THE rollout continues.

May 19th, 2009

Peter Olsen is beavering away installing his "check speed" flashing lights at school zones.

Big deal.... all you do is put a post in the ground, pour in a bit of quick set concrete, add the lights and presto.

If only it was that simple.

What about the hours needed to select sites and then persuade homeowners to allow the light/sign units in their front yard.

Every driver passing through the schoolzone with Peter's lights would appreciate the fact that are there, but how many of these drivers would allow them in their front yard.

HOW EASY WOULD IT BE IF THERE WAS COMMON SENSE, AND THE SAME LIGHTS COULD BE PUT ON THE RTA SCHOOLZONE SIGNS.



XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

MEDIA RELEASE

15 May 2009

DENISTONE EAST PUBLIC SCHOOL GETS SCHOOL ZONE FLASHING LIGHTS

School zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen today announced that school zone flashing lights have been installed at Denistone East Public School.

I recently announced that Ryde Council had approved the installation of privately funded flashing lights. The first set of lights has now gone live, at Denistone East Public School.

The P&C had contacted the local member, Victor Dominello, about the possibility of having flashing lights installed on Lovell Rd. Mr Dominello in turn contacted me and arrangements were made to install the lights. Installation commenced as soon as Council approval was received.

Home owners in the vicinity of other schools in the area have been canvassed in relation to hosting signs on their properties. It is anticipated that the installation of lights at several of those schools will commence shortly.

For more information contact Peter Olsen, 0414-538-404.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

No doubt the thought in RTA headquarters is that Peter will eventually give up.

I don't think so.

Someone who spent countless hours on his Christmas light show (google Lurgano xmas lights ) is not one to give up go away.

Back to base.

May 1st, 2009

I did some work in Cedar st Lurgano earlier this week, and passed through two school zones that have Peter Olsen's "home made" flashing lights telling all and sundry that it was school zone time.

These cheap lights have been working flawlessly much to the delight of locals and through traffic alike, for over two and a half years.

This afternoon I passed by one of the RTA favoured systems in Taren Point rd and took this photo.

The overhead flashing light unit was out... AGAIN (see category "About faulty flashing lights")

Luckily there is a spare independent unit as backup, and as the RTA favoured systems have the handy fault reporting "back to base" feature it should be repaired soon .....

The one that was working does so at a pathetically slow rate.

They flash too slowly to attract attention.

Maybe the thinking is that if it flashes slowly the bulb's last longer.

The snowball is getting bigger.

April 29th, 2009

There are people that enthusiastically start on a well intentioned mission, and after a while the whole idea becomes too hard, and they do what everybody expects them to do, give up and fade away.
Not our Peter Olsen, he knows what he is doing he is right. He has proved that cheap effective flashing warning lights can be installed at school zones.

The RTA thought he would go away.

From the Newcastle Herald.

.........................................................................

Hunter parents sick of waiting for school lights
BY ALISON BRANLEY
29/04/2009 4:00:00 AM

HUNTER parents fed up with waiting for the State Government to install flashing lights outside school zones are paying to install their own sets.

Minmi Public School this week became the first school in the region to have lights independently installed in time for the start of term two.

The move has been backed by the Parents and Citizens Association Hunter Council, and other schools are expected to follow Minmi's lead.

Earlier this month it was revealed fewer than one in 10 Hunter school zones was fitted with flashing lights to alert drivers of the 40 kmh speed limit.

Parents and Citizens Association Hunter Council member Clarice Hamling took up the cause after growing frustrated with attempts to get flashing lights at schools.

She got the signs from a Sydney firm and secured support from Newcastle and Maitland councils.

The signs read "check speed" and have flashing lights, but are not official RTA signs.

LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE: Clarice Hamling, Jodie Cartwright and Emily, 9, and Evan Clarke, 8, below the new lights installed near Minmi Public School yesterday.- Picture by Kitty Hill

Schools wanting to install the signs must get permission to erect them on nearby private properties as they are not allowed to use RTA land.

Parents at Minmi Public School were keen to get the signs after the RTA said the street outside their school was not busy enough to qualify for them even though it is a main road.

The school also has a crossing just over the top of a blind crest that is used by many of its 116 students.

Trucks regularly travel the road to and from a coalmine and quarry.

Parents and Citizens Association president Jenny Clarke said drivers would drive past at more than 60 kmh, even though outside the 40 kmh zone the limit was 50 kmh.

"There have been many near misses," she said.

The NSW Government has promised 400 sets in NSW over the next four years, including nine in the Hunter.

Schools with inquiries can phone: 0419 601 322.

Lights man riles RTA

April 20th, 2009

From the Fairfield City Champion. ( 8/04/2009 )

" PETER Olsen is a man on a mission to light up the lives of drivers passing schools.

The 51-year-old grandfather, a former computer programmer, is working towards reducing the number of road accidents in school zones in the area by having set up 11 flashing signs for motorists passing school zones.

They are at Fairfield West and Canley Heights public schools on the Cumberland Highway, Bossley Park High School on Prairievale Road, and Cartwright and Green Valley primary schools in the Liverpool area. And Mr Olsen would like to install another five.

The lights have been funded by Brydens Law Group, Liverpool, whose staff had read about Mr Olsen's work in other Sydney suburbs."

" An RTA spokesman said such lights would not have cost the RTA $1.5million and they did not meet standards.

They were too small, could be obscured by shrubbery, are difficult to see from the road, run off a power cord from private homes, carry only a single message, do not alert motorists to school zones."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Well Mr RTA spokesperson if you swallowed your pride and use the technology that Peter gave you for free, the same technology that has worked flawlessly for years at Lurgano/Peakhurst schools keeping the kids safe, then he wouldn't be doing your job.

