Speed cameras and red light cameras are a fact of life in Australia. It’s hard to remember a time when you could go on a trip without seeing one. Currently speed and red light cameras in NSW raise around $532,000 a day from unsuspecting motorists.
As you pack up the car for a holiday this Christmas, remember you are 20 times more likely to crash if you text while driving. It’s a sobering statistic – and statistics are based on the experiences of ordinary people. This is why double demerits are being extended to using mobiles.
For the first time, the NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, is doubling demerit points for drivers who use their phones. It starts during the Christmas period from December 24 to January 3. Though it sounds tough, as Minister Gay says:
“If I saved your life, I’ve done you a favour.”
If you’ve been paying any attention to automotive news this year, you will know about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Numerous news outlets have been reporting on the case, which involves millions of cars the world over – both diesel and petrol – and has not only caused former CEO and chair of Audi Martin Winterkorn to step down, but the company to report a loss for the first time in years.
We’ll get to the specifics of the story in a moment, and why you should pay attention, but first let’s put the whole thing into perspective.
For many Australians, car safety is one of the most important factors to research when buying a new car. With driverless vehicles taking to our local roads and questions of safety arising as a result, now is perhaps also a perfect time to consider what advanced systems are making the cars we pilot ourselves safer for the community.
This is especially crucial considering the recent news headlines made by popular Korean marque Hyundai.
Welcome back to our two-part series on driverless cars. In our last article, we outlined the current market and the technology behind these vehicles.
Now, let’s investigate how this all affects Australia.
It’s undeniable now: autonomous motor vehicles, also called driverless cars, are on the way and likely here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future. However, humans have been the pilots of our vehicles since their invention. Our old wooden carts were horse or ox-drawn, and our modern day sports cars and four-wheel drives still require our touch.
So the very fact that it’s now possible to have a vehicle on the road piloted entirely by a machine poses a number of very difficult questions. Is this safe? Do we even need driverless cars? How will our laws need to change in order to accommodate these developments?
In this two-part series, we will investigate these questions and more, giving you the information you need to formulate an educated opinion on this important subject.
As part of the ongoing mission to reduce driver distraction and make New South Wales’ streets a safer place for all road users, Transport for NSW has launched a new campaign to focus attention on the dangers of mobile phone use behind the wheel.
Earlier this month Minister for Roads Duncan Gay announced the new ‘Don’t Drive Blind, Get Your Hand Off It’ ad campaign in an October 12 media release.
“The key message we’re spreading is that if you look away from the road to read or touch your phone, even for two seconds, you’re driving blind,” said Mr Gay.
A recent announcement of new helmet regulations by Minister for Roads Duncan Gay will please motorcycle riders in New South Wales. In a Transport for NSW media release, the minister explained that European standard helmets, as well as those from other countries, would soon be available for use.
A change in helmet regulations would bring NSW into the fold with other states such as Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, states Mr Gay.
Road fatalities are a tragic occurrence for those involved, affecting drivers, passengers and their loved ones. There are a number of road safety strategies in place that aim to reduce the road toll across Australia, such as the independent ANCAP ratings to inform consumers on vehicle safety.
The Australian Government’s National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) is another such effort. Inaugurated in 2011, it aims to see a decrease of at least 30 per cent in national road fatalities by 2020.
Now the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is weighing in with a state-by-state progress report on the NRSS, to see whether the country as a whole is on track to achieve its goals within the timeframe of the decade-long strategy.