Road Safety Blog

Mud on the Road

With the wetter Winter weather, there are increasing reports of mud causing a hazard on local roads. Mud can be a significant hazard to other motorists and can result in serious and even fatal collisions. Persons creating this hazard are responsible for cleaning up mud dropped on public roads by their vehicles and livestock. Fines can apply.

What can you do?
1. Clean the mud from vehicles as much as possible before they are taken onto the road. The fact that cleaning mud off vehicles might be inconvenient may not be a defense in law.
2. Use your own farm roads whenever possible.
3. Keep to low speeds to help retain mud on the vehicle, especially when only travelling a short distance.
4. Clean the road as necessary during the working day and always at the end of the working day.
5. Between cleans, erect appropriately positioned signage to warn other road users about the hazard.

Vehicle operators, contractors and farmers who deposit mud on the road are potentially liable for a range of offences. This guidance note is not a complete statement of the law or of your responsibilities and possible liabilities.

Muddy

Long Weekend Road Safety Tips

5 June 2020

Over the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday many families may be considering a road trip in and around our region.

One of the most dangerous things we can do on our trip is to get behind the wheel while fatigued.

The constant torment of ‘are we there yet’ from the back seat may be enough for some drivers to remain alert, however we encourage motorists to consider the following tips before setting off:

  • Do not drive if you are already feeling tired.
  • Avoid travelling long distances after a long flight.
  • Ensure you regularly get enough sleep before travelling.
  • Avoid driving at the high risk times (during normal sleep times).
  • Take frequent breaks (a rest break every 2 hours is recommended).
  • If you’re feeling sleepy, stop immediately. A short nap of 10-20 minutes can prevent some fatigue.
  • Allow time to recover before continuing.
  • Share the driving task with others.

Motorists should also ensure their vehicles are well serviced and in good condition prior to departure.

Enjoy the long weekend and keep you and your loved ones safe on our roads.

Slippery When Icy

4 June 2020

Tasmania is a great place to explore with beautiful scenery changing landscapes and roads that make for a great journey - but conditions can take you by surprise.

As summer turns towards the colder months it brings with it colder temperatures, unstable weather, and potentially dangerous driving conditions. Dealing with low visibility in rainy and foggy weather, battling icy roads, snow, and even just starting the car on cold mornings – the list of winter road hazards can be extensive.

Luckily, we have a few tips for winter driving.

Slow down - Wet, icy roads can greatly impact your car's ability to slow down. Reducing your speed is the number-one way you can counteract any close-calls.

Use your headlights - In areas of low visibility drive with your lights on low beam, and if you are forced to stop for any reason be sure to use your hazard lights

Following distance - Keep an appropriate following distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you as slippery conditions will affect your stopping distance.

Avoid sudden braking and turning - Take it easy on your brakes. Avoid hazards by braking gradually before you reach corners and remember to leave early so you will not be inclined to rush.

Check your vehicle before departing – Check your car and make sure everything is working. The older the tyres the more likely they will struggle on slippery roads.

Clear your windscreen – Your car windscreen is more likely to fog over in cold weather. To avoid this, turn on your heater to melt the ice before your leave. A towel can also be left over the windscreen at night.

Remember to drive to the conditions this winter season and pay attention to the warning signs about hazardous conditions to ensure you enjoy a safe journey on our roads.

slippery

High Beam Headlights

1 June 2020

With the longer nights during the winter months in Tasmania, it is worth thinking about the best ways to stay safe on the road - especially in times of poor visibility.

When should you use your high beams?

Whenever you are driving at night, on an empty road with no street lights, it is advised that you use your high beams so that you can see ahead and watch for any obstacles.

When shouldn't you use your high beams?

The Tasmanian road rules say that you are not allowed to switch on your high beams if there are any vehicles less than 200 metres ahead of you, whether they are driving in the same direction or on the other side of the road.

You should also not use your high beams when it is raining heavily, or in thick fog as high beams can reflect back in this type of weather and make seeing even more difficult.

What else should I know?

It is a good idea to test your high beams every now and then just to make sure they are working properly and won't let you down when you need them.

Headlights

Fatality Free Friday

Zero Deaths on Australian Roads for Just One Day.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Road safety is a complex issue, but the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) believes that if drivers consciously think about road safety and safe driving for just one Friday in the year, that day’s toll – statistically about 5.3 deaths – could be reduced to zero.

That’s our aim. Not a single road death in Australia for just one day. Just one Fatality Free Friday.

The Community Road Safety Committee and ARSF believe that if drivers are asked to actively concentrate on road safety and safe driving for just one day in the year, they’ll drive safer for the next few days too and, over time, change their outlook completely, consciously thinking about safety each and every day they get behind the wheel.

Take the Pledge to Drive Safely

  • Always be fit to drive
  • Stay focused on the road
  • Scan the road ahead
  • Keep a safe distance
  • Drive to suit the conditions

The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) is a not for profit organisation dedicated to reducing road fatalities and injuries.

Wildlife on our Roads

Every year thousands of native animals are killed on Tasmanian roads. Collisions between wildlife and motorists on the roads is not only a concern for injured or killed wildlife but can also be huge safety concern for drivers and passengers.

As we head into winter most of us will drive to and from work closer to the dawn and dusk hours when our wildlife is most active. Please take extra care when driving during these times to help avoid a collision.