This is a Olsen flashing light set working in Peakhurst.
NB. the cars's brake lights.

Of course the lights Peter is installing now are on private property, and for the best effect need to be on the school zone signs, but the RTA would send 10 blokes in three trucks to tear them down as they did before, untill adverse publicity and 2GB's Alan Jones got involved.
................................................................................

"could be obscured by shrubbery," is one reason to rubbish Peter's CHECK SPEED lights.

From this website archives 16/01/07

"This one with the young trees in front (which will only grow bigger), hide this even more expensive flashing light set, and on the road divider is, you guessed it, another sign, highly visible from way up the road.( even back as far as Park St.)

A close up of this sign is a couple of pages back

What can I say.
......................................................................

The RTA did solve the above obscuring tree problem, they took an axe to them very soon after I mentioned it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The RTA is moving from Surrey Hills to North Sydney and are spending a reported $1,000.000, yes 0ne million on new chairs.


http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/800608/rta-spends-23-million-on-office move
_______________________________________________________________________

Peter Olsen askes a question in today's press realease

___________________________________________________________________________

MEDIA RELEASE

20 April 2009


WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR $1,000?

one of these.

or one of these.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter has been busy

April 15th, 2009

Last December Peter Olsen said to the Roads Minister that he would put up his warning lights at school zones and true to his word in sun and rain he is doing just that.

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Campaigner shines light on road safety

BY JIM GAINSFORD St George and Sutherland Shire Leader
15/04/2009 4:00:00 AM

SCHOOL Zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen has installed a set of his homemade school zone flashing lights outside Brighton-Le-Sands Public School at the request of the school's P&C.

The lights have been installed on private property at either end of the school zone in Crawford Road so they can't be removed by the RTA.

P&C president Chris Lloyd said the school community felt more secure now the lights had been installed.

"The lights will alert drivers that they are entering a school zone and to take care,'' he said.

"That's all we ask.''

Mr Olsen has also installed 11 sets of his lights in the western suburbs and has orders for another 10 sets.

He also has orders from Newcastle and Lismore.

"In St George I've got approval from home-owners to install the lights on private property at each end of the school zone on Bay Street Brighton, at West Botany Street, Rockdale, and at Forest Road, Arncliffe.

"I'm now looking for sponsorship from local businesses of $1000 per sign.

"Once installed they will cost the grand total of 70 cents per year to run which covers electricity and maintenance.''

Mr Olsen said his original signs at Peakhurst and Lugarno had been running for more than two years with zero maintenance cost and 100 per cent reliability.

"The RTA has said its lights cost $13,000 each but they are spending $46.5million for 400 school zones equalling $58,000 per sign.''

An RTA spokesman said it prioritised locations for flashing lights on a risk basis based on crash history, prevailing speed limit, existing road safety measures and the visibility of the school from road.

``RTA flashing lights have been evaluated and selected for reliability and effectiveness and have a back to base component that immediately notifies the RTA of failures therefore reducing the potential risk to students,'' the spokesman said.

Businesses can sponsor Mr Olsen's school zone flashing lights by contacting him on 0414538404 or at www.

schoolzonelights.com.au.

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ICAC probes RTA's corruption

April 2nd, 2009



From today's Telegraph

ICAC probes RTA's corruption

A STRING of senior RTA executives, including former CEO Les Wielinga, were named in a NSW Ombudsman report which has been referred to the state's corruption watchdog.

Google "icac railcorp" too, and see how our taxes are wasted there, and see my "Railcorp waste" category for a bit of Cronulla mismanagement of taxpayer funds.

Hype?

April 1st, 2009

An email from Bill,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill"

Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:52 PM
Subject: Olsen Lights at Fairfield West

>
> Hi Santa
>
> Not sure what you and Mr Olsen are doing here.

> I have a close relationship with the incident at Fairfield West Public School yesterday and I am concerned that you may not be telling everybody the complete truth about Mr Olsens fabulous "lights".
> I went out to see Mr Olsen install his lights today (as he promised)and there was no sign of him all afternoon. I really wanted to meet him and discuss his ideas.
> Are these lights actually installed in the areas that he stated in his release or is this another media hype?
> The only person I saw all day was an RTA fellow who was very wet from standing in the rain watching the traffic and making notes.
>
> At least the RTA made an effort to turn up and investigate what had happened to the child yesterday.
> I think for the moment, I'll stay with the RTA flashing lights. They seem to actually care about the public. Mr Olsen was nowhere to be seen today despite his media statements and promises.
>
> **This messages was sent via the email form on your blog.**

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for your email Bill.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote "Not sure what you and Mr Olsen are doing here." assuming perhaps that Peter and I are out to get into the public purse, far from it, we're into common sense

I reason I dressed up a in a Santa suit at school zones, was to try an publicise the need for flashing lights at school zones to help make drivers aware of WHEN it's school zone time.

The fact that that the school zone variable speed cameras at Kogarah made $6.5 million in one year (2003/2004) in fines, proves something wasn't working.

I stood in my santa suit morning and afternoon at the Kogarah school zone all February '05 (see archives) willingly, and again at that bullshit school zone at Beverly Hills, at my own cost to prove a point.

Peter Olsen saw that the RTA was spending millions on a few fancy flashing lights units, and he proved AT HIS OWN EXPENCE in Lurgano and Peakhurst, that he could do the same job (slowing drivers in school zones) at a fraction of the cost of those used by the RTA.

By the way I would assume the RTA man you mention taking notes yesterday was being well paid for his time.

