Territory Stories

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 On the surface, the speed limits for heavy vehicles and the tachographs appear to be attractive. However, I have just read an article which indicates that such a system would cost the road transport industry $45m. I do not bel ieve that it is the answer to the problem. In the last 6 to 7 months, we have all been aware of the horrifying crashes which have occurred on the narrow New South Wales roads. These are old roads which were not designed to carry the volume of traffic they carry today. As the member for Jingili indicated, despite a massive increase in revenue for the federa 1 government. from exci se on fue 1, the fundi ng provi ded for the road systems has not increased proportionately. There has been a 333% increase in government charges on fue 1 since 1983 yet there ha s been no increase in funding for roads over that same period. The road systems in some states are in disarray. The roads are in disrepair, and they are dangerous. In many cases, it is not the speed at which vehicles are travelling that causes the accidents. It is the dangerous roads and the separation 1 imits between passing vehicles. Thi s was demonstrated by the horrifying bus and truck smash in New South Wales. Some dri vers have reported that, wi th the new buses that are swayi ng along the roads, the separation might be 9 inches and they are passing at speeds in excess of 100 km/h. It is horrifying. I have friends who deliberately sit in the middle of the lower deck on the left hand side when they are travelling by bus in New South Wales. I would not like to be travelling in those buses on those roads. The money is not being put back into the road system. It is as simple as that. That is the problem with the road trauma at the moment in the states and that is the problem whi ch needs to be addressed in the states. The federal government should not come to the Territory and tell us to reduce our speed limits in the great open spaces on the beautiful roads that we have built and it should not tell us to reduce the blood-alcohol level to 0.05%. The on ly places where surveil 1 ance coul d be undertaken properly would be in the metropolitan regions of Darwin and Alice Springs. It is difficult enough today to operate RBT stations on the main roads between Darwin and Alice Springs. As we have proved in the past, it does not work. It is a nonsense. The graduated 1 icensing system for young drivers with a zero alcohol limit for the first 3 years from 18 to 21 is nonsense also. Learner permits are to be for a minimum of 12 months from age 18 and the supervising driver must have had 3 years experience. There is probably some merit in a requi rement that a supervi sing dri ver shoul d have had 3 years experi ence before teaching other people to drive, but the rest of that proposal and proposal 7 are totally irrational. There is no justification and no evidence to indicate that they will achieve anything. Such proposals are merely designed to make the proposer look good. It is a bit like making it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets. It is motherhood and apple pie. It really sounds nice to put all the little kids in helmets. Do you put helmets on them when they are playing in the backyard? Do you put helmets on them when they swing on the monkey bars at school? Should they wear helmets when they are running around the school oval? I have some great fears about thi s. It is supposed to achi eve wonders but no research has been done. We know what happened with motorcycles. The flash helmets that motorcycle riders wear these days were designed specifically for racing car drivers. They have full cheek pads, are rounded at the head and have a small eye piece. These were designed so 8802

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