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Crashproofing Lives

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Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay has announced alcohol interlocks are to be made mandatory for high range and repeat drink drive offenders, in a bid to reduce the number of drink-driving offences.

High range drink driving is anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.150 or above. A repeat drink driver is some-one who has committed two PCA offences within 5 years.

Alcohol interlocks are an electronic device connected to the ignition of a vehicle preventing it from starting if the driver has been drinking, providing an effective physical barrier between drinking and driving.

Legislation will be introduced into Parliament next year, which also will provide for additional penalties for drivers who exceed their demerit point limit.

The decision to introduce alcohol interlocks follows a suggestion from NRMA Motoring & Services.

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Read More Alcohol interlock program to be mandatory to target high risk and repeat drink drivers>

Speed up your learning

The Safer Drivers Course is a combined theoretical and practical course for under 25 year-old learner drivers who have completed 50 log book driving hours.

The course has been developed by a board of independent road safety experts that considered the latest research in young driver safety and is specifically designed for young learner drivers.

The course involves a three-hour facilitated group discussion on how to manage risks on the road. The second part of the course is a two-hour in-vehicle coaching session to help learner drivers practise a range of safe driving behaviours.

Benefits of attending a Safer Drivers Course

The course aims to provide learner drivers with driving strategies such as speed management, gap selection, hazard awareness and safe following distances so they are more prepared when they drive unsupervised on their provisional licences.

The course also aims to help learners identify situations that will put them at greater risk of a crash and consider strategies that will help avoid them.

Gaining 20 hours of log book credit

After completing the course, a learner will receive 20 hours of credit in their log book, meaning they only need to complete 100 hours of supervised driving outside the course.

If they also do 10 hours of professional driving lessons, they’ll receive a further 20 hours of credit on top of the 10 hours they drive during the lessons.

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Read More Safer Drivers Course>

A Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokesperson today announced registration stickers are no longer being sent out with registration renewals.

“The change means registration stickers will no longer need to be displayed on light vehicles including motorcycles and trailers up to 4.5 tonnes from 1 January 2013,” the spokesperson said. “Customers will continue to receive registration renewal notices but from next year will no longer be inconvenienced by having to remove the old sticker and display the new one.  “RMS customers whose registration is due on 1 January or after will soon receive a flyer in their registration renewal reminding them a registration sticker is no longer needed. “Customers will notice there is no sticker in their registration renewal reminder. Further information on the change will be available on the reminder notice to help the community adjust seamlessly. “Vehicle owners who pay for their registration before 1 January will have already received their reminder which included a sticker. “These customers should use this new sticker when they renew their registration and leave it in place until new year’s day.

“The retirement of registration stickers will simplify the registration process for customers, significantly reduce costs for fleet operators and car rental companies and provide savings to the NSW Government and the community of about $575,000 per year.

“There is also the environmental benefit of reduced wastage of registration sticker stocks.

“There will be no change to the registration process other than the retirement of stickers and customers are reminded registration renewals will still need to be paid by the due date to avoid enforcement action. “Driving an unregistered vehicle is an offence and heavy penalties apply.

“Advances in camera enforcement technology will enable NSW Police and RMS to identify unregistered vehicles.

Read More No more registration stickers>

NSW has incorporated the Australian Road Rules and our local rules into a single set of NSW road rules. The July 2008 nationally agreed changes to the Australian Road Rules included some minor amendments to existing rules and new rules attracting fines and/or demerit points. From 1 November 2012, changes to NSW Road Rules will come into effect.

New Rules 01.11.12

  • Use of mobile phones
  • Pedestrians
  • Signalling at a Roundabout
  • U-Turns, and
  • ‘Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle Signs’ – are some of the changes.

Read More Road Rule change from 1 November 2012>

Triangular road markings or ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ are currently being installed at the entry points to all 10,000 school zones across New South Wales to improve road safety for students. The Dragon’s Teeth are an innovative $14 million initiative, announced by the NSW Government in May 2009, which is in addition to the comprehensive school zone road safety program. The Dragon’s Teeth program involves painting triangular line-markings on the road pavement for up to 32.5 metres at the start of each school zone. Dragon’s Teeth are already used internationally and are a clever and cost-effective way of keeping children safe.

Benefits of Dragon’s Teeth

The Dragon’s Teeth markings further increase the visibility of school zones for motorists and provide a constant reinforcement to keep to the 40 km/h speed limit around schools. Combined with the existing signs, flashing lights and painted ‘40’ pavement markings on the road, the dragon’s teeth will ensure motorists know when they are driving through a 40km/h school zone. Most school zones operate between 8am and 9.30am and from 2.30pm till 4pm. Children are often unpredictable and do not always act safely around traffic. The visibility of the Dragon’s Teeth road markers will help remind motorists to slow down to 40 km/h during school zone times to protect children and keep them safe. The slower speed in school zones lessens the risk of crashes. Where crashes do occur, they are less severe, especially for children. For example, a car travelling at 50kmh is twice as likely to kill a pedestrian than a car travelling at 40km/h.

Rollout of Dragon’s Teeth

There is a massive works program associated with the rollout of the Dragon’s Teeth. Since the first Dragon’s Teeth were installed at Penrith in September 2009, work has continued across NSW. The Dragon’s Teeth are being progressively installed at all 3,154 schools across the state with the work expected to be complete by the end of 2010.

Read More Coming to 40 kmh school zones>

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