Stanhope and NRMA to meet to outlaw heart attacks

johnboy 24 March 2009 27

The Chief Minister’s quixotic campaign to eliminate cars on the road road deaths in the ACT marches on.

Mr. Stanhope has announced a grand road-safety roundtable to bring about the “cultural change” he seeks.

    “This roundtable will be tasked with devising real ways to bring about a cultural change among Canberra drivers so that one road death a year in this town is one too many,” Mr Stanhope said.

    “It is simply unacceptable that each year about 14 people are killed and 500 people are injured on ACT roads.

And that despite all his cameras and all his speed vans.

Seeing as how one death so far this year was caused by a heart attack I wonder what cultural change will do to address that?

    Items to be discussed include driver and rider education, ideas for road safety campaigns, road infrastructure safety improvements and the enforcement of road safety policies, such as the use of speed cameras.

    The roundtable will also consider the possible expansion of 40km/h zones around shopping and community facilities, including aged care facilities – a topic listed for consultation by the Greens in the Labor and Greens Parliamentary Agreement.

    Peak road safety stakeholders including the Motorcycle Riders Association, Pedal Power, the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust and the Australian Federal Police will be invited to attend the roundtable.

For mine the most dangerous thing on the roads in Canberra at the moment is the sun on the roads of the East-West arterials around sunset. Cleaning up all the painted over road markings (which reflect beautifully and confusingly) would do wonders for road safety.

But that’s a less impressive use of power than changing the culture.


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27 Responses to Stanhope and NRMA to meet to outlaw heart attacks
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Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 3:18 pm 26 Mar 09

Wow wasn’t expecting quite that response.

Nothing I have suggested is out of the ordinary. I’ve read a fair bit about these pedestrian friendly roads in Europe over the past few years. Statistics show that despite vehicle speeds decreasing, travel times also decrease as you’re no longer waiting for several minutes for an intersection to clear before you can move. Fatalties also plummet. Why is this a bad thing?

Have a read about Woonerf’s as used in the Netherlands and Germany. The Netherlands has amoung the lowest road toll in the world.

#25 Yes “unmarked” intersections would create traffic chaos on major roads… however at intersections with less than a few thousand users per day, are we really all so stupid as to need governing regarding who has right of way?

#23 Yet statistics show that when these “experienced” drivers get behind the wheel themselves they’re more likely to kill, or be killed, than the inexperienced drivers they’re teaching. Learner drivers are the *safest* drivers on the road.

As for cobblestone streets, doesn’t have to be the rough cobblestones that will demount cyclists, and cause havoc for wheelchair users, it could be pavers as already used on some parts of Bunda Street, and the entrance to some roads in Hughes. As for coloured pavement, it’s already in use in Australia. Look up Port Campbell on Google Maps. The main street of Port campbell has been repaved with decorative lines, thus creating a more pleasant main street. Why cant we do that on Bunda Street, or Flinders Way, Bougainville St, Franklin St through the Manuka shops, Bradley St in Woden, etc, whilst turning them into shared zones?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first person to opt for a 110km/h limit on the parkway, and for it to be resurfaced with hotmix then the limit bumped up again, 100 on the GDE, 90 on Adelaide, 120 on the Federal, as well as far stricter enforcement of keep left laws on high speed roads, and tailgating offences in all situations…

But in my opinion a maximum speed of walking pace is far safer in heavy pedestrain areas than the current 40-60km/h limits in the ACT. To acheive a speed limit of walking pace, we cant just bump speed limits down again on roads that were initially designed for 35mph. The roads have to be redesigned for a max speed of 5-10km/h.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 1:54 pm 26 Mar 09

Not to mention the disabled wouldn’t exactly be overjoyed, how do wheelchairs go on cobbles? Or blind people?

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 1:09 pm 26 Mar 09

neanderthalsis said :

Sgt.Bungers said :

One way to achieve this would simply be to replace quieter intersections that currently have stop signs/ give way signs/ traffic lights/ painted white lines/ pedestrian ramps/ pedestrian crossings, need to go. Replace all of that, and the grey/black roads, with coloured concrete or cobble stones. Give pedestrians right of way at all time under all circumstances. When the road is clear of pedestrians, drivers have to sort out who’s going to go with eye contact and hand gestures as nobody has absolute right of way.
“.

Second go. Helps if you actually type a comment…

You would have traffic chaos, try driving in Italy on narrow cobbled streets with pedestrians wandering hither, tither and yon about the place and vehicular right of way determined by a variety of vague hand signals and nods. I don’t think this is a solution.

