Ivan Dean MLC
Wednesday 5 September 2007
TRAFFIC AMENDMENT BILL 2007
| Mr DEAN ( Windermere ) - Mr President, I
support the bill, and why would you not support a bill that is going to
improve road safety? But I wonder how serious DIER are in this instance
because, if we are talking about electronic signs - and this deals with
public places and also deals with public streets - what is the difference
between having one of these electronic boards in a public place or on
a road verge and having one across in a paddock, about 2 or 3 metres away,
on private property? No difference at all and, as I understand, it does
not cover that situation.|
Mr Parkinson - Yes, it does.
Mr DEAN - I did not think it did and the way I have interpreted it here, it covers on a public street or a public place. If it goes wider than that, then I would like to know more about it because that is not the way I read it.
Mr Parkinson - Apparently not. Apparently it does not.
Mr DEAN - No, it does not. I just wonder how serious we are because it is no different, Mr President, than if you have it on a road verge and you dropped it across into the paddock; motorists are still going to be wanting to read what is on those signs. You see it happening all the time, where motorists' attention is taken away from what they should be doing and that is driving, to look at a sign or to look at a feature, off onto the side of the road. I have been caught many times behind motorists doing that and I dare say everybody else has. I would not be the only one.
A good example of road hazards, and I just want to go one step further here, is vehicles being placed on the side of roads. I know this is electronic boards, but we also have vehicles being placed on the sides of roads for sale as well. The best example I can give, Mr President, is close to home again, on the West Tamar Highway, where there were frequently 40 to 50 vehicles being placed along the West Tamar Highway at Trevallyn with motorists stargazing and almost causing accidents and I think, in some case, they caused accidents. DIER now have taken the course of removing that hazard by placing signs there to keep these vehicles out of that area, as I understand it. It has been a source of annoyance for local government, of course it has, and very clearly that is the reason LGAT have been involved in this. But if we are going to be serious about this, we need to really look at preventing this from happening because people will now put them up on private property, just across the fence from where the sign previously was. So really it does not fix the problem, it simply moves it. That is all it does. I would stress to DIER the need to look at this. Police often raise the issue. We used to raise the issue of traffic hazards. A lot of those traffic hazards were placed on the road, or to the side of the road, causing people to lose concentration. Very clearly the police have a duty here and I think that they would be wanting to see these signs removed completely from the view of motorists in those situations. I would ask DIER to give some consideration to that. Whilst I am supporting this bill I do criticise it because it does not go far enough. They had the opportunity to do something more about it to ensure that it did not intrude on our motorists. To me it is a real problem and I would really would like to know why they did not look at that, because a fence is sometimes quite close to the road and the electronic sign can therefore be almost on the road.
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