As some-one who has done a lot of driving over his lifetime including approximately seven years as a sales representative, I feel well qualified to to make the following suggestions for changes to our road rules to make our roads safer, more pleasant to drive on and flow more smoothly.
Please consider the following ideas.
- Turn left when safe to do so - Imagine how much more smoothly traffic would flow if you could Turn left when safe to do so even if you are facing a red light.
- Speed Limit 130 KPH -Freeways like the Hume should have a variable speed limit as in Germany-110 KPH in rain and at night-130 KPH in day conditions that are fine.
- Dirt Roads -Speed limit on all but the best maintained dirt roads reduced to 90KMH
- Keep Left Unless Overtaking - Slower traffic is confined to the left lane and the "Keep Left Unless Overtaking " rule STRICTLY enforced with heavy fines and demerit points. One sees it all the time-A car doing say 105 KPH on its speedo (probably a real 101/2 KPH) being passed by another car at 107 on its speedo (again around 103/4KPH real speed) . The car overtaking is too scared to put the foot down a bit for fear of going over 113KPH and getting booked hence it takes an age to get past the slower car, forcing traffic to bank up behind-If the speed limit was 130KPH you would be past the slower car in a flash thus improving traffic flow.
- Ban Trucks from the right lane -Trucks should be banned from the right lane on all roads 3 or more lanes wide.
- Minimum speed - A minimum speed in the far right hand (overtaking) lane should be enforced.
- Speed Cameras - Let us talk about "Cash Cameras" -sorry I mean "Road Safety Cameras". In France the authorities place Road Safety Cameras in dangerous sections of road where speeding would probably cause an accident. These cameras are signposted. The effect is the driver reads the sign, says OK, this is a bad bit of road and slows down accordingly thus avoiding a fine AND an accident. But -in Victoria-not only do they NOT signpost the cameras, they put them on stretches of freeway where one could safely travel at 130KMH or more. Meanwhile dangerous stretches of road are left with just a yellow advisory speed sign or (as is often the case), no warning at all. Bizarre!
- Visible Police Presence. - We all know the embarrassment of sitting on the side of the road for what seems like a indeterminable length of time, while police in their brightly coloured patrol car, bright lights flashing do their paperwork to relieve your wallet of some of your hard earned. Chances are you had been speeding, Chances are after that embarrassing encounter you were more careful with your speed for the rest of the journey and beyond. This visible method of enforcement has a far greater deterrent effect than a fine in the mail two weeks after the event.
- Mobile Phones - Non hands free Phone use in the car should attract 6 demerit points and a hefty fine. The loss of 6 points would ensure many people lose their licence and think twice.
- Licensing. - Speaking of licences-How's this for an idea? What say we teach people how to drive (as in Germany) instead of teaching how to get a licence? Now there's an idea! A driving skills based licensing regime would weed out a lot of people who really shouldn't be driving and would make the roads much safer.
I welcome any discussion or feedback on these ideas.