Why do something like taking notes in the rain AFTER an accident, put up cheap lights at all schools and help PREVENT accidents.

No that's too easy.

Peter installed flashing lights at five schools originally, which the RTA tore down, only then being forced to leave up when Alan Jones had the roads Minister Mr Roozendaal on his show.

The style of lights working at Peakhurst, the technology Peter Olsen gave to the RTA, that they won't use for some reason.

Peter proved that lights don't have to cost millions to do the same job as cheaper versions.

Peter gave the technology at no cost for the RTA to use, but I have a suspicion that because Peter embarrassed the RTA in having to leave them at the Lurgano/Peakhurst schools, they won't use his idea on principle.

So the RTA is putting up their over priced, over engineered lights (see about Category "about faulty flashing lights") at 100 schools a year so that means at that rate my great great grandchildren might see the last school in NSW get them.

I say might, because our current Roads Minister said that "too many flashing lights desensitize drivers."

I was there when he made this statement at Peakhurst Dec.08

Even though Peter wasn't there yesterday, there would be a good reason, rest assured that he is only trying to make school zones safer for kids and better for drivers, not to line his pockets.

I'm sure if you email Peter see www.schoolzonelights.com.au he'll answer any questions you have.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Update April 2
An email from Bill

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 4:13 PM
Subject: Re: Olsen Lights at Fairfield West

Thanks Hans

Good talking with you.
I'll have a look at Peter's website as well.

Bill

One day too late.

March 31st, 2009

30 March 2009

NEAR TRAGEDY IN SCHOOL ZONE
SCHEDULED FOR FLASING LIGHTS
In a media release issued last Monday, school zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen revealed the
names of the first 5 schools to receive private flashing lights thanks to sponsorship by Brydens
Law Group.

One of those schools is Fairfield West Public School on Cumberland Highway.
Today on 2GB there was a report that a child had been hit by a car, outside this very school.

This school was to have Peter Olsens warning lights installed today but because of a supply problem, will get them installed tommorrow.

This school isn't even on the list for RTA lights and how sad for this school child that Peters lights weren't there today.

We have a problem

March 29th, 2009

I'm sorry this website has developed a problem where images aren't appearing on pages.
You might see a little red cross in a box instead.
Kerry is at this moment diligently working away rectifying this glitch.

Thanks Kerry.

www.schoolzonelights .com .au news release

March 24th, 2009

N E W S R E L E A S E

NEXT 5 SCHOOLS SELECTED FOR FLASHING LIGHTS
Tuesday 24 March 2009
School zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen today announced the next 5 school zones to be
fitted with flashing lights as part of the private school zone lights installation program.
Mr Olsen said the roll out of the flashing light technology is part of the joint commitment with
Brydens Law Group to improving safety in 10 school zones over the next two months.
?Nothing?s more important than the safety of our kids and our focus is on making their travel to
and from school as safe as possible.
?That?s why we?re getting on with the job of delivering on our promise to roll out flashing light
technology in the western suburbs to slow people down in 40kmh school zones.
?I have now installed flashing lights in 6 school zones and I?m pleased to announce the next five
locations for the installation of flashing lights.
?Installation will start this week in school zones in the Liverpool and Fairfield areas,? he said.
Mr Olsen said the remaining 5 zones targeted for funding by Brydens will be announced later in
the month.
?The selection of new school zone sites for flashing lights is based on various criteria including
requests submitted by schools, the availability of suitable installation locations, crash risk, traffic
and pedestrian volumes, speed limits, road environment and visibility.
?This is to ensure we install flashing lights at those schools that need or want them most.
?The majority of motorists try to do the right thing but because of the lack of flashing lights at
97% of school zones, responsible drivers regularly speed through them without meaning to,
thereby placing the lives of children at risk.
?Children are among our most vulnerable road users and travelling at even 5kmh over the speed
limit can double your risk of having a crash,? he said.
Mr Olsen said the flashing lights program was implemented in January to get people to slow down around schools and is supported by revenue from private sponsors.
Contact: Peter Olsen (0414 538 404)

School Zone Alert Systems ? 5 Sites for March Installation
School Name(s) Road Name Suburb
1 Bossley Park High School Prairie Vale Road Bossley Park
2 Canley Vale Public School Cumberland Highway Canley Heights
3 Cartwright Public School Cartwright Avenue Cartwright
4 Fairfield West Public School Cumberland Highway /
Hamilton Rd
Fairfield West
5 Green Valley Public School Green Valley Rd Green Valley
.......................................................................

Isn't it sad that a private citizen has to voluntarily go out and install flashing lights at schools.

The RTA/State Government although aware that school zones fail both in children's safety and confuse drivers, refuse to use a proven affordable version of flashing lights that would light up all NSW school zones at a fraction of cost of preferred technology.

Peter freely gave the RTA the technology to the RTA to use, but no they want to go with really good (See "about faulty flashing lights" category) "state of the art" overpriced, over-engineered systems.

We are not alone

March 22nd, 2009

In the Graffiti category I posted a bit about a shop wall in Kirrawee, where a mural has been painted in a graffiti style.

Well it appears I'm not the only one that thinks this "mural" is inappropriate as a graffiti deterrent.

Maybe now it will be suitably redone.

The mess that is School zones

March 11th, 2009

Today Tonight on Ch 7
http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com/article/5384063/general/school-zone-fines
there was an item about school zones, which backs Peter Olsen's "40kmh anomalies" on www.schoolzonelights.com.au. where he points out what a mess school zones are.

There are so many inconsistencies with the placing of school zones.

