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[VIC] You're in charge - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by titus, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. There are a lot of threads running with some angry responses to the way our favourite roads are being managed, especially the Spurs and GOR. Let's try and take a different view of this and see if we can come up with some ideas. We are good at identifying failures, but are we good at real world solutions?

    Assume you are a top cop, Vicroads or TAC fatcat. Current management strategies have not made a significant difference to serious casualty rates (I don't care for the sake of argument whether they have or not - just assume). Let's also assume that you are NOT being asked to increase penalty income per se, but you have a responsibility to get the crash numbers down. You also need to manage the roads for all other users (try and think outside your own needs this time). You are being asked to look particularly at the favourite motorcycle roads, and you have a fairly free hand.

    What changes would you make?

    I've got a few but I'd like to see some other responses first.
  2. training.....so what if it makes people more confident on the road, and more of a focus on suitable speed for the conditions.....imo the roads are more dangerous now due to people watching speedos rather then watching and assessing their environment.

    Also think while revenue is budgeted for, the system is flawed as it's being driven by the wrong agenda which is $$$$$
  3. OKay, good. How, who, where, when?
    Learner or everyone?, on real roads or not?, who runs it? and how much?

    Couldn't agree more, but assume this is no longer the case, because you decided it against it.
  4. I'd revise and repaint all the white lines in the centre of the road. Keep them solid where overtaking and crossing them is clearly dangerous and come down hard on anyone who does cross them - bike, car, lorry or coach. Where it is assessed as a safe passing place I'd ensure the lines are broken so the manoever can be made legally. I'd also relax the enforcement of speed limits when overtaking allowing for the minimum time on the other side of the road provided that the vehicle slowed back to the posted limit after the overtake
  5. For one I'd be putting more detail in the stats and publishing a description and explanation of the collisions not just the numbers. Bulk numbers can be alarming. The detail will help direct policy and enforcement.

    The thing that annoys me is how the police take it personally that someone wiped themselves off even if they wiped themselves off legally. They can't control every drivers/riders decision making and skills.

    It's almost like a dirty little secret but you never hear about the number of people injured or killed at below legal speeds. It's all about speed and alcohol
  6. If I may respond, I guess we have to a large extent the same problem with the type of enforcement over here, where speeding is the #1 scapegoat for all that is wrong with the world. Speed limits are also being dropped on our favourite roads, etc.

    It would be a long term solution. The key is in driver/rider training. At present "we" chuck a set of road rules at a person and tell them if they adhere to those rules all will be good. So we effectively dumb people down and take away their ability to think for themselves. The whole system is geared to letting people obtain a drivers license by simply adhering to a set of rules and demonstrating that they can operate a vehicle sufficiently, which just isn't good enough IMO. Then we want to park the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff by fining the hell out of drivers and riders to “prevent’ accidents?!?! The system is basically designed to be flawed IMO. Call me cynical, but it could be to do with revenue collected out of fines that make up part of forecasted budgets, etc.
    Apparently authorities on both sides of the Tasman are of the view that if you give people advanced driver training, they will be overconfident and take larger risks - bullshit!

    So proper driver/rider training that will involve basic, intermediate and advanced training on how to skillfully handle you bike/car in given situations. This will be done through proper driver and rider schools, typically the sort run by the likes of ex-racing drivers and riders. Also teach hazard awareness and identification. A another simple one that I see on a daily basis, is that people don't seem to be taught velocity (speed and direction) estimation of other vehicles, I come across a bottle neck at onramps regularly because people can’t merge in with other traffic, or even more deadly people that pull out in front of you because they have no concept of calculating the approaching vehicle’s speed. Instill a proper disciplined road mentality and mindfulness to other road users during the training process.

    Go to the source, where it all begins, when people start the process to become drivers and riders, then you wouldn’t have to worry much about what happens when you turn them loose. Also take away the financial incentive for issuing fines.
    There is no quick fix; all you will be doing is “parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”. The only way is at the beginning with proper training and instilling a decent road mentality.

