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How would you change the motoring environment?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by AMG, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. As some of you will know, one of my pet rants is the totally outrageous manner in which authorities around this country operate in the way they approach "road safety".

    Profiteering via blood-money is the most apt description.

    Appalling road maintinence, pathetically inadequate training, a falsehood of "stick to the speed limit and you'll be a model of a good driver", the farce of speed cameras etc etc all just some of the multitude of sins of the authorites like the RTA.

    People are required to sit a most basic test (and one that covers NO aspects of vehicular dynamics) and given a ticket to go on the practice field - your local road.

    They're given another ticket if they show they can stop, start and turn and then deemed to have acceptable skills to drive well. Following this is a "Hazard Perception Test" (here in NSW at least). Have you noticed it's a computer-based test, rather than in real vehicles? Notice how this is far cheaper to implement than a REAL test of driver skill?

    I could go on but I'm out of time. So, to the point: How would you change the driving environment (licencing, rules, roads etc). If you wish, you can have them split under "Real" and "Fantasy" headings. :)
  2. My son got his Ps last week and did the Hazard Perception about a month ago.

    He passed the licence with 97% but the HP with 57%. He said that this test was absolutely ridiculous, he could point out all the hazards, but being on the computer his timing was out. ie. he was too quick to point out a hazard!

    He has done probably a couple of 1000 km's since getting his L's. In Vic they recommend (so don't have to actually) do 180 hours before going for their test. I don't think this is nearly enough, but how do you force the parents into making them do more? Some couldn't be bothered, work commitments etc etc.

    He wants to get a bike licence but we are telling him to wait till he is fully licenced and has had plenty of road experience....also insurance will be a bit cheaper for a bike for him then too.

    Regarding bike licencing in Vic, I think they need to do more training. Maybe even going out into the traffic supervised, and get some real experience. I also think advanced training should be compulsory too.

    My 2 bob's worth, which is probably all it's worth :LOL:
  3. The price of public transport should be halved. The same with rail freight.

    I'd be happy for the government to whack 5 cents on the price of petrol and diesel to achieve this.

    It would get a reasonable percentage of cars and trucks off the road and it doesn't take much to make traffic flow again.

    Not only that, the cost of road maintenace and upgrades would be considerably reduced, so more than 5cents/litre could be dedicated to the cause.

    The other thing that anoys me is the low setting of speed limits. The beurocrats need to be taught that overly low speed limits are dangerous too.

    The RTA, etc should run a web poll, to see what limits people believe are set too low. The ones that poll the highest should be reviewed by a responcible panel that is exempt from litigation form accidents involving vehicles traveling less than the new limit.

    And in a country that has a high proportion of accidents involving people falling asleep at the whel, that maximum limit should be higher that 110 km/hr. 140 would reduce boredom and travell times and is well within the capabilities of 99% of vehicles within Australia. Truck limits would need to come up for safety reasons
  5. I got my Licence a couple of years before they brought in the HPT but all the people I've spoken to who've done it have said it's ridiculous.

    What's the point of road safety? To reduce road trauma and fatalaties. How do these occur? Via accidents. How do accidents occur? When a vehicle loses control.

    Now, what the likes of the RTA currently do is a lowest-common-denominator approach to things. Rather than actually teach people how to drive PROPERLY and WELL, they band-aid it with speeding campaigns and the like.

    The folly of this (profitable) system was highlighted in an argument I had with a colleague about road safety. She believed that if you're caught speeding, you should lose your licence and go back to the start again, L's included. After telling her this was potentially the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard, I tested my theory.

    I asked her: "Let's say you're driving your Hyandai along a road and you come to a bend. All of a sudden the car falls into understeer, due to a puddle of water on the road. Tell me how you're going to correct the situation to avoid an accident."

    *Blank stare from her* "What's understeer?"

    My point perfectly and utterly proven.