March 9th, 2009

Council Desperation

These two photos show the lengths that some Councils are going to in an attempt to protect school children in their area. The phone number on the trailer is that of Bankstown City Council.

From my email inbox

I thought that I'd let you know what the Bankstown City Council are doing to raise driver awareness around the Padstow Park Public School in Faraday Rd Padstow. Please find attached, a photo of their version of the "flashing sign". This week it is in the westbound direction (facing Revesby) and last week, the eastbound direction. Last time it was there about 5 months ago, I think it was the RTA who put it there as there was no "Bankstown City" signs on it, and it was immediately removed, ( i.e. same day, and before the afternoon zone's time) after I rang in to let Mike Carlton know it was there, in response to a number of calls about such signs being needed on the Northern Beaches. I suggested that Padstow was "Labor heartland" and that the Northern Beaches should expect the same level "of service".
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks David

I think it would be cheaper to have flashing lights on the school zone signs, but untill the RTA get's it act together........

Good for some.

March 2nd, 2009

Today the NSW Road Minister Mr Dalley announced a new "fairer" demerit point system.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25123834-5001021,00.html

(highlight whole link and drag into browser)

Proposed new points system

Up to 10 km/h 1 demerit point and $81
Between 11 km/h and 20 km/h 3 points and $180
Between 21 km/h and 30 km/h 4 points and $324

Between 31 km/h and 45 km/h over the limit, three months suspension $621 and 5 points.

It WILL help unwary drivers that blissfully cruise through a speed camera a few kilometers over the speed limit, but go through a school zone at the "out of school zone time" speed and you can be 10, 20, or 30 km/h over.

Then you cop an even larger fine than now, plus the points.

Flashing lights at all school zones could be the answer.
______________________________________________________________________

Point to point speed cameras

Mr Dalley on the Chris Smith show on 2GB wouldn't promise that cars wouldn't be included in the point to point speed camera system proposed for trucks.

Don't you believe it, after it's up and running for trucks, the RTA/GOV after a couple of bad, highly publicised accidents will "reluctantly, in the interest of public safety" use them also for cars.

And who will criticize them for trying to make the road safer.

T
The roads minister said on the Ray Hadley show this morning (3/3/09)that there was no plan to include cars but if that happens he'd announce it on Ray's show.
_________________________________________________________________
MEDIA RELEASE

27 February 2009

PRIVATE SCHOOL ZONE LIGHTS ROLLOUT COMMENCES

On 28 January 2009 school zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen announced the installation of flashing lights at Sophie Delezio's school. He also announced that similar lights would be made available to any other school in NSW that wanted them, through private sponsorship.

Today Mr Olsen has has released details of the first major sponsorship deal and the commencement of the rollout of private flashing lights to other schools.

"I am pleased to announce that Brydens Compensation Lawyers have generously offered to fund the installation of 20 sets of flashing lights at 10 schools in the Liverpool / Fairfield / Blacktown areas", Mr Olsen said.

"Brydens' CEO Paul Brandalise contacted me following the installation of the lights at Sophie's school. That led to a a meeting being held last week at which a deal was struck.

"The value of the deal in terms of what it saves the taxpayer is around $1.5M, when compared with what the RTA is spending.

"On 18th December 2006 the RTA awarded a tender for $1.475M for the installation of the exact same number of flashing lights, as part of the RTA's 2007 trial of flashing lights at 100 schools.

"Details of the tender are on the RTA's web site at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/tenderscontracts/contractsawarded/roadsafety/less/200704211552032182.html

"Confirmation that it was for 10 sites only is at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/newsevents/2006_11_schoolzones.html

"The total dollar value of the deal is $20,000 for the 20 sets of lights, which puts paid to the RTA's claim at http://www.schoolzonelights.com.au/media2009-01-28rta.pdf that reliable flashing lights cannot be installed for $1,000. The technology is the same as has been operating in Peakhurst and Lugarno with 100% reliability and zero maintenance cost for the past 2 years.

"The fact that a firm of lawyers is sponsoring the lights is significant because it confirms that there are no legal issues with them.

Unlike the RTA, Mr Olsen is also offering to include schools in the decision-making process for the selection of flashing light sites.

"According to the Roads Minister the RTA bases its selection criteria on "crash history and risk, traffic and pedestrian volumes, speed limits, road environment and visibility"", Mr Olsen said. "No mention is made of any input from schools and no account is taken of the near misses that schools and parents are aware of but that do not show up on RTA statistics.

"Many schools and parents have contacted me to complain that their pleas to the RTA for flashing lights at their schools have fallen on deaf ears.

"Schools, parents and teachers in the Liverpool, Fairfield and Blacktown Council areas are hereby officially invited to nominate school zones that they believe are most in need of flashing lights and their views will be taken into account. Requests can be submitted through the web site below. Home owners in those areas who live close to 40kmh signs are also invited to volunteer to host the flashing lights signs.

For more details contact:
Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
9599-1811
0414-538-404
www.schoolzonelights.com.au

For Brydens Compensation Lawyers see
www.brydens.com.au

Confusion solved

February 24th, 2009

THis reply came in answer to a copy of an email I personaly handed to the roads Minister when he was at Peakhurst (one page back)
_____________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________

There is an alternative to NO signs to advise drivers on what speed it is in "off duty" school zones. Very simple.

How about a sign like this when you are in a long school zone, or as you turn right into King Georges rd from Stoney Creek rd, the lack of any sign there has been the cause of so may court cases.
I've been to Sutherland Court(as a spectator) and seen it, a driver tries to explain that he didn't know what the speed was there, and the RTA man says to the Judge that any driver not knowing what the speed is, should then drive at the "default speed".