Our suburbanised housing arrangements make it necessary for us to use cars for just about everything. If we all lived, shopped and ate within strolling distance of our homes your cobbled street system would work, but because we live in outer suburbs, have poor access to public transport and thus have to drive to the CBD or other major centre for work, it would do little more than create chaos.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 1:00 pm 26 Mar 09

Sgt.Bungers said :

One way to achieve this would simply be to replace quieter intersections that currently have stop signs/ give way signs/ traffic lights/ painted white lines/ pedestrian ramps/ pedestrian crossings, need to go. Replace all of that, and the grey/black roads, with coloured concrete or cobble stones. Give pedestrians right of way at all time under all circumstances. When the road is clear of pedestrians, drivers have to sort out who’s going to go with eye contact and hand gestures as nobody has absolute right of way.
“.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 12:36 pm 26 Mar 09

Sgt.Bungers said :

Statistics show that learner drivers are the ones *least* likely to be involved in a serious crash. Why?

Because each learner driver is required to have an experienced, fully licensed driver beside them guiding them?

peterh peterh 11:55 am 26 Mar 09

jakez said :

Note to self, never vote for Sgt Bungers.

or labor, or the greens, or the democrats?

jakez jakez 11:51 am 26 Mar 09

Note to self, never vote for Sgt Bungers.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 11:12 am 26 Mar 09

“Forced” cultural change, be it for better or worse, needs to start at the top.

ACT’s roads were designed during the time when the automobile was king. How many other cities in the world have an 8-10 lane road passing through the middle of the city centre (Northbourne Ave with bicycle lanes and parking lanes), where during the middle of the working day 50 pedestrians can be waiting to cross the road whilst waiting for 10 drivers to cruise through the intersection at a speed of 60km/h… Of course at 60km/h if something goes wrong and pedestrians involved will most likely wind up dead.

To change the automobile is king culture, we need road design to change, we need laws to change. Main roads like Adelaide Ave, the Parkway, Monaro, Federal and Barton highways can stay primarily designed for vehicular traffic, however commercial and residential roads should be redesigned for commercial and residential foot traffic, with vehicles being accommodated for, but coming at the bottom of the list priority wise.

Town centre and city traffic lights should be retimed to be synchronised so they’re pedestrian friendly… especially out of peak hour, there’s no excuse. At the moment it takes up to 5 minutes for a person to cross Northbourne Avenue in the city if they choose to obey ze law and do what the little red and green men say. Simply because the lights are timed for the needs of car drivers, not people using naturally aspirated forms of transport. Why is this? Shouldn’t our city centre be for people and not machines?

Another important thing: A person can often drive from A to B without having to make eye contact or use any other kind of interaction with any other road user. That’s what indicators and brake lights are for. This needs to change. Change this and it will be easy to stem road rage, tall poppy syndrome morons, and many other problems we face within our “road culture”. One way to achieve this would simply be to replace quieter intersections that currently have stop signs/ give way signs/ traffic lights/ painted white lines/ pedestrian ramps/ pedestrian crossings, need to go. Replace all of that, and the grey/black roads, with coloured concrete or cobble stones. Give pedestrians right of way at all time under all circumstances. When the road is clear of pedestrians, drivers have to sort out who’s going to go with eye contact and hand gestures as nobody has absolute right of way. Change the law so that if any two vehicles collide at one of these intersections, it’s both drivers fault.

Sounds mad, illogical and dangerous yes? That’s the point. Who in their right mind would hurtle into an intersection when they’re wondering wtf is going on, who has right of way? Make a road look safe, drivers will treat it as though it is safe and they’ll relax. Remove the certainty that vehicle drivers have at the moment, make a road look dangerous, and drivers will treat it as though it’s dangerous and use a lot of caution.

Case in point: Statistics show that learner drivers are the ones *least* likely to be involved in a serious crash. Why? Because to your typical learner driver every road is dangerous whilst their learning how it all works. Caution is at an all time high. They’re far from relaxed. Unfortunately this caution doesn’t last long. It doesn’t take a new driver long to work out that with our current laws and road systems, they’re king when behind the wheel. They can comfortably coast along knowing that everyone has to give way to them if they have a green light or aren’t faced with a stop, give way, or pedestrian crossing sign.

I could go on for ages, I’m obviously passionate about this topic. Why… I don’t know 🙂 Instead I’ll be in contact with the NRMA asking how I can get some suggestions across to this “round table discussion”.

smee smee 2:19 pm 25 Mar 09

Items to be discussed include driver and rider education, ideas for road safety campaigns, road infrastructure safety improvements and the enforcement of road safety policies, such as the use of speed cameras.

