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Letters may be edited. Due to the large volume received, we can’t answer them personally and
can only print a handful. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the NRMA.
I’ve been driving for nearly 60 years but
the many responses on road rules and
driving in Open Road reminded me yet
again of the advice given to me by my
father at the start of my driving days.
He said: “A motor vehicle is a lethal
weapon, so stay alert to keep it safe.
Look out for the ‘Five I’s’ that you’ll see
everywhere on the roads: Inattention,
Impatience, Incompetence and
Ignorance. And the final ‘I ’? Illegality –
those who just don’t give a toss.” Sadly,
that advice still seems as true as ever.
Philip Boyle, Carlingford
TOO BEEPING CLOSE
My car has a built-in collision/proximity
alarm. It’s extremely disturbing when
I’m waiting at a red light and a cyclist or
motorcyclist slowly pushes between the
cars and stops only a few centimetres
from my vehicle. The alarm starts
beeping rapidly and keeps doing it until
the light turns green.
Turning it off and back on again is a
dangerous distraction from driving, as
the switch sits well below the dashboard.
And having the beep drumming in our
ear for a minute or so creates a lot of
stress that’s also quite dangerous.
Once I wound down the window and
asked the motorcyclist if he could move
a little away from the car to stop the
beep, which he did and I thanked him.
But I’m not sure I’d always receive such
friendly cooperation – some are ready
to take an offence when you try to
talk to them, no matter how nicely. I
think people should be educated about
the existence of such safety devices, so
they keep a distance from cars.
Janos Horvath, Sydney
GO AGAINST THE FLOW
I feel compelled to raise the matter
of pedestrians walking along roads
where there are no footpaths. I live in
Wollongong and often walk and drive
along roads beneath our wonderful
escarpment, which don’t have a footpath.
I’m amazed at the number of
pedestrians I encounter who don’t
walk along the right-hand side of the
road to face oncoming traffic. Instead,
they choose to walk on the left side of
the road so they have their backs to
Most of us take automatic transmissions for granted these days. In fact, demand for
manual transmissions is now waning to the extent that there’ll be very few of them in
new cars sold in Australia by the end of the decade.
Heralding this shift as far back as 1957, a full-page advertisement in the February
edition of Open Road promoted “the world’s easiest 10h.p . driving” with “two-pedal
control”. Standard Cars, or “Australia’s most Australian motor company”, claimed to
be the first company to introduce an automatic (Standrive) in Aussie light cars, after
previously only being available in luxury models.
Its benefits? “With Standrive you can’t possibly stall. No more embarrassing and
anxious moments in traffic. No more trouble on hill starts. You can ‘hold’ the car on a
hill without fear of stalling or running back. No more need for awkward co-ordination of
handbrake and clutch. Just the world’s easiest, smoothest driving.”
THE WAY WE WERE 1957
oncoming traffic, thereby relying on
the alertness of the driver or their own
hearing to ensure they’re not injured.
We were always taught that by facing
oncoming traffic we at least had the
opportunity to step out of the way,
should an oncoming motorist not notice
us. Surely this needs to be something
that’s taught to all people, young and
old, who walk along roads where there’s
no footpath – whether for leisure,
exercise or of necessity.
Colin McLoughlin, Wollongong
Earlier this month, my wife and I were
driving on the Pacific Highway, just south
of the Queensland border, when two
surfboards became airborne from the
roof of the car travelling in front. Luckily,
they hit the road before me and flew onto
the grass verge between the two divided
double lanes. I was doing 110km/h (the
speed limit) and was some 50 metres
(three seconds) behind. It’s just as well I
was far enough back not to be hit.
Your shoe choice
could affect your
Pedestrians seem to be
turning their backs on
traffic these days.
22/10/18 3:50 pm
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