Default speed ????????
__________________________________________



"Oh no another different sign, no way, it would confuse drivers." could be the argument for a NO from the RTA.

Would one extra sign really be that difficult?

Drivers are meant to know a few different rules now, have a look down the left hand column of the link below and I think a new sign like the example above isn't too confusing.

I think the average driver would work it out


http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+fn+0+n

_________________________________________________________________________
27/ 11/09

As we have a new Roads Minister, Mr Michael Daley MP, I thought I would send an email.



Original Message -----
From: stephens1510
To: office@daley.minister.nsw.gov.au
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 10:47 AM
Subject: Beverly Hills School zone.

Dear Minister,
In July last year the RTA installed variable speed cameras at a school zone on King Georges rd Beverly Hills.
Even before the cameras were switched on I could see that because of the length of the school zone and many side streets entering it, that there would be carnage when they were activated, even though flashing lights are at both ends on King Georges Rd.
.
After an article in the local paper featuring a group of sad looking motorists holding up tickets I emailed the then roads minister Mr Roozendaal suggesting an extra set of flashing lights opposite Edgbason st to help South bound motorists (and make it safer for children, the whole idea for having school zones)
After 4 unanswered emails, I wrote to the Telegraph and then "coincidentally" an unhelpful reply came from Mr Roozendaal's office two days later.

30,000 infringements in the first three months would indicate that perhaps that more signage would be helpful.
To more easily illustrate the problem at Beverly Hills, I've brought forward the relevant page on my website
www.schoolzonesanta.com
Please have a look
We need road rule and to enforce them, but hammering average, unaware drivers is not the way to go.

More sixty signs and that extra flashing light unit at Beverly Hills, would go a long way in the public relations department.

Thank you for your time.

All the best in handling, what is a difficult portfolio.

Yours faithfully
Hans Stephens
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This reply came back a few days later.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Original Message -----
From: Minister Daley's Office
To: stephens1510
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 9:34 AM
Subject: RE: Beverly Hills School zone.

Dear Mr Stephens,

Thank you for your email to the Hon Michael Daley MP, Minister for Roads.

The Minister has arranged for the matters raised to be examined and a response will be provided as soon as possible.

Office of the Minister for Roads

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RTA dirty tricks.

February 11th, 2009

As I said in the previous page the RTA doesn't like someone demonstrating a bit of common sense to solve a problem.

http://www.schoolzonelights.com.au/media2009-02-02.html

Here's a link from Peter's website to show what BS is trotted out to justify the RTA's refusal to even acknowledge the effectiveness of Peter's lights.
I have heard nothing but praise from locals in the Lurgano/Peakhurst area.
How easy is it for even locals who know where their school zones are, to forget

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MEDIA RELEASE
11 February 2009

SCHOOL ZONE LIGHTS ROLLOUT SCHEDULE CALLED FOR

School Zone Lights campaigner, Peter Olsen, today called on the Roads Minister, Michael Daley, to release a list of the remaining 275 school zones (out of 11,000) that are to receive flashing lights under the Government's current $46.5M rollout program.

"On 3rd February 2009 the Roads Minister named the next 25 school zones that will receive flashing lights. The Minister said the other 75 school zones to have lights fitted this year would not be identified until "later in the year".

"The Government and RTA have spent tens of millions of dollars and 6 years trialling school zone flashing lights. Surely after all that time and money they know by now which schools "need them most", to use the Minister's words, or are they waiting for more child injuries or deaths before deciding?

"Many schools and parents have contacted me over the past 3 years to ask how they can get flashing lights installed at their schools. It is unacceptable that neither the Government nor the RTA can tell them if or when the RTA will be installing lights at their schools.

"The Minister claimed in his media release: ?Nothing?s more important than the safety of our kids and our focus is on making travel to and from school as safe as possible."

"The RTA's report into flashing lights found that they reduced the risk of fatalities by 11% and injuries by 6% (1) . In spite of that 96% of school zones (10,500) will never have flashing lights and the Minister cannot even name those schools that will have. What "focus" on child safety does that show?

"Unlike the Government and RTA I will be making my flashing lights available to any school in NSW that wants them, because I believe that the schools themselves, not Government bureaucrats, are in the best position to know where the lights are needed most.

"The names of the next schools to receive my lights will be announced shortly. My intention is to install two sets of flashing lights to every set installed by the RTA, assuming the availability of sufficient sponsorship funding.

For more details contact:

Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
9599-1811
0414-538-404
www.schoolzonelights,com.au
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Empire Strikes Back

January 30th, 2009

It appears that the RTA is not impressed with Peter Olsen's Lights.

......................................................................

MEDIA RELEASE RTA
28 January 2009
FLASHING LIGHTS COST CLAIMS INCORRECT
The RTA has refuted claims by Peter Olsen that reliable flashing lights can be installed and maintained safely at schools for $1000.

?Mr Olsen has good intentions, but he is misinforming the public when he claims that effective flashing light systems can be provided in school zones for $1000,? a spokesperson said.

?Mr Olsen?s cost estimate of less than $1000 for the devices does not include any costs associated with the installation, including cabling for electricity.?

?The cost of installing Mr Olsen?s lights averages around $13,000 per zone when connection to the mains power supply is taken into account.

The spokesperson said the State Government announced in 2007 that it would rollout flashing lights to 100 school zones a year over four years at a cost of $46.5 million.

?Mr Olsen?s claim that the RTA?s system costs $58,000 to install is incorrect. The cost varies between $10,000 and $13,000 depending on the work involved at each individual site.

?The remainder of the funding is used for the set up and installation of the central computer system, ongoing maintenance of the signs and the central server, site surveying, design and other ongoing costs.

