Home' Open Road Sydney North and North West : OR0717 Contents OPEN ROAD 11
it can be a downright pain to legally find a
way to the other side of the road. Please
help legalise this handy practice in NSW.
Wayne Waddington, Parramatta
I am becoming more and more alarmed
at the number of drivers not stopping at
‘ STOP’ signs. Many don’t even attempt
to stop or slow down, they just drive
straight through an intersection and
often without even looking either way.
I’m surprised there aren’t more bad
accidents at these intersections. Why do
so many have this attitude? Surely this
should be a priority for police. If they
parked near some intersections they
would have no trouble fining a huge
number of drivers.
Lyn Scanlon, Croudace Bay
NO THONGS OR STILETTOES!
Further to the letter last issue titled
‘ Thongs or Stilettoes?’, the answer is
most definitely neither. As a former
driving instructor, I always impressed on
my students the importance of suitable
footwear while driving. In an emergency,
thongs can slip off and become caught in
the pedals, and high heels can prevent
effective operation of the pedals.
I would recommend sensible shoes with
leather or rubber soles and no more than
a medium size heel. Don’t drive with bare
feet, either. In an emergency, a wet or
sweaty foot can slip off the brake pedal,
and if you have to get out of the vehicle
you certainly don’t want to be shoeless.
Gareth Kimberley, Sylvania
I am writing to you to enquire if it is an
offence to drive with your lights off in
bad weather conditions. I have been
concerned about this situation for some
time and in really wet conditions it’s
nearly impossible to see some cars.
Deidre La Gerche, Mount Warrigal
According to the Roads and Maritime
Services, “At night or when driving
in hazardous weather conditions
with reduced visibility, your vehicle
must have clearly visible headlights,
tail lights, number plate lights, and
clearance lights and side marker lights if
these are fitted to your vehicle.” So yes,
it’s a legal requirement to have your
lights on in bad weather.
The letter in the last Open Road confirms just
what a lot of people think – the current penalties
for texting while driving are obviously not
working. In my opinion, it’s far more dangerous
than talking on the phone as drivers must take
their eyes off the road. From my observations,
P-plate drivers, particularly in the younger age
group, are the worst offenders and tradies are
also often at fault.
With so much publicity about the dangers of
using a mobile phone while driving, one would
think the message should be getting through.
The same problem exists with drunk and drug
affected drivers. There’s no answer in sight,
which is a sad situation for everybody.
Ian King, Warners Bay
I commend the NRMA for joining the crusade to reduce the number of road
fatalities caused by drivers who are distracted using their mobile phones.
The letter in the last Open Road, suggesting tougher penalties for that offence,
warrants consideration because, as the writer states, “Fines and demerit
points simply don’t work.”
Unlawfully using a mobile phone while driving has one element that
distinguishes it from all other traffic offences. While a normally law-abiding
driver might drive slightly over the speed limit or commit other offences in a
moment of inattention, using a smartphone while driving requires a deliberate
and conscious act in defiance of the law. It should have penalties consistent
with the potential damages, including death, which the conduct can cause.
It would be a worthwhile project for the NRMA to not merely support the
global crusade to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to the unlawful
use of a mobile phone while driving, but to lead a local crusade for more
effective penalties for that offence. You have already expressed concern that
the number of deaths and injuries in NSW, where mobile phone use was a
contributing factor, are “under-reported because of the difficulty of finding
evidence at crash scenes.”
Please take the lead to get a change to the legislation, which will provide a
more effective deterrent to this inexcusable conduct.
Chris Hollis, via email
Is texting even more
risky than talking on a
phone while driving?
16/6/17 4:44 pm
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