Handy tips on how to keep yourself and our native wildlife safe when driving.

  • Be aware – animals are more active near waterholes and creeks, and harder to see at sunrise and sunset
  • Reduce your speed – slow down when you see animal warning signs
  • Stay alert – animals are unpredictable, so expect the unexpected
  • Brake safely – always apply your brakes in a controlled manner
  • Never swerve – it is safer to hit an animal than swerve and lose control of your vehicle

If you come across sick or injured wildlife contact the Injured and Orphaned Wildlife Program 6465 4305 (business hours) or Bonorong Wildlife Rescue 0447 264 625 (all hours).

To report wildlife killed on our roads download the Roadkill TAS App at https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/save-the-tasmanian-devil-program/about-the-program/roadkill-project/roadkill-tas-app.

wildlife

Use Your Head - Wear a helmet

It's uncomfortable and hot. It messes up my hair. It isn't cool. I'm only going a short distance. I'm not going to fall, so I don't need one.

These are just a few of the reasons people (children and adults!) give for not wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard. But wearing a bike helmet isn't just smart – it’s also the law.

  • Set a good example by following the rules of the road yourself. Bike helmets should be mandatory for all the family!
  • Bike helmets protect against brain injury, so make sure you wear a correctly fitting helmet on every ride.
  • Is your helmet comfortable? If it is uncomfortable, it’s likely you’re wearing a helmet that doesn’t fit.
  • A helmet will help you be seen. A light coloured, or reflective helmet can help motorists and pedestrians see you on the road

A helmet is an inexpensive piece of equipment that could save your life one day!

Whether you are riding on the road, playing on the new Railton Pump Track or blazing your way down the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails we encourage you to share this article to your family and friends and encourage a safer, active environment for us all.

helmet

Why Report A Near Miss?

What is a near miss?

A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury or accident but had the potential to do so. As road users we generally do not report near misses – after all, no one was hurt!

However, if an accident or damage had occurred the incident would have been reported to Tasmania Police and an investigation could have been carried out.

Why is reporting near misses important?

Near misses can be regarded as early warning signs that something may be wrong somewhere. A record of near misses at location could lead to corrective action that may prevent more serious injuries or accidents at that location in the future.

A near miss is your early warning system. Don’t wait for an accident or injury before your act – To report a near miss in Tasmania contact Tasmania Police on 131 444 or tasmania.police@police.tas.gov.au; Kentish Council at council@kentish.tas.gov.au or 6491 0200; or, Latrobe Council at council@latrobe.tas.gov.au or 6426 4444.

Keep Your Load Off the Road

Unsecured loads can cause damage, serious crashes and death by falling onto the road and into the path of other vehicles.

Road users carrying a load either on the back or top of a vehicle or trailer must make sure it does not move, flap, sway or blow off.

When towing a light trailer, the rear overhang distance (ROH) should not exceed 3.7 meters.

Cover, restrain or store items securely to prevent damage, a serious crash or a fine. Always remember that your life and the life of others relies on proper load restraint.

For information on how to accurately calculate the ROH or secure your load visit https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/172490/Carrying_Loads_-_Information_Bulletin-_July_.pdf

keep your load

Leave Your Phone Alone

Any good driver can quickly become a bad one – all it takes is a glance at your phone.

Good drivers – which most people think they are – don’t use their phone while driving.

Inattention and distraction while driving is contributing factor in about a quarter of serious road crash casualties (fatalities and serious injuries) in the past five years.

Many of us think that driving while texting or using the phone isn’t dangerous. We consider ourselves good drivers who are experienced and skilled enough to drive and use their phone.

We can’t. No one can drive and use their phone at the same time. It is never safe to do it and in the few seconds we take our eyes off the road, a crash can happen.

Don’t be a goose. Leave your phone alone and drive so others can survive.

goose

Factor the Tractor

It’s approaching the harvesting season in much of the North West Coast, and this means slow moving tractors, crop harvesters and more heavy machinery on our roads particularly in rural areas.

Both Kentish and Latrobe have significant areas of primary production farmland that see high volumes of farm machinery on the roadways.

Farmers play an important role in our community; not only do they grow the food we eat, but chances are they are our friends or family.

So, when you’re in driving in through rural areas, please slow down and always ‘Factor the Tractor!’

CRSC

School Holiday Road Safety Tips

Over the school holidays many families may be considering a road trip in and around our region to beat the holiday boredom.

One of the most dangerous things we can do on our trip is to get behind the wheel while fatigued.

The constant torment of ‘are we there yet’ from the back seat may be enough for some drivers to remain alert, however we encourage motorists to consider the following tips before setting off:

  • Do not drive if you are already feeling tired.
  • Avoid travelling long distances after a long flight.
  • Ensure you regularly get enough sleep before travelling.
  • Avoid driving at the high risk times (during normal sleep times).
  • Take frequent breaks (a rest break every 2 hours is recommended).
  • If you’re feeling sleepy, stop immediately. A short nap of 10-20 minutes can prevent some fatigue.
  • Allow time to recover before continuing.
  • Share the driving task with others.

Motorists should also ensure their vehicles are well serviced and in good condition prior to departure.

Enjoy the school holidays and keep you and your loved ones safe on our roads.