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2019 Year in Review – Motoring

Amy McPhillips 3 January 2020

The most-read motoring stories on The RiotACT in 2019 covered a broad range of car-related driving experiences in and around Canberra, in a year that saw several stories about new road rules and regulations.

Which motoring stories revved your engine last year? Let us know in the comments.

10. Girl Power – Car Basics put their pedal to the metal and are gaining momentum
by Michelle Taylor

Amanda and Yvette

Amanda and Yvette of Girl Power-Car Basics. Photo: Supplied.

In September we met two Canberrans who realised women need skills and knowledge in practical car maintenance and were about to kick off free workshops called Girl Power – Car Basics. Interested? Here’s more information.

9. I hadn’t ridden in over a decade – and then, along came a Spyder…
by Jane Speechley

The F3 Limited Can-Am Spyder

The F3 Limited Can-Am Spyder is on sale now at Canberra Motorcycle Centre. Photos: Jane Speechley.

As The RiotACT‘s resident motoring writer, and one of few staff members who have a valid motorcycling licence, Jane Speechley was recently invited to review the remarkable Can-Am Spyder. So are three wheels better than four? Here’s Jane’s verdict.

8. Canberra named Australia’s animal collision capital for third year running
by Glynis Quinlan

Kangaroo crossing the road near Tidbinbilla

Canberra has been named Australia’s roadkill capital for the third year in a row. Pictured is a kangaroo crossing the road near Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Photo: Glynis Quinlan.

For the third year in a row, Canberra had the unwelcome distinction of being named the animal collision capital of Australia – recording more collisions between motorists and animals than any other Australian city this year. Here’s more about the capital’s animal collision hotspots.

7. Drivers need to be more aware of new NSW rules
by Karyn Starmer

NSW Police Force

File photo: NSW Police Force Facebook.

Did you know NSW Police can immediately suspend your licence if you’re caught drink driving on NSW roads? Changes to the state’s drink driving rules have made it even more important to think before you get in the car and drive, even after just a few drinks, we wrote in September.

6. Mobile device ban for L and P drivers includes hands-free set-ups
by Ian Bushnell

Don't text and drive

Research shows an estimated three-in-four young Canberrans surveyed said they had read one text message while driving in the past week, while more than half had sent at least one text message. Photo: File.

Learner permit and provisional licence drivers were banned from using any kind of mobile device when behind the wheel from 1 July, including hands-free arrangements, we reported mid-year. Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said the new rule was the first of a range of changes based on best practice and designed to reduce injuries and deaths on ACT roads.

5. Calls to review 40km/hour speed limit near emergency vehicles stopped on roadside
by Lachlan Roberts

Police car

Drivers must slow down to 40 km/h when driving past ambulances, police and other emergency vehicles with red or blue flashing lights on the side of the road. Photo: George Tsotsos.

During 2019, the Australian Federal Police Association and the NRMA called on the ACT Government to review the law that says drivers need to slow down to 40 km/h when passing emergency service vehicles on the side of the road, saying it causes more danger on Canberra roads.

4. Three great drives for a cool car around Canberra
by Jane Speechley

Smooth roads and sweeping curves, great fun to drive

Smooth roads and sweeping curves, great fun to drive. Photos: Robert Pepper.

One of the many benefits of living in Canberra – if you love to drive – is that there are any number of great drives you can take in and around the region, whether you have a day to spare or just a few hours. Here are some of our favourites.

3. New way to travel between Canberra and Sydney aims to compete with the airlines
by Glynis Quinlan

Road Jet

The Road Jet service uses family-sized sedans. Photos: Supplied by Road Jet.

Canberrans now have a new way to travel by road between Canberra and Sydney with the launch of the Road Jet 24-hour service using private cars. And the door-to-door service has the airlines firmly in its sights, with Road Jet claiming it involves comparable costs and travel times without the hassles, delays and cancellations associated with air travel.

2. Motor sport legend Dave Wignall puts lifetime collection up for auction
by Tim Gavel

Dave Wignall's enormous motor sport collection

Just a taste of Dave Wignall’s enormous motorsport collection. Photos: Supplied.

In May, we brought you the sad news that Canberra motorsport legend Dave Wignall was seriously ill, facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer. In his heyday, he had been one of the biggest names in local sport, and amassed a meticulously maintained collection of car memorabilia. He told Region Media he had little choice but to auction his prized collection, saying it was one of the toughest decisions of his life.

1. Canberra drivers reminded to defrost their cars or face $200 fines
by Glynis Quinlan

Ice on car windscreen

Police say that every year when the cold sets in they attend accidents caused by drivers not having clear visibility out of their vehicles. Photo: File.

With the arrival of winter and iced-up windscreens, Canberra drivers were reminded that they must have a clear view from their vehicle when driving – or face a fine of $200. ACT Policing said that every year when the cold weather causes a build-up of frost or fog, police attend numerous collisions that have occurred as a result of drivers having poor visibility out of their vehicles.

Join us tomorrow for a look back at the most commented articles on RiotACT in 2019.

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