?Mr Olsen hasn?t included any of these items in his costings.
?Unlike RTA's flashing light technology, Mr Olsen?s flashing lights are not connected to a central system which controls the timing and operation of lights and alerts the RTA to any problems immediately.

?This centrally controlled system is essential to ensure our children remain safe as drivers slow down during the times when students are arriving and leaving school.

?Mr Olsen?s signs have to be operated and serviced manually; which means a fault could go unnoticed, putting the lives of our most vulnerable at risk.

?While the RTA welcomes Mr Olsen?s intentions, we cannot install potentially unsafe, unreliable and infrequently monitored systems when it is our children we are trying to protect.

?Children are unpredictable and the addition of effective flashing lights in school zones where traffic volumes are high is a priority.?

The spokesperson said the RTA had advertised for tenders for its design, maintenance and servicing of flashing lights on four separate occasions and Mr Olsen had not offered a proposal at any stage.

?To date more than 260 school zones have flashing lights and this number will grow by another 100 zones this year.?
CONTACT: RTA Media Unit 8588 5999

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Peter Olsen sent me this press release and he has a few comments and questions himself
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MEDIA RELEASE
29 January 2009

RTA MISREPRESENTS FACTS ON SCHOOL ZONE FLASHING LIGHTS

In a media release issued by the RTA on 28 January 2009 a number of false and/or misleading claims were made:

1. The RTA claimed that I cannot provide flashing lights for $1,000.
I not only can but I have and will. The lights at Sophie Delezio's school cost $1,000 each and I am offering the same lights to any other school that wants them for the same price. I already have offers of sponsorship from several major companies to fund the lights.

2. The RTA claimed that the cost of installing my lights is $13,000 if mains power connection is included. It is presumably referring to lights installed on RTA signs.

The RTA prefers the use of solar power (even though it is energy negative in this application). I hereby offer to install a solar powered version of my lights on any RTA school zone sign in Sydney, including all installation costs, for $1,000.

3. The RTA claimed that the cost of its lights is not $58,000 per sign.
The RTA is spending $46.5M to install lights at 400 school zones, meaning 800 signs. $46.5M divided by 800 equals $58,125. Infrastructure costs are part of the overall cost per sign.

4. The RTA claimed that more than 260 school zones have flashing lights.
What it failed to reveal is that over 160 of those zones are using unreliable test systems installed as part of the 43-school trial held from 2003 - 2006 and/or the 100-school trial that commenced in January 2007. The Roads Minister has stated that those lights are unreliable and have poor performance:

Media release from Eric Roozendaal dated 21 May 2006:

"Mr Roozendaal said the trial of flashing lights at 43 schools had found the existing technology could reduce speeds but was unreliable... We need to put in place better and more effective technology... The operational performance of flashing light units was considered to be poor... On average each site recorded two faults in the 18 month period."

There are 303 school days in 18 months. Two faults in that period equals 99.3% reliability for the FIRST trial.

In relation to the lights used in the 100-school SECOND trial, Mr Rozendaal stated in a Media release dated 26th September 2007:

"The electronic warning systems used in the trial achieved a 98.2% reliability rating."

In other words the lights used in the second trial were less reliable than the lights used in the first trial, which the Roads Minister said were too unreliable.

5. The RTA claimed back-to-base monitoring is essential "to ensure our children remain safe as drivers slow down during the times when students are arriving and leaving school."

- We have documented examples of RTA lights with back-to-base monitoring being out of operation for up to a week. (Kingsway Miranda opp. University St out for a week in May 2007, Princes Highway Blakehurst out for a week around November 2008, many others out for 1-2 days.)

- Rather than installing lights without back-to-base monitoring the RTA and government's preferred option is to install no lights at all at 96% of school zones. What will "ensure our children remain safe as drivers slow down" at those schools?

6. The RTA claimed: ?Mr Olsen?s signs have to be operated and serviced manually; which means a fault could go unnoticed, putting the lives of our most vulnerable at risk."

- The lights do not have to be operated manually. They are fully automatic.

- The only servicing is the updating of school holiday dates every 3 years or so via radio. The RTA's solar powered signs have to have their batteries replaced manually every 2-3 years.

- A fault cannot go unnoticed when hundreds of parents, teachers and students pass the signs every day.

7. The RTA claimed "we cannot install potentially unsafe, unreliable and infrequently monitored systems when it is our children we are trying to protect."

- Over 160 school zones (62%) are currently using lights that the Roads Minister has stated are unreliable.

- The 8 sets of lights I installed in Peakhurst and Lugarno are the ONLY model of lights that have operated with 100% reliability since the start of the RTA's 2007 trial.

- The RTA's 3-year trial at 43 schools found that "Type 1" lights (like mine at Peakhurst and Lugarno) reduced average traffic speeds by 50% more than "Type 3" lights. The lights currently being rolled out by the RTA are "Type 3" lights. (See http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/downloads/finalreport_flashinglights_2006.pdf p.vi para.1 and p.65 para.7.) How does that smaller reduction in average speeds help protect children?

8. The RTA claimed that I have not tendered for the lights.
They failed to reveal that I have GIVEN my technology to them to use FOR NOTHING, apart from reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for the Peakhurst and Lugarno lights. Why would I tender?

On 28th February 2007 I signed a Deed prepared by the RTA authorising the RTA to use my technology forever at no charge:

- Paragraph "C" on page 1 of the Deed states: "The RTA wishes to obtain the right to use the System Generally".
- Clause 2.1 on page 2 states: "The Supplier grants the RTA a non-exclusive licence in perpetuity to use the System for the Permitted Purpose".

