If you tune into Mix 106.3 FM for your peak hour drive to work it may pay to take its traffic reports with a grain of salt.
Tess in Kingston posted this message on Easter Monday after hearing the 106.3 traffic report.
“Easter Monday today, Canberra’s dead, everyone is down the coast or elsewhere. But turn Mix on & their traffic report tells me the GDE is chockers, Horse Park Drive is slow & Parkes Way is building? They’re obviously desperate for Hardley Normal’s advertising revenue, but these 30 min updates are bullsh*t!”
Maybe it was programming stuff-up but it’s not the first time The RiotACT has heard about 106.3’s traffic reports not reflecting the conditions of the day.
Who’s to know on a normal work day when it’s pretty likely that the generic description above is more or less correct about our main arterials?
Unless you are in the middle of it, just passed a bingle that’s closed a lane and it’s pouring rain.
Or as on Monday, it’s a public holiday and the robo-program doesn’t care.
So, is the Mix 106.3 traffic report a community service or an advertising opportunity?
Well it can be both, but if a pre-recorded generic report that covers all possibilities is what we’re getting, then the station’s credibility is on the line.
Maybe nobody takes it seriously and it’s just part of the background noise of our commutes.
But what if someone does heed the advice, changes their route and the journey goes pear-shaped?
Does the Mix bear some responsibility, or sorry the joke’s on you?
And if you want some real traffic advice, check out the Australian Traffic Network (ATN) on 103.9 ABC News Radio every half hour or download the ACT Traffic app.
Canberra FM General Manager Craig Wagstaff said the station’s traffic reports also came from the Australian Traffic Network.
“We also receive a lot of positive feedback on these reports and I can assure you that ATN and our delivery is focused on being as up-to-date and accurate as possible with information taken from a range of sources, as frequently as possible, during peak travelling times of the day,” Mr Wagstaff.
“With respect to the day(s) you mention, I have also received feedback (and seen other reference points from various posts on social media) that there were in fact, considerable traffic hold-ups across some parts of Canberra and surrounds even with it being a public holiday Monday.”
He conceded that on rare occasions there had been technical difficulties and errors where redundant updates had gone to air.
“I can assure you that this is of course, not a common occurrence, and that I am confident in the substance and frequency of our traffic report offering,” Mr Wagstaff said.