Another day of disgrace for the Sydney road network

I certainly feel for those affected by the shutdown of the M5 East tunnel, and no apology from Eric Roozendahl can bring any sort of satisfaction to angry commuters who will be late for work today. You’d think that there’d be some sort of backup plan or system for such a complex tunnel network as the one that seems to be stuffed up today, as opposed to forcing motorists onto already clogged roads such as King Georges Rd and Bexley Rd.

Ray Hadley’s totally correct – we’re being run by a bunch of Muppets, and there are several million Statlers and Waldorfs booing and hissing every inept move that the government make.

Source: News Limited

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Sydneysiders can wash their cars properly again!!

I am ecstatic that the next time I wash my car, I can use a hose again! Following the slight easing of water restrictions by the State Government, householders can use trigger nozzles fitted to their garden hoses to wash their cars.

However, for some absurd reason, there is a naysayer in the form of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. Why is it absurd? Because to many people who, over the past 5 years, have had to resort to filling up buckets of water to throw over their cars, such a method actually uses more water than a trigger nozzle where the flow of water can be controlled. I would suggest that this move may actually decrease water usage in individual households, even if it may slightly increase overall usage because more people will return to the method after using car washes for several years.

It’s rare for me to praise the State Government, but this is one such time where praise is worth the effort.

Be a star in a reasonably priced car

One of the popular segments of the program Top Gear is when celebrities drive around the Top Gear test track in what Top Gear deems to be a reasonably priced car, a Chevrolet Lacetti (sold here as a Daewoo Lacetti before the Daewoo name vanished a couple of years ago).

Now you can drive the track thanks to this Flash based game – not necessarily the most realistic driving simulation, but a great, and potentially very addictive, time waster

Drink driving campaigns gone too far?

In my opinion, Australia has done a job that is second to none when it comes to raising awareness of the dangers of drink driving. Slogans such as “Drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot” are renowned for their simplicity and truth.

Californian police and teachers seem to be lagging a long way behind when it comes to educating teenagers at El Camino High School. There is no way that any responsible teacher would fake the deaths of high school students in order to scare their students away from drink driving, but El Camino’s teachers did just that, using this as the reasoning behind 26 students being absent from school. Add to that the grief that it caused some students, and you can only imagine that feeling turn to immense anger after being told it was a hoax.

The lack of contrition from the school is what disgusts me the most though. Why on earth would a guidance counsellor want the students at their high school to be traumatised over events that did not happen in the first place? If I were one of the “Dead” students, with a perfectly valid reason for being absent from school, I would be absolutely disgusted at the staff for allowing such fallacy to take place, which betrays the trust of all the students affected by the prank.

To a degree it’s almost like a reverse muck up day, only that the teachers at this school have gone way too far by exploiting students with the aim of preventing what is indeed a valid problem on roads all over the world. There are much more tasteful ways of ramming home the message that if you drink and drive, you deserve to be caught – that is, if you don’t die in the process.

Source: News Limited

Ferrari meets traffic light pole

This expensive prang happened in Perth – exhibit #2453 that having an ego can prove rather costly.

(h/t Autoblog)

Double demerit points

As the clock ticks over to midnight in about 6 hours, the holiday period of double demerit points starts on NSW roads.

And with that, even though I’ll be asleep, I’ll roll my eyes and wonder why. My opinion has nothing much to do with the fines, but the fact that with the ability to record extra demerit points, the RTA probably revels in its role as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to your driving record.

You can take fines to court if you believe them to be unwarranted, but you can never have the points removed through the same avenue, since the RTA refuses you right of appeal. Of course, I agree that there is merit in having some sort of points system to remind people of their driving responsibilities, but the notion and belief that doubling the points for a few days (and starting the whole exercise well before the long weekend actually starts – doesn’t it commence on Saturday, not Friday) is just daft.

I’ll certainly be driving safely over the next few days, but not because I fear facing twice the punishment from the mob who issue me with my license, but because there are other road users who don’t need me driving like a lunatic.

Has your GPS taken you off the beaten track?

Police have advised that the traditional road map or street directory is more effective at taking a motorist from Point A to Point B after revealing instances of having to rescue drivers who’d found themselves lost. Read News Limited’s story here.

I don’t have one myself, nor do I really see the cost effectiveness of one in favour of a street directory if I’m travelling around Sydney and its surrounds. I simply look it up, plot my path and if I forget where I need to go, I just pull over and check where I am. It’s not that much of an inconvenience, and at $25 to $30, it’s at least a tenth of the cost of a GPS unit. In my opinion it’s a no brainer – I’d pick a UBD, Sydway or Gregory’s every time.

If you use a GPS unit regularly, have you found yourself getting lost on the odd occasion, thus finding that to get to Point B you have to go on an epic adventure?