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Road safety strategy looks broken

For the first time since 2011, all states and territories in Australia will miss their road safety target. The National Road Safety Strategy aims to reduce by 30% annual deaths and serious injuries from road crashes by 2020. A recent inquiry tried to pinpoint why the strategy is broken and what to do about it. Read More

Westconnex sale – a taste of tolls to come

The NSW government on 31 August 2018 sold 51% of Westconnex to Transurban, owner of 15 of Australia’s 19 toll roads. Competition regulator ACCC at the last minute, cleared the way for Transurban and its partners’ bid.

The hefty $19.3 billion sale price makes Westconnex the state’s biggest privatisation and infrastructure project. It will entrench the company’s position as the dominant operator of Sydney’s toll roads.

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We don’t like waiting at traffic lights

As my mother once memorably said: “What’s the point of traffic lights? They only waste electricity!” While traffic lights are a fact of life for motorists and pedestrians, nobody likes waiting at them. In fact, any more than 30 seconds and we start fuming. Read More

How do you get people to stop texting?

Not everybody is convinced it is dangerous to text and drive. A surprising 68% of participants in Australian research said they needed a lot of convincing to believe in the dangers of texting and driving. If this attitude is widespread, how do we get people to stop texting and driving? Read More

Slow down but not too slow

When it comes to your driving speed in NSW, the only direction is down. More slow zones are coming. School zones are already 40kmh. Now the NSW government wants new 40kmh limits in high pedestrian areas like hospitals, train stations and shopping areas.

From September 2018, you must slow down to 40kmh when police, fire, ambulance, SES or rescue vehicles are flashing red or blue lights or stopped. Ignoring this incurs a $448 fine and three demerit points. Read More

Driving tired and what can wake us up

Many people drive when tired and one in five Australians have fallen asleep at the wheel. Fatigue is definitely involved in 20% of fatal crashes but could be a factor in a lot more. Sleepy drivers find it harder to keep within the lines, react more slowly and are less able to handle hazards.

But how tired is too tired to drive? And what can we do to wake ourselves up? Read More

Hybrid vigour – time to buy one

The chances of seeing a hybrid in Australia are still quite slim. Only 4,000 hybrid vehicles are on our roads, a mere 0.1% of new vehicle sales. Kiwis are already driving that same number of hybrids, even though their population is a fifth of ours. What is holding us back?

First of all, we don’t know what they are. Second, they seem too expensive anyway. Read More

Truck driving is a dangerous job

Driving a truck may be one of the most dangerous jobs in Australia. Yet there could be double the number of trucks on the roads in the next 20 years. A Macquarie University study in 2017 found truckies work long hours, are afraid to refuse an unsafe schedule or load, and are wary of losing work. Read More

Self-driving cars must be safer than humans

How safe should a self-driving car be? It’s an obvious question to ask but the answer is far less clear cut. Research suggests self-driving cars must be safer than humans. In fact, they may need to be four or five times safer than humans just to be accepted. Read More

Old cars, your teens and safety

The average age of vehicles in Australia is higher than the average in developed nations. Yet technology has changed a lot in 10 years and many safety features are only available on newer models. Some groups are urging government to make it easier for people to afford newer vehicles to help stem the rate of road deaths and injuries. Read More