Monday, 5 February 2018

School Zones

The Reasons that Children are Unreliable Pedestrians
As the school holidays wrap up, it’s a timely reminder to slow down on the roads, particularly around schools. To ensure the highest level of pedestrian safety, motorists must maintain a speed of no more than 40km per hour in these areas to help protect our kids.

According to a paper published by the Australian Automobile Association “Most child pedestrian deaths result from an error made by the child”, which is likely due to their unpredictable behaviour on, and near, roads. Children can be more at risk than adults due to number of developmental factors, including -
·       Poor ability to judge the distance and speed that a vehicle is travelling;
  • ·       Being more easily distracted by surroundings,
  • ·       Underdeveloped peripheral vision, meaning they cannot always see vehicles approaching;
  • ·       Vulnerability in regards to body size and strength in comparison to that of road traffic.

By slowing down in school zones, drivers give themselves more time to stop a car in an emergency situation. For example, if a child ran out onto the road without looking (as they are highly likely to do), a car travelling at 40km/h is more likely to be able to stop in time than a car travelling at 60km/h.
One of the factors affecting the efficiency of school speed zones is driver knowledge of where they are and when they are enforced, so be sure to make yourself aware. Follow this simple guide to school zones -
·       School zones are marked by road signs, pedestrian crossings and in many areas, flashing electronic signs or lights;
·       They operate Monday to Friday within school terms, including Staff Development/Student Free Days;
·       The standard school zone times are between 8am - 9:30am and 2:30pm - 4pm, but always read the signage as this may vary.

As a motorist, it is your responsibility to make sure you are aware of the road rules, your surroundings and that your car is kept in good working order. Ignorance is not an excuse. 
Contact us today for a complete safety inspection of your vehicle.

Monday, 4 December 2017

How Times Have Changed - Kids Today don’t know what they’re Missing!

If you grew up in the 1960s or 1970s it’s quite likely your family holidays involved a long car trip in the family station wagon, or Dad’s Datsun 180B. Only a lucky few went overseas for holidays. You may have gone interstate, but it would almost certainly be in the family car.
The most popular of the era being the Ford Falcon, Holden Kingswood, the good old Datsun (now Nissan) and the Toyota triplets; Corona, Corolla and Celica. 
Holden Kingswood wagon

We remember families chugging along the one-lane highway, often dragging a caravan along behind, avoiding potholes and hoping the overloaded car would make it up the next hill. (There’s nothing quite like breaking down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere on a 35-degree day!)

Ah those were the days!  Hours and hours of driving, with your thighs sticking to the vinyl, and the open window serving as air conditioning. No DVD players, iPods, no Bluetooth, no MacDonald’s.  You’d pass around the tin of barley sugar and entertain yourselves with lots of sing-a-longs, games of eye-spy while munching on squashed vegemite sandwiches.  

Kids usually sat on the bench seat in the back (with no seat belts required till sometime in the early 70s) and maybe one or two littlies squeezed in between Mum and Dad in front. If your aunty, uncle and cousins were coming along then the adults got the seats and the kids would lie down in the back of the station wagon lined up like sausages in a pan - often joined by the family dog. And heaven help you if you got carsick! 

With air-conditioning, smartphones and frappes at civilised rest stops during modern family car trips, kids today just don’t what they’re missing!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Tips for Instructing a Learner Driver

Do you have what it Takes?

It can be almost as nerve-wracking teaching someone to drive as it is learning to drive yourself.  To help both you and your learner driver we have listed what the legal requirements are, as well as some tips for making the experience as smooth as possible.

The essentials you need as a supervisor:

·                  A current full Australian driver licence 
·                  A good understanding of the road rules
·                  Be a competent driver
·                  Can effectively communicate information and ideas clearly
·                  Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of under 0.05
·                  Learner Driver Log Book – use this to record the student’s progress

Prepare yourself before you begin instruction
-       Read the latest edition of the Road Users Handbook and remind yourself of the rules of the road. Remember, things may have changed a lot since you learned to drive!
-       Review how you are driving you are after all a role model for your student. Make sure you are driving safely, obeying all the rules of the road, checking blind spots, and behaving respectfully towards other drivers.
Tips for when you are supervising:
-       If either your student or yourself are tired or stressed reschedule your lesson.
-       Begin with very short and frequent sessions on quiet streets.
-       Start teaching the easiest tasks first and only move onto harder ones once your student has mastered them.
-       Get into the driver’s seat and show your student how to do something before asking them to do it.
-       Both you and your student should discuss what’s happening on the road and what they should during the lesson.
-       Stay calm and positive – don’t criticise mistakes but explain what went wrong and ask them to try again.
-       Always give praise, even when your student is trying hard but may not necessarily have mastered a particular task.