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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 through. there was problem. problem. Despite common knowledge of the far greater risk from drug use, not one word in the Prime Minister's package addressing that I have now suggested that some urgent attention be given to that Let me deal with other aspects of the Prime Minister's package such as the compulsory fitting of speed limiters to all heavy vehicles from July 1991. This is a fine proposal in relation to all new heavy vehicles and one that is suppor,ted by the industry, but a clause pertaining to the retro-fitting of the speed limiters for existing vehicles has problems. In the Northern Territory, most line haul vehicles are road tr.ains which are already speed limited to 85 km/h. Most other vehicles operate in an urban environment doing local deliveries where there are posted speed limits. Retro-fitting would be cost prohibitive for,many fleets and certainly it is not as tamper proof as systems fitted to new vehicles. Let me say on this subject that there is also a push from some areas for compulsory tachographs which, along with logbooks, I believe are a waste of time in relation to road safety. Both can be tampered with and distorted and every driver and trucking company in this country knows it. They may have a use as a management tool but, as a road safety measure, they amount to nothing. Well away from the problems of heavy transport is the matter of bicycle safety and the proposal for compulsory wearing of safety helmets. Current 1y, the Territory government is i nvo 1 ved ina safety educat ion campaign which is having great success at the primary school level and increasing success at secondary school level. We bel ieve our children should be educated first as to the merits of wearing bicycle helmets before any legislation should be considered. Legislation would pose some difficulties regarding enforcement. What are we to do with the offenders? Do we put them in jail, do we fine them, do we give them a smack on the hand or do we confiscate their play lunch? Itis ridiculous. We should educate the kids and educate their parents and I, think we are on the right track already. The introduction of daylight running lights for motorcyclists is another matter which I believe has not been given a great deal of thought. Automatically activated headlights may not be such a problem for new machines, but the proposal that they be Htted to all machines made in the past 10 years has problems. The batteries and alternators of these bikes were ~ot designed to provide power for daylight running. Thus, bikes would end up without headlights when they really needed them - at night. A complete electrical overhaul would be required and this would be extremely expensive. Then, there is the suggestion that back lighting at dusk with headlights on actually provides a danger to riders. These are factors which need consideration. This is the problem with the Prime Minister's lO-point plan: we are expected to accept these proposals, and to hell with the consequences, merely to get our hands on a few lousy dollars for road funding. So~utions for our road problems need to be practical, effective and enforceable. On that count, some of the items, in the Prime Minister's plan have merit. Obviously, any campaign to increase the enforcement of seat belt wearing and child restraint wearing has to be commended. Similarly, the Territory government ha s no problem in support i ng a one person, one 1 i cence concept for heavier vehicle drivers, although we have always made it clear that the Territory would not be party to any national points demerit scheme. We feel that would divert attention away from our real problem areas of alcohol abuse, the ~on-wearing of seat belts and other problems. 8785