There’s the reason for it. Drum up a false fear with which to justify more speed cameras. More speed cameras = more revenue.

Follow the money people…

AG Canberra AG Canberra 12:22 pm 25 Mar 09

This roundtable is an attempt to replace the ACT Road Safety Committee – which hasn’t met for more than three years. Every other jurisdiction has proper community input into road safety – not us. We get to have a roundtable with no solid terms of reference, no formal decision making process and no formal input into road safety in the ACT.

It’s all just window dressing.

blueberry blueberry 10:20 am 25 Mar 09

>People should only be taught to drive by an experienced and accredited instructor, not by their friend or family.

This is really not the answer, Looking at my friends when we were all learning to drive and those that got lessons with there family were much better drivers than those who had only done the log book lessons. Also if you actually look at the way that most people get there license in Canberra they already do at least 6 lessons with a driving instructor.

Primal Primal 9:27 am 25 Mar 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Ferfarksake, they’re already everywhere. Every single time I hop in the car I see at least two marked cars. How many more would you like?

Would be nice to see a few more along Adelaide Ave in the afternoons. You’d swear the speed limit had been raised to 95 some days…

Thumper Thumper 9:16 am 25 Mar 09

Come to think of it, I too have seen quite a lot of polics cars on the streets rcently.

The fact I drive past Charnwood every day probably has something to do with it 😉

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:07 am 25 Mar 09

Ferfarksake Mr Stanhope, how about some visible police presence on the roads?

Ferfarksake, they’re already everywhere. Every single time I hop in the car I see at least two marked cars. How many more would you like?

driving along in the right lane like an ignorant knob

Must’ve been frustrating not being able to exercise your Jeebus-given right to go 10km/h over the limit.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 7:46 am 25 Mar 09

I’m a big fan of visible police presence, because it makes people actually think about what they are doing, rather than driving along in the right lane like an ignorant knob, believing they’re totally safe because they’re sitting 5 km/h below the speed limit.

Reprobate Reprobate 11:38 pm 24 Mar 09

Aw great, so road safety is Stanhope’s latest hobby horse. Expect this one to be flogged to death as well…Maybe Jon is thinking of combining his love for public art with road safety messages, expect to see “drive n text u be nxt” in flashing neon on wankinus maximus or whatever that eyesore on Adelaide Ave is called…

Oh, and applying some different thinking to the road safety debate: OK so 10 deaths a year are regrettable and we could probably all sharpen our game but consider the following (conservative) assumption:

If 1 in 3 (100,000) Canberrans each make two 10km trips a day (say to work and back or to the shops on the weekend), every day of the year, that is 72 million trips (or Driving Events as some statistician would probably call it) over 7,300,000,000km in total. Probability wise, do 10 accidents/incidents leading to fatality out of (at least) 72,000,000 trips really reflect that we are all in need of a big stick around the head? (BTW if my figures are wrong please feel free to correct them, It’s getting late…)

Off topic, but while we’re talking about law and order under this Guvmint, how’s the “end of the month” date for the first intake of prisoners at Hume looking Mr Hargreaves? Thought so…

ant ant 10:31 pm 24 Mar 09

People behave on the roads when the cops are out and about… that is, in marked cars, not sneaking around. I guess tailgaters and things don’t cause fatalities, so they don’t bother pinging them. Why don’t they just declare those offences to be non-offences then?

zig zig 10:11 pm 24 Mar 09

Felix…re-test every 5 years???? fuck that. It won’t achieve what you are thinking. The only way Canberra drivers are going to learn is if ACT Police get serious about booking people for offences other than speeding.

It’s about time they started booking people for tailgating. I am sick to death of the tailgating that is going on in this town.

cranky cranky 8:41 pm 24 Mar 09

Attempting to be non-judgemental, the one ACT road death this year has been that of a professional driver.

I would contend that it is almost impossible to exit a vehicle at low speed if wearing a seat belt.

Canberra roads are full of speeding, non indicating, tailgating, red light running, inattentive, phone answering drivers.

They do not appear to figure largely in the statistics.

Maybe we DO drive to the conditions.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:23 pm 24 Mar 09

Would help if people actually had the skill to drive. Should be a licence re-test every 5 years, both oral/written and practical. People should only be taught to drive by an experienced and accredited instructor, not by their friend or family. Govt can subsidise lessons for low income people instead of buying stupid overpriced public artwork that nobody wants anyway or from all the greed camera revenue.

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