AS A former NSW police officer I am afraid I have to say that current strategies in traffic enforcement donât appear to be effective. Â Ask yourself, how many occasions travelling between Newcastle and Sydney on the M1 Motorway do you sight police vehicles, particularly Highway Patrol, in mobile mode? In my experienceÂ very few times, if at all.
What we now see is a marked highway patrol vehicle in stationary mode, frustratingly and too frequentlyÂ positioned in locations not promoting high visibility. I also have to say that I obviously canât comment on the presence of unmarked or covert vehicles but I suspect that strategy to be a very thin one.
The sight of a police vehicle either in the rear-vision mirror or approaching you is a powerful tool in traffic enforcement. The odd car parked in clear view off the carriageway has its place, but I believeÂ on its ownÂ is not a powerful deterrent to the many idiots I see travelling on the M1.
I believe a rethink in enforcement strategy is strongly needed, but I am happy to be proved wrong if that be the case.
A LOTÂ is being said about the M1.Â My view is that the situation would be improved by increasing the speed limit to 130km/h, at least in three-lane sections.Â This would enable people who want to dawdle at 90 to 100km/h to stick to the left lane.
The annoying centre-lane hogs could stay there, provided they travel at more than 100km/h, and that would leave the right-hand lane for the drivers who are prepared to travel at the speed limit.Â
Letâs face it; many drivers already travel at close to 130km/h.
The effect would be like in Germany, where traffic fans out, with each lane travelling at a different settled speed. You pick the one that suits you, meaning there would be less lane changing, the root of many of the problems.Â And remember, the primary cause of crashes is inattentiveness.Â Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, and donât forget the rear-view mirror.
If you are always aware of whatâs immediately in front and behind, you have a much better chance of reacting quickly and appropriately to any possible incident.
Finally roads are reopening in Newcastle and there are no designated cycle lanes. Cyclists are dealing with less road space then they have ever had before, roads are narrowing to make way for construction this is despite the Newcastle Council Cycling Strategy and Action Plan of March 2012. Nice looking document, with some good ideas but very little action.
If Newcastle is serious about decongesting the roads of cars it needs to get serious about making Newcastle city roads a ‘safe and attractive’ option for cyclists. When will we see action on this issue?
“You can’t eat fish and call yourself an environmentalistâ, writes Desmond Bellamy (Letters, 3/8).
The funny thing is, Desmond, that you sent that letter to the Newcastle Herald via a copper internet network and constructed that letter on a laptop or tablet that is an electronic device that contains chemicals such as beryllium, cadmium, chromium hexavalent, lead, mercury, brominated flame retardants and poly chloride (PVC). Not to mention a lithium iron battery that was probably charged overnight (with no solar) withÂ coal-fired power.
You should have finished with, “You canât live on the grid and call yourself an environmentalist.”Â I did enjoy that tuna and mayo sandwich.
SCOTT Hillard (Short Takes 3/8):Â more people live in poverty than ever before because of rapid global population growth since World War II.
Easy-to-come-by crude oil is long passed. Airlines are hoping biofuels are their saviour. Inability of oil to keep up led to the 2008 economic collapse, still in play.
OPEC flooded the world with cheap oil to kill North American shale. Middle Eastern oil states are rushing to renewables. Australia has $500m to fix the Murray-Darling. All is rosy.
I BELIEVE stateÂ governments should not be allowed to make decisions that are against the national interest.
The decision by the WAÂ government to award a contract to Chinese telco Huawei (WA Today, 9/7)Â follows the debacles of the SouthÂ Australian energy policy and the sale of Darwin to the Chinese.Â The logical way to achieve this is to abolish state governments. They are an anachronismÂ caused largely by the tyranny of distanceÂ which no longer applies.
With no state governments, I think the Murray Darling would also have been fixed up long ago.
Turnbull and Shorten are both on the nose with the electorate, and both deserve to lose the next election. If they were to combine on this one, it would not matter who won the election: as victor, eitherÂ would both go down in the pantheon of the greats alongside Menzies and Keating.
THERE would be few who would not agree with Gerry Mohan (Short Takes 1/8)Â that our farmers are in desperate straits as casualties of the climate change that has deliver this drought. My love for the farmers was nurtured during my time as a jackaroo in Wee Waa after leaving school. I recently revisited Wee Waa and not a sheep was in view because his farms had converted to cotton and vegetables grown on abundant artesian water.
With the evidence of the value of this precious water it is beyond my beliefÂ that these farmers still vote for the Nationals, who would sell the farmers out to the minersÂ and allow mining in areas that will destroy these waters and put districtsâ welfare under great pressure as their water will be gone to digging up coal.
Unless the farmers elect parliamentarians who stand up to the city-focusedÂ Liberals I think they will continue to be screwed by business as they let the marketÂ decide how they live or survive on the scraps they receive for their ever-reducing production.
We all pray that this drought breaks,Â but farmers must also change the rules and dump those representative who sell them out to multinationals and big business. Farm water is more important than thatÂ for coal mines. Farmers must claim their rights.
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