    The other factor would be proper road construction and maintenance. Instead of signposting hazards, here's an idea: bloody fix them!

    Then annual vehicle checks, just checking fit for purpose type stuff: tires, brakes, etc.
  7. I'd acknowledge that the current generation of road users are pretty much useless.

    Introduce a licencing scheme similar to Germany - $5000.00 or so's worth of professional subsidised tuition. Repay at 2% interest per annum and depending on accidents, not speeding or convictions, increase the interest rate. Not flawless, just an idea.
  8. I'd start by running a series of ads 'refreshing' people on the road rules. In a constructive and positive way rather than this negative 'if you f*** up, people die' trend. It seems to me that a lot of the time people don't even know that they're the ones making the mistakes because they either weren't taught properly, or they've forgotten.

    Each ad would just refresh peoples knowledge of certain road rules. (ie. 'Keep left in 80kmh zones and above, indicate when changing direction, don't reverse over schoolchildren, etc.)

    The idea being to treat people as intelligent adults (even though we know not everybody is) and hopefully have people talking about the correct way to drive, rather than the incorrect way.

    It'd be a public education campaign that gets back to basics, that everybody could see, and it'd cost no more than running stupid ads showing aliens knocking motorcyclists off their bikes on Beaconsfield Parade.

  9. Oh yeh, definite plus 1 for better training and competence checks.
  10. Pretty much universal agreement on training - good to see. I favour much more at the licensing period even if it costs more.

    To keep us focused, remember the brief is about motorcycle casualties on country roads... we'd like to re-train the entire cage population but that's probably not without our orbit.

    Simon varley, on re-marking, that was one of my first thoughts too, pretty much exactly as yours.

    Agree also about the stats, rob: I believe riders just turn off when they hear that stuff at present. But we might listen if it's detailed.

    Refresher ads on the rules: great idea. Expensive, but great.
  11. Some of the key things I would include are
    Resit your Drivers licence every 10 years. Yep it costs a lot but the obvious lack of respect for the gravity of there actions identify that the majority of the driving public require it.
    Broaden the advertising campaign that is run from just speed and alcohol to speed, alcohol, tailgating, indicating, headchecks…
    Ensure that policing addresses all of the above.
    Ensure that discretion can be given in policing.

    In addition to the current requirements to get your licence I would be adding a couple of days at least of proper instructed driver training. Hazard awareness, vehicle control. Breaking on slippery surfaces…

    I would also add 5 yearly roadworthys on cars less than 20 years old and 2 yearly roadworthys on cars older than that.

    And that is just off the top of my head.
    Our entire driving legislation is based around lowest common denominator thinking. We need education and personal responsibility to be part of the equation.
  12. i disagree with the line marking idea, because who are you going to make it suitable for a motorcycle or a truck, bikes need very little room and time to pass, hence why so many of us pass regularly cross over doubles, there size/speed makes this as safe as crossing some white broken lines

    i think it would be better to just run a solid white line everywhere, and when safe for each vehicle they overtake
  13. I'd take away the not at fault system. People are more willing to take risks when there's little to no repercussions. I'd budget in the fact that people like to hoon so I'd create certain areas that I'd tolerate a bit of stick on. I'd also encourage insurance companies to look at insurance on the track (not racing).

    I'd make getting your license for any vehicle much more difficult and ensure that those driving unlicensed were dealt with accordingly.

    I would move all the speed cameras to school and pedestrian areas, but still keep red light cameras where they already exist.
  14. It needs to be harder to get a license & maintain it. Mandatory refresher course for every x number of years. If you get caught doing something dangerous on the road (not speeding), do another course if you want to keep your license. Pay to improve your skills rather than filling the governments coffers.

    Less focus on outright speed, more focus on appropriate speed. Training would involve dealing with high speed situations.

