Seeing Red on Roads? Get pinning and let us know

SEEING RED: Let us know which road, roundabout or intersection you find most aggravating.

SEEING RED: Let us know which road, roundabout or intersection you find most aggravating.

Is there one road you hate to drive on more than any other? Where gridlocked traffic, dangerous  roundabouts or a constant state of disrepair turn the journey into a recurring nightmare.

The NRMA’s fourth annual Seeing Red on Roads campaign gives motorists the opportunity to point out exactly where that road is and highlight the issues that need to be fixed.

Jump onto our interactive map and pinpoint the road, roundabout or intersection that gets you seeing red on a regular basis.

Members are already utilising Speak Out, our interactive advocacy platform that gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to suggest a campaign they’d like the NRMA to get behind.

Many of those suggestions highlight individual roads that require work to help make them a pleasant experience to drive on.

Other suggestions point to a larger issue, but stem from experiences in a driver’s regular commute.

One Speak Out Member suggested extending clearways beyond the usual hours to suit weekend and later evening congestion.

“The busiest roads in Sydney regions should have clearway hours extended to improve traffic flow,” one user wrote.

“I understand many local businesses will complain that this would cost them business, but how can the inconvenience to so many be ignored for the sake of a few?”

If you agree with this suggestion and are regularly caught up in bumper-to-bumper traffic at the same spot, pinpoint in on the interactive map and select the reasons that section of road annoys you.

Another Speak Out user suggested congestion on the Wakehurst Parkway could be eased by the construction of an overpass.

“This intersection causes so many peak hour delays. An overpass on either road would reduce travel times,” they wrote on Speak Out.

“Traffic is backed up every day in all directions and an overpass would solve all these problems.”

By dropping a pin on the Seeing Red on Roads map of the area you feel is the worst road in New South Wales, the NRMA can help in the fight to better roads across the state.

A recent funding boost in the federal budget saw $5.5 billion earmarked for road projects across the state, but NRMA President Kyle Loades said there was still a lot to be done to ensure those projects become a reality and Seeing Red on Roads was one way of keeping the government accountable.

“Following the Seeing Red on Roads campaigns over the past few years, we have seen some real progress from the NSW and Australian governments to upgrade some of the most dangerous sections of road in the State,” Mr Loades said.

“We also know that some of the most congested and dangerous areas on our roads are in suburban streets, intersections and roundabouts.”

It’s equally important to get an understanding of the rural and suburban roads that many of our Members drive on every day, so wherever you are in the state, get pinning and let us know about the road that makes you see red.

What road gets you most annoyed?

 

 

 

 

SPEAK OUT: Large objects in school zones a safety hazard

SCHOOL ZONE SAFETY: NRMA to champion Pittwater Council's initiative to ban large objects in school zones

SCHOOL ZONE SAFETY: NRMA to champion Pittwater Council’s initiative to ban large objects in school zones

A call from Pittwater Council to ban large objects being parked in school zones has received broad support on our interactive advocacy hub Speak Out and will become the second grassroots campaign the NRMA has championed since the site was launched last month.

Pittwater Council were concerned that trucks, caravans and motorhomes, together with objects like mobile billboards and boat trailers, were making it difficult for drivers to see clearly and made it dangerous for children and their parents to cross the road safely.

After the council submitted their suggestion through Speak Out, we surveyed almost 740 drivers on the issue and found that almost three-quarters believed that these objects were a safety hazard that impaired the driver’s vision.

READ MORE: Pittwater Council’s Speak Out submission.

Trucks parking in school zones was the major concern of drivers with 50% of respondents saying they cause reduced visibility, while caravans and motorhomes (21%), boat trailers (12%) and mobile billboards (11%) were also a concern.

Speak Out enables individuals and community groups to organise and mobilise around issues they want the NRMA to fight on their behalf. Others can then vote on whether they support the campaign or disagree with it.

Almost 84% of those who read Pittwater Council’s suggestion supported the campaign.

NRMA President Kyle Loades said there was overwhelming support for the Pittwater Council initiative on Speak Out and that the NRMA would take up the fight on behalf of the community.

“Large objects parked in school zones are a safety risk because it makes it harder for drivers to see children as they walk along footpaths or cross the street,” he said.