    Whilst I don't approve of outrageous speeding, I would MUCH rather have the roads full of professional racing drivers and riders who are fully aware of how a car or bike behaves and what to do with it and how to make lightening-quick decisions based on the surrounding conditions, rather than have roads popluated with foolish, incompetant soccer mums and the like who believe that if they don't speed, they're a safe driver because Today Tonight told them so.
  6. At the risk of pissing everyone off, i dont think this is the answer. I actually think that increasing parking costs and rego etc is the only way to effectively cut the amount of car usage in our cities (to a point). Public transport doesn’t need to be cheaper because it is already significantly cheaper than own/maintaining/running a car.

    I do think that two wheeled transport (bike and scooter, and pushbike) needs to be encouraged rather than discouraged as it is now – and I don’t say this because I like bikes but rather because it would make a genuine contribution to reduction in traffic/parking problems. Where appropriate footpath parking should be looked at as done in VIC.

    I have no problem with the authorities enforcing speed limits because in all honesty I just don’t see what is so hard about sticking to the limit – BUT what I don’t support is the extreme Nazi like enforcement to within 0.001 of a km/hr. I do however think that the whole speed thing could be simplified by reducing the number of different speed zones to say 40, 60, 80, 110. Sure that would mean some roads have their limits reduced but it would be so much simpler.

    This biggest issue for me on the roads is the totally piss poor driver training. For my mind, it is simply way to easy to get a license and this applies for both car and bike. And how about some uniform laws and methods right across the country!

    geez, i need a drink now.
  7. I totally agree with this and think that the RTA are going about licencing in the utterly wrong way but a desire to have people at this level of qualification is just not possible. There are people out there who are just incapable of being aware. These are the poeple who say "oops" when they run up the back of someone. Just like those who fail there P's road test 14 times (watch out).

    So if these levels of abilities are put in place there will probably only be about 20% of road users left... no you all say fine with that. But then the government isn't going to make anywhere near as much as they currently do on Speeding fines and therefore are going to grab us by the balls in some other area.

    So basically we are screwed any way it goes. Still I think the idea of compulsary advanced driver training is probably the best and most likely option if possible to implement.
  8. It is marginally cheaper if you don't need to own a car at all. Most people, however, need a car just to get to public transport.

    To expect people to make more than 1 change when making public transport is unreasonable.

    So you now need to consider that rego, insuance etc and most importantly devaluation need to be removed form the equation and you only need to consider petrol and the proportion of wear and tear and suddenly public transport is very expensive.

    Add to the equation the shear inconvienience of catching public transport, in the dark, in winter, sitting next to a leper and the result is pretty obvious.

    I do agree about encouraging bikes and I do think rego's are cheap and should be more in proportion to vehicle mass.
  9. I would make an advanced driver course an essential part of the license system.

    IE, before you get your P's [car] you are taken out with an instructor and learn about over/understeer, skids and traction on tar, wet tar, and gravel.
    Before you can go for your P's you must demonstrate either understanding and the ability to correct [un?]expected behaviour of the vehicle in a loss of traction situation - or at least demonstrate the ability to completely avoid it. The instructor will mark off on an oral test-pad to prove the driver understands physical principles by explaining them [as they'll one day be teaching their kid to drive, no?].

    Before the P's for bike test, I think an advanced rider course that is done on YOUR motorcycle would be a good idea.
    They stick you on a track and teach you how to corner hard, lean, judge entry speeds, etc - on YOUR bike.
    That way riders either already know their limits, or don't feel the need to test them on the twisties instead of going to a track day.

    Again, rider must satisfy the instructor that they are capable in the appropriate areas.

    ^requirements before P's courses.

    I think the L's course for bikes is ok-ish... I think the WA system is better, that you have to ride with an experienced rider - but I also realise this can be impractical.
  10. For the drivers license;
    Ok so before you are allowed on the road you have to do the DKT. To pass you read the online questions and practice the test a dozen times. If you do that you'll get 100% and finish the test in 6-8 minutes max with no probs. This gives a basic idea of some road rules, to get you started and gives you some things to think about.