    Generally raising the bar on driving skills rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator.

    We all make mistakes, that is inevitable, but proper training can minimise those occurances & the severity of them, anything that says otherwise is flawed.

    The actual condition of the road is a tricky one, run off areas & less hard things to hit would be nice, but not always feasible. Driving to the conditions & being able to deal with many road surfaces/types would help though.

    Vehicle inspections would be another tricky one (I wonder how many accidents are the result of unroadworthy/unsafe vehicles?), maybe every year like in the UK, probably not every 6 month like NZ.

    And: assuming I am running the state, not just Vicroads: Politician salaries would be altered to reflect that of the general population, & forget about a hefty pension!

    Also, anyone who actually wants to be a politician would be banned from ever becoming one, work for the dole would now supply our politicians.
  15. You're effectively asking for it to go back to the way it was before. I'd love that, but I will admit that I didn't really understand what that marking meant before, and neither did most of the population.
    I think a properly conducted program of re-marking would fix that just as effectively as changing the rules back. Needs it's own thread to fully explore.
    EDIT; I've reread your post and now I get your point. Still not sure what I think though.

    Input (like Farab) from other jurisdictions welcome.

    Please keep it focused on motorcycles, and our roads. That's where our anger is at the moment.
  16. Scrap the Motorcycle Safety Levy and replace it with a Driver/Rider Safety Levy starting at $60/annum. This Levy would increase by 20% every year that you do not undertake retraining or skills improvement programs.

    If you do undertake training with an approved training organization during that time your levy plus a government bonus fee is paid to the training company to subsidize your fees and your levy resets to the base figure again. Legal Mechanisms need to be in place to prevent training companies hiking their fees because they know that some of it is subsidised by this fund.

    The funds gathered are NOT paid into government general revenue but into a trust fund for the purposes of driver/rider awareness. Education programs, pre driver/rider training etc. The trust fund to be administered by a group made up of the stakeholder, Industry, Government, Insurance, Medical, and Road users.
  17. All good ideas, but what about enforcement?
    I like the European way. We won't "ping you" for silly little things, but if you get pinged say <40kmh over, take out a bank loan!
    In a similar vein, if you cause a death through dangerous driving, it's murder.

    just my 2c
  18. OK many of these ideas are about changing the whole road and road user system. That's too big for my purpose. I started this because I wanted to see what we could come up with on a positive basis when we (as a group) demand change from the authorities on issues like the Reefton speed limit and crackdowns.
    To do it successfully we need to see it from their point of view. We need to understand the whole issue and try and offer a better way. I don't think they are going to listen to us if we tell them to retrain the entire population, or change insurance laws (for example). As good as that would be.

    My thoughts were:
    - set reasonable speed limits that riders will be willing to comply with. 80 is just stupid and everyone knows it. I'd start by putting the spurs and GOR back up to 90 for a trial period. But my imaginary self is still trying to keep people from killing themselves so I'd keep up enforcement of excessive and serial offenders. ie. one warning on record, ticket on the second incident - that sort of thing.
    - keep up the education campaigns, instead of 'blitzes'. Eventually riders will realise they're not getting unnecessary fines and they might start actually listening.
    - get real with the road markings. Make them sensible and believable.
    - diversionary program for some offenses: choice to do a training course at the riders expense instead of lose points. Bullshit it's too hard.
    - much more training to get a motorcycle license. Maybe regular reviews?
    - riders who crash hard enough to end up in hospital to pass a training course (not test) before being cleared for riding (but it should be free). This is imperfect I know, but hey, all training is good, and it gets you back in the saddle with confidence.
    - a program to remove roadside hazards
    - temporary road hazard signage on popular roads, when appropriate (like after storms).

    I'm sure there'll be more.
  19. Yep, need to include enforcement. Unfortunately.
    Me, I'd save the very high penalties for populated or 'built up' areas , although this is across the whole road user base and possibly not m/c business?
  20. I like it.