- Clause 5.2 on page 4 states that the total I will ever be paid is: "the receipted costs paid by the Supplier to third parties for the components used to construct and install the System at the Sites." (Peakhurst and Lugarno).

In other words in return for giving the RTA the right to use my technology free of charge FOREVER they did not even offer to pay for the time I had spent developing and installing the systems. They did not even pay all of my out-of-pocket expenses: Quote (email dated 19/2/2007): "Also please note that I am unable to reimburse you for the IP56 box that was purchased for the Princes H'way Kogarah as it is not within the terms of our Agreement."

That was a $20 plastic box I used for my initial lights installation at Kogarah that the RTA tore down.

9. I hereby call on the RTA to publicly release the following information, much of was promised following the meeting with the Roads Minister on 11th December 2008 but not delivered:

1. Total number and exact street location of all lights signs yet to be installed as part of the $46.5m rollout.

2. Total supply, install and ancillary costs for each type of light installed or to be installed in the current rollout.

3. Ongoing maintenance cost for each type of light being used in the current rollout.

4. Ongoing monitoring cost for each type of light being used in the current rollout.

5. Names of successful tender companies involved in the current rollout and type(s) of lights each company supplies.

6. Total amount paid to each of the above companies to date.

7. Total amount of maintenance and other costs to be paid in the future per year to each of the above companies.

8. Total amount of the $46.5M spent to date.

9. Full details of all faults with all lights that were installed or that commenced operation since January 2007, including:

- Location of sign
- Type of sign and manufacturer
- Nature of fault
- Date and time fault occurred
- Date and time fault fixed
- Whether reported by back-to-base monitoring or not

10. Whose decision it was to use Type 3 lights in the current roll-out when the RTA's own comprehensive 3-year trial found that Type 1 lights reduced average traffic speeds by 50% more then Type 3 lights?

11. What is the statistical increase in risk of fatality to a child as a result of that 50% lesser reduction in average traffic speeds?

I will be seeking the above information via Freedom of Information or Parliament if it is not released.

I note that the NRMA strongly supports the use of more cost-effective lights as per their media release at http://www.mynrma.com.au/cps/rde/xchg/mynrma/hs.xsl/7819.htm

Any future signs installed by me under the current offer will use the fluorescent yellow-green colour advocated by the NRMA if available.

For more information contact:

Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
9599-1811
0414-538-404
www.schoolzonelights.com.au
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This is from the category "About faulty flashing lights" (on right)

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After a bit of shopping I headed home along The Kingsway Miranda, it was afternoon school zone time, and guess what?

The flashing lights on this large sign outside Miranda Fair weren't working. hello

I took the photo, drove about another 100 meters and

this sign also had non functioning flashing lights.

Across the road a bit further along The Kingsway, opposite University st. is this one

which hasn't worked since last Friday. (A week since I first saw it.)

All these lights are less than 5 months old and as they are solar powered are INDEPENDANT.

Peter Olsen when I told him, rang Alan Jones about these three lights not working, and they were all fixed that same day. Coincidence?????

Why were some school zone Lights working on Mothers Day and on Anzac Day??

$7.2 million for one hundred sites,

CURRRRCHING!!!!!

How many of the other 100 are also failing and what does all this cost?
Not to mention that if these "state of the art" lights aren't working, they aren't warning.

So much for the all important "Back to base" feature

Action speaks louder than words

January 28th, 2009

We'll do this and we'll do that, and nothing or very little gets done.

We'll build a Rail line here, or a Metro there, and what happens?

We'll get tough on crime ............... etc.

When Peter Olsen sends out a media release saying he going to do something, it happens.

This is one of the four at the school.

A flashing light always attracts attention and when these lights are flashing it's school zone time.

By all accounts Peter's lights at Balgowlah Helghts Public School were well received by local residents and media alike.

Peter was all over the media today outlining what he wants to do with his flashing lights to make it safer for school children outside schools and also helping make drivers aware of exactly WHEN it's school zone time.

This is how Channel Nine saw the light.
:
http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-AU&brand=ninemsn&vid=cf3468f2-f5eb-43eb-bf01-082086948ebc

The RTA will argue that they are rolling out school zone lights at no cost to the tax payer because the funding comes out of revenue collected by speed cameras at school zones.

So people that cruise through a school zone like the one at Beverly Hills, at 4 in the morning, a deserted (at that time of day) three lane divided road,is hammered into paying for the few flashing lights that are installed.

Peter can install flashing lights at all schools by involving local businesses through them sponsoring his flashing lights.

Motorists would see the flashing lights, slow down and instead of paying a fine be happy with the fact "Joe the Fruiterer " sponsored the lights.

A win for the driver, and a win for Joe.

Which school will get the next set of Olsen lights?

Direct action

January 28th, 2009


MEDIA RELEASE
28 January 2009
SOPHIE DELEZIO'S SCHOOL GETS SCHOOL ZONE FLASHING LIGHTS

Sophie Delezio's school, Balgowlah Heights Public School on Lewis St, finally has school zone flashing lights.

Four sets of lights have been installed by Peter Olsen, the man who installed flashing lights at several schools in Peakhurst and Lugarno in 2006.

"Last December I met with the new Roads Minister, Michael Daley, and Ron Delezio in Peakhurst to show them my lights," Mr Olsen said.

"I suggested that all schools should have flashing lights, something that Ron Delezio is also keen to see. The Minister disagreed however and claimed that if all schools had flashing lights drivers could become "desensitized". He is content with lights being installed at just 4% of school zones over four years at a cost of $116,000 per school zone.