    Now on your L's, learning is entirely up to the instructor/parent. I had to log 50 hours before I could get my Ps, I think its extended to 100 hours now, which I don't really have a problem with, I had easily 150 hours before my P test. If your teacher is knowledgeable and skilled, (as well as sensible) then you'll go through all the motions, practice what you need to, at a good pace.

    The problem is if your instructor/parents don't take their teaching seriously and fail to give enough experience, then the learner will have bad habbits, probably not be confident enough, and won't be able to respond in an emergency.

    I never had any private lessons, my dad was a great teacher, and now I'm a good driver. But the P test to me was a complete joke. There isn't standardisation of tests, and its up to the testing officer's mood and inkling about what they think of you to whether you pass or fail. For my first test, the guy I had was in a terrible mood as soon as he called me over. I was friendly and everything, but he seemed to just be looking for someone to take his anger out on. The last of the signitures in my log book were just signiture initials as I didn't give the book to my dad to sign after each session, so he didn't want to spend an hour signing all my sessions, so he initialed instead.

    Instead of just saying ok you have your 50 hours I'll just ignore the rest that aren't signed properly, he got really angry and extremely mocking and rudely sarcastic. So my mum spent half an hour signing for all of my dad's signitures whilst he continued to belittle both my mum and I. On the way to the car he gave me more shit saying my dad must have been a terrible teacher and obviously hadn't taken teaching me seriously. I was nervous before even going into the rta and this arsehole was just too much.

    I did the test, took my blinker off a bit too early once, but apart from that did everything right. Yet somehow I knew I wasn't going to pass, probably paranoia combined with this guy's attitude. He fudged some absolute shit on the license form and when we tried to ask him when I did these things he just said hey look I'm the instructor, I know what you did.

    So I was pissed, and didn't like being abused like that so we formally complained to the rta, and they gave us another booking (obviously without charge) and it happend to be with the head of testing from some other distrinct, (dont know if that was deliberate or not, but thats who I ended up with) and I passed easy. This man is still working there and every time I'm there he has the same pissed off, doesn't want to be there expression.

    I think the criteria for the P test should be more standardised, more test dates are needed (the waiting list can be 2 months+), testing officers should be investigated. Sorry I went into a massive rant there.

    So for the bike side of licensing..
    Pre learner teaches you what you need to know, instructor I had was really really rigorous and had a million stories to make what he was teaching us real. Would have liked the course to go for longer hours, or span onto 3 days as its alot to take in. L test no problem either.

    The increased funding into nsw for new riders seems to have been well spent. I find riding around by myself without having riden on the roads before seems to be pretty offputting, but there isn't much I can think of to remedy this, as I think the WA restriction needing another rider with the learner to be completely impractical. I think riders realise though that they have to take responsibility for themselves when it comes to learning and because of that I think people are pretty serious about keeping safe.

    The difference is, riders dont have anyone telling them to be careful, so they take on that role themselves, which is really great.

    But the roads are terrible for bikes, bumps, manholes, cracks everywhere, not cool.
  11. Growing up in the country my parents taught me to drive when I was quite young. Most of the kids did, however the school made it compulsory in Year 10 to do pre driver training at a local training facility. Here we were taught the basics i.e. changing gears, indicating as well as basic maintenance. We were also taught how to get out of skids (something I wasn't taught by my driving instructor a few years later when I wen for my Ps). The government saw fit however to get rid of the funding that allowed this type of training to happen. :roll:

    Personally I believed this helped many students who didn't have much experience a chance to learn. If it was me I would bring in compulsory driver training in secondary school and make it go for a full semester or even a year.
  12. edit: double posted

  13. phizog - that guy you first got tested by sounds like a prick.
    I would have told him what to do with himself and requested another testing officer from the supervisor.

    If that wasn't possible, I would have put up leaflets at the RTA and local high-schools warning people to request NOT to be tested by that instructor.

    Oh another one - even if you have an internationa license to fly a friggin' F16, you will only be able to skip the L's course in Australia. You will still have to pass the driver course, AND the practical driving test before we give you any license.
  14. I think all vehicles should be made of Cadbury chocolate, like in that commercial.

    Now, for the fantasy part:
    Use of speed cameras should be seriously reviewed, 90% of them removed and the remaining 10% relocated to where they would actually serve to reduce accident rate not collecting taxes.

    Police should be removed from tax collecting duty on the roads and sent (on foot) to patrol the streets, therefore doing what they are supposed to be doing: preventing crime. (like the other day there was this copper on a street of Redfern - while there were probably a dozen of robberies, bashings and drug deals happening within a kilometer radius, his job was to book drivers doing illegal left turn.)

    Speed limits should be raised and unified. Back when there was 60km/hr for built-up areas and 100km/hr everywhere else and there was little confusion. Today on the same roads one can go through ten or more various speed limits, 40, 50, 60, 80... this has got to stop!

    Open roads should have speed limit of at least 120 if not more. This is a country of long distances, where boredom and tiredness are a major factor in accidents. One way of making sure their trips are shorter is to allow people drive faster. I suspect it would work a lot better than asking drivers to 'stop revive survive'... yeah, it's a good advice, but when you have a looong day of travel ahead... humans will be humans. Laws and rules have to allow for that.

    I totally agree with the previous poster re: use of rail. I've always said that freight should be carried on rail, not trucks. This would do wonders for both road safety and cost of road maintenance, and we would have much better roads as the result.
  15. nixon-chic V3 said:
    I would love to do something like this as soon as I get my Ls. Who did you do your private lessons through?

    Rosie V7
  16. I know I'm slightly off on a tangent here - but when I was learning to drive in the uk - on one of my lessons, my instructor pulled the handbrake on me in the snow - to see how I would cope in a skid...needless to say I had no preparation time and managed to do everything I had been told in theory into practice...

    Obviously it wasnt an area where there were lots of other road users at the time as was on old industrial estate (in fact none if I remember correctly) and we were travelling from one suburb to another - but I've gotta admit I never expected that from my instructor....but to be honest with ya, it was good to be in an 'out of control' experience with my instructor sitting by my side...
  17. I guess one of the things that gets me ticked off is the sheer audacity of the RTA.

    Consider the ad where they have a young guy (supposedly speeding) along a country road in his Falcon ute. He overtakes a truck on a blind corner and there's a catstrophic accident with a family car coming the other way.
    The message of the ad is "Slow down". The ad (which has not been removed from TV despite massive complaints) mentions absolutely nothing about making good decisions, exercising discerning judgement or looking.

    When was the last time you saw or read an add from the RTA (or similar body) that addressed observance? Indicating? Maintinence of your car? I'd be VERY interested to see the stats of accidents caused by someone not LOOKING PROPERLY, as opposed to the current "Speed was a contributing factor".
  18. Which is BS, because let's face it - assuming your enough of a ****ing numpty to overtake a giant truck on a blind corner while having such an awful bodykit on an AU Falcon ute, you at least want to get it over and done with as fast as possible.

    Yeah, I've seen that ad.
    The only realistic thing is the smile on the guy's face matching up with the twisty road :grin:
  19. That's true.

    How could I have not seen it?

    Big truck? Not important.
    Blind corner? Not important.
    Wrong side of the road? Not important.

    That he may have been doing 110 in a 100 zone? THAT IS WHAT CAUSED THE ACCIDENT!!!!!!!!

    Of course, we all know that if he had stuck to the speed limit and tried the same manouver(sp?), there would have been no incident.
  20. I'd like to see the ad campaign for "How to merge" and "keeping left" and "unsafe load" and "driving dangerously slow".