“If the large vehicles or objects are parked at the entrance points of the school zone they can also impair the view of the school zone sign – this could result in drivers not realising they are entering a school zone and creating a further safety risk for children.

“The NRMA survey shows drivers are concerned about this issue and when we put Pittwater Council’s initiative on our grassroots hub, Speak Out, it generated broad public support.”

Pittwater Mayor Jacqui Townsend welcomed NRMA’s support for their initiative and called for safety measures to be rolled out across the country.

“Safety in schools zones needs to be top of mind for communities across Australia. We are very pleased our initiative to ban the parking of large vehicles has the support of the NRMA and motorists nation-wide,” she said.

“Ultimately, we want to see national legislation that bans the parking of oversize vehicles in schools zones during school zone times which operate from 8am to 9.30am in the morning and 2.30pm and 4pm in the afternoon on school days.”

Have your say: Do you think large objects such as trucks, caravans, motorhomes and advertising trailers should be banned in school zones?

Half the Excise Duty is needed to fix up local roads

POT LUCK: The problem in regional NSW is even worse than Sydney with almost $3 billion needed.

POT LUCK: The problem in regional NSW is even worse than Sydney with almost $3 billion needed.

We renew calls for the Australian Government to return half of the fuel excise to fix roads. A $3.87 billion funding backlog is needed to bring NSW council roads up to a ‘satisfactory condition’.

The definition of ‘satisfactory condition’ is council’s estimated cost to bring the road to an acceptable standard. It does not include any planned enhancements to existing roads. It’s for the basics including fixing pot holes, repainting faded lines and gutters.

The NRMA report, Funding Local Roads used figures submitted by 152 NSW local councils to the NSW Government as part of their annual reporting obligations that summarised the money needed to fix local roads.

In metropolitan Sydney, councils have stated that $911 million was needed for road works while regional NSW councils needed $2.96 billion in funding.

Sydney metropolitan councils requiring the most money to bring their local roads up to a satisfactory condition were:

  • Liverpool – $149.6 million;
  • Ku-Ring-Gai – $110.3 million;
  • Sutherland – $67.9 million;
  • Hawkesbury – $62.6 million; and
  • Blacktown – $60.4 million.

NRMA President Wendy Machin said some local councils would take years to clear their backlog of roadworks at current funding levels.

“Some councils have no choice but to let bad roads get worse – the money is simply not there for them to fix roads within their boundaries,” Ms Machin said.

“It’s not the local councils who are to blame as the money they’re requesting isn’t for glitz and glamour – it’s for the basics including fixing pot holes, repainting faded lines and gutters.

“The problem in regional NSW is even worse than Sydney with almost $3 billion needed. Heavy rain can deteriorate local roads and this is why many regional councils are simply allowing previously sealed roads to turn to dirt.

“Fixing local roads also benefits the community as the cost of crashes to the NSW economy amounts to $2 billion each year.”

Funding Local Roads explores options to help clear the $4 billion needed to bring local council roads up to a satisfactory condition. These include a greater return to councils from the Australian Government’s fuel excise tax, increasing the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Backlog Fund and lower interest lending to councils.

Currently, $15 billion is collected by the Australian Government for all road users, from the fuel excise levy at a rate of 38.143 cents per litre for unleaded and diesel fuel purchases. Only 10 cents out of 38.143 cents collected from Australian motorists is returned to the road network.

Ms Machin said annual Australian Government investment in the NSW road network has varied between $3.6 billion and $6.2 billion over the past six years but more was needed.

“We are calling on the Australian Government to return at least half of the fuel excise tax collected into road funding and for a pre-determined allocation to go directly to local councils to help ease the $4 billion black hole that NSW councils are facing,” Ms Machin said.

What do you think? Do your local roads need investment?

Speak out!

New lane filtering laws from 1 July

filtering-lane

Did you know motorcycle lane filtering will be made legal in NSW on 1 July 2014?

From the start of July, New South Wales motorcyclists will be the first in the country to be legally allowed to lane filter. Transport for NSW‘s animation and further explanation below explains the new laws and shows how to lane filter safely.

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves alongside vehicles that have either stopped or are moving slowly (less than 30 km/h).

What motorcyclists need to know about safe lane filtering

  • Motorcycle lane filtering will be legal from 1 July 2014, with strict conditions
  • Motorcyclists must only lane filter when travelling less than 30 km/h
  • Motorcyclists can lane filter through stationary and slow moving traffic
  • Motorcyclists caught moving between traffic at over 30km/h  face heavy fines and three demerit points under a new offence called ‘lane splitting ’
  • It will be illegal for motorcyclists to lane filter:
    • next to the kerb
    • next to parked vehicles
    • in school zones
  • Motorcyclists should always look out for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Motorcyclists should not lane filter around heavy vehicles and buses
  • Only fully licensed motorcyclists are allowed to lane filter
  • Motorcyclists must only lane filter when it’s safe
  • Motorcyclists must comply with all existing road rules when lane filtering. This includes stopping before the stop line at a red traffic light or stop sign, never in front or over it.

Safety information for other road users

Motorists

Motorists should always check twice for motorcycles. Motorists should not deliberately move into the path of a motorcyclist who is lane filtering. To ensure safety, motorcyclists:

  • Are only allowed to lane filter when they are travelling less than 30 km/h
  • Are only allowed to lane filter when they do it safely
  • Should not be lane filtering around heavy vehicles and buses.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians should always check twice for motorcycles. Pedestrians should always cross at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights where they are available. To help protect the safety of pedestrians, motorcyclists:

  • Are being advised to always look out for pedestrians when lane filtering
  • Should not lane filter near buses
  • Should not lane filter near parked vehicles
  • Are not allowed to lane filter in school zones
  • Are only allowed to lane filter when it’s safe.

Cyclists

Cyclists should always check twice for motorcycles. To help protect the safety of cyclists, motorcyclists:

  • Are being advised to always look out for cyclists when lane filtering
  • Are not allowed to lane filter next to the kerb
  • Should not lane filter near heavy vehicles or buses
  • Should not lane filter near parked vehicles
  • Are only allowed to lane filter when it’s safe.

Are you confident you understand the new laws?

Lane filtering FAQs
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 Motorcycle lane filtering to be legalised in NSW – what does it mean? 

Public want education on morning after DUI

RBT

BIG HEADACHE: An RBT the morning after drinking could see you blowing over.

Do you ever get up the morning after a night out drinking and wonder if you’re alright to drive?

After a Member suggested there wasn’t enough information available on the dangers of driving drunk the morning after, the NRMA is calling for an education campaign about the risk for drivers.

The call prompted a survey of Members on the issue which found 90 per cent of people who drink believed there is not enough community education to help drivers monitor if they are over the blood alcohol limit the morning after drinking.

The survey found almost one-quarter (23%) know someone who was caught over the legal blood alcohol limit the morning after drinking, while almost 40 per cent (37%) have noticed an increase in RBT units in their local area on the mornings of weekends and public holidays.

Alarmingly, only 18 per cent of drinkers surveyed claimed they had a definite understanding about their blood alcohol limit the morning after drinking.

The NRMA also found that an average of eight drivers were booked for drink driving between the hours of 5am and 1pm every day in New South Wales.

“Being caught with a blood alcohol reading above the legal limit the morning after drinking is one of those issues Members worry about and we have seen some high profile cases this year,” NRMA President Wendy Machin said.

“Our Members don’t want to be caught inadvertently breaking the law and putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, but at the same time they feel there has not been enough information about how best to make sure it’s okay to drive – in essence they want to take the guessing out of what is a very serious issue.”

The NRMA survey on blood alcohol limits the morning after drink driving also found that when it came to the ways to reduce your blood/alcohol level and get alcohol out of your system quicker drinkers felt:

  •  Wait it out (57 %)
  •  Rehydrate by drinking lots of water (46%)
  •  Sleep (27%); and
  •  Eat a big meal or greasy food (14%).

While there is little public education around when best to know if it’s safe to get back in the car, the NRMA encourages its Members to wait one hour for every standard drink consumed the night before.

Do you think driving drunk the morning after is commonplace? Do you think you have before?

This campaign was kicked off after a Member suggested it on Speak Out, NRMA’s advocacy platform that enables individuals and community groups to organise and mobilise around issues they want the NRMA to fight for on their behalf.

Do you have an issue on motoring, roads or public transport that you feel passionately about and want NRMA to fight for on your behalf? 

Submit your campaign suggestion, or support another, by clicking here.