Flashing lights should be installed to warn drivers at school zones, according to thousands of CARSguide readers. They also call for increasing the highway speed limit to 130km/h, random drug testing for all motorists and noise limiters on car music systems. Nearly 10,000 readers responded to the CARSguide 2005 Aussie motoring survey, which asked about driving, tolls, fines and motoring issues. More than 85 per cent of readers say all school zones should be identified with flashing lights. Most of the hundreds of school zones on main roads across NSW do not have lights to warn motorists. These zones are identified only by signs and road markings. The soaring cost of fuel is another hot issue. As prices skyrocket above $1.20 per litre most believe the Government should control fluctuating figures. More than 56 per cent of readers nationwide (54 per cent in NSW) are considering buying an alternative fuel-powered car and 28 per cent would pay more for a hybrid car than a petrol car. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are the only two hybrid cars available on the market. Hybrid technology is still relatively expensive to produce but Toyota manager for alternative fuel vehicles Vic Johnston says the price will fall over time. "It won't be long before you will walk into a showroom and be asked do you want a four-cylinder, six-cylinder or hybrid with that," he says. Most people say top speed on freeways and motorways should be 130km/h. However opinions are split as to whether there should be a 50km/h speed limit on all suburban streets. A third of readers think the blood alcohol limit should be cut to 0.02 but 86 per cent supported random drug testing for motorists. The survey reveals that women, under 18 and over 60 years of age, are most likely to feel the alcohol limit should be lowered. Driver training is vital and 81 per cent say training should be a compulsory high school course. There are similar levels of agreement for males and females of all ages. More than three-quarters of responses called for drivers over the age of 75 to sit a refresher test with those under 34 years of age agreeing most, but interestingly more than half of respondents over 70 agreed. There has been a lot of publicity about 4WDs being inappropriate for city traffic with some groups wanting them banned. However, most responses did not support a 4WD ban on suburban streets. Fines and demerit points are a worry for all motorists. About 68 per cent say double demerit points are a deterrent but doubling fines at the same time is just fundraising. And the majority view speed cameras as a revenue-raiser for the State Government. Noisy car stereos are unpopular and 60 per cent of NSW respondents say car sound systems should have a noise limiter on them to stop them being heard outside the vehicle. On average, people will spend $35,000 (slightly higher at $36,000 for NSW) on their next car. The top five favourite brands nationwide are Holden, Ford, Toyota, BMW and Subaru. European cars are seen to be safest. A quarter of respondents say Volvo is the safest brand with a fifth choosing Mercedes-Benz. The majority (55 per cent NSW and national) of motorists feel both luxury and safety are equally important. Just 34 per cent say safety is more important. In NSW, 86 per cent of motorists (87 per cent national) say cars more than 10 years old should not be banned from Australian roads. My comments. Yes, it's car oriented, but I thought that issues like increasing the speed limit on open roads and compulsory driver training were signs that the car community are at least thinking about making things better. Disappointing to see no mention of motorcycling, especially in the area of economy of operation, but, as I said, it was a car-based survey. Make of it what you will.