"The government clearly has no interest in protecting children at all schools. They seem more interested in protecting the revenue they collect from unsuspecting drivers who fail to realise what time it is.

"I have therefore decided to start my own roll-out of flashing lights, commencing with Sophie's school," Mr Olsen said. "They will be available to all schools in NSW that want them as outlined at www.schoolzonelights.com.au. There will be no cost to the schools or the taxpayer as they will be funded via sponsorship from local businesses. They cost under $1,000 per sign vs $58,000 for the RTA's lights.

"The signs are installed on private property adjacent to the 40kmh school zone signs so the RTA cannot touch them. If they object to them on the basis that they are unauthorised traffic signs they will first have to remove the tens of thousands of Council-issued signs on private property that read "Slow Down in My Street". If they object to the flashing lights they will also have to ban all flashing Christmas lights and the numerous flashing lights and neon signs outside shops and businesses.

"The signs have two flashing lights each side of the words "Check Speed". They deliberately do not say "School Zone" so that if they happen to malfunction there are no implications. The lights themselves are fully approved by the RTA for use in traffic management.

"The lights will go a long way towards improving road safety around schools and will also help to ensure that responsible drivers are not unfairly penalised.

"I wish to sincerely thank the four home owners near Sophie's school who made the installations possible."

For more information contact:
Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
9599-1811
0414-538-404
www.schoolzonelights.com.au

New school year starts when?

January 27th, 2009

The school year begins today and school zones are in operation but this ad in the Daily Telegraph, states that school starts next week.

On radio and TV today there have been questions put to ministers, and ministers giving excuses for this stuff up, and blaming others.

What would happen if one was detected "speeding" in a school zone today and told the police, SDRO or the judge that you couldn't have been speeding because the Government advertising said school hasn't commenced?

Wheel clamps

January 12th, 2009

It appears to be all too hard

http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=4927

POLICE powers to wheel-clamp street racers' cars look destined for the scrapheap, with just nine cars clamped in a 12-month trial.

The Daily Telegraph can today reveal the State Government's street racing crackdown is failing to deter hoons on the roads, leading to calls for further legislative change.

A review of the wheel clamping trial - which began in September last year in Wollongong and Liverpool local area commands - is due next month. If successful, the trial was to be extended across the state.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/tough-car-law-trials-fail-to-deter-street-racers/story-e6freuy9-1225757233893


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Daily Telegraph 11/1/09

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This was the Daily Telegraph editorial 11/1/09

LAUGHABLE IDEA

CLAMP the hoons! That's the latest police plan to combat P-plate hoonery throughout NSW.

This tactic will involve the cars of offending drivers being clamped and immobilised in their owners' front yards.

Well, we've heard similar promises before. Cars were going to be cubed or otherwise permanently taken off the road.

Nothing much ever came of those promises, so we await with interest any developments on the clamping front.

There may be one or two problems with clamping, by the way. Say what you will about hoons, but many of them are very skilled mechanically. Those cars of theirs don't modify themselves.

How long do police imagine wheel clamps will last against teams of tooled-up hoons? Thirty minutes? A whole hour?

A more substantial disabling method may be in order. Otherwise, this tactic will be laughed off the street."

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I agree anybody with an angle grinder could easily remove a wheel clamp, but what if it is made clear that if an RTA or Police wheel clamp is illegally removed, the car is automatically forfeited and sold.

Having a car wheelclamped outside your house, would be a constant reminder to the affected driver, mates and neighbours that anti social behaviour won't be tolerated.

_________________________________________________________________

On 11/12/04 (four years ago)in my "P plate driver crisis" category I wrote about using wheelclamps to hobble drivers and spoke to MP Paul Gibson the then "Stay Safe Committe" chairman about using wheelclaps outside drivers homes, and also suggested it to the Pedestrian Council Of Australia Mr Scruby.

The "Pedestrian Council of Australia" why does that name always remind me of the "WORLD" series baseball competition,.... that they have only in the USA.

This letter I had printed in the Telegraph.

Why would a few wheel clamps cost $700,000 ???

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Wheelclamps are well utilised in Victoria

Wheel-Clamping

If you do not pay a fine and you ignore all the reminders, your vehicle may be wheel-clamped.

The Sheriff can impose this sanction against you if you have an outstanding infringement warrant.

If this occurs, any vehicle registered in your name can be wheel-clamped. This can happen at any time, whether or not you have been given notice that this will occur.

Your vehicle may be wheel-clamped wherever it is parked, including at your home, work or at a roadblock.

To wheel-clamp your vehicle, a Sheriff's Officer may enter your vehicle or move your vehicle. A Sheriff's Officer can also require you to give them or a police officer the keys to your vehicle and can remove, dismantle or neutralise your vehicle's locking device. A Sheriff's Officer can demand identification from you if they suspect you are the person named in an infringement warrant. If you do not comply, or if you give false information, you can be fined.

If you clear your infringement warrants, the sanction will be lifted and the wheel-clamps removed.

If you do not clear your infringement warrants, this sanction will remain in place and your wheel-clamped vehicle may be impounded and then later sold.

It is a serious offence to tamper with or remove a wheel-clamp which has been fitted to a vehicle. The maximum penalty for a first offence is $6,805 or six months imprisonment.

How to avoid your vehicle being wheel-clamped

The best way to ensure your vehicle is not wheel-clamped is to pay your fines on time.

To ensure your vehicle is not wheel-clamped, you must clear your infringement warrants. To clear your infringement warrants you must pay the amount in full, obtain a payment order, (payment by instalments) or obtain revocation (cancellation) of the infringement warrant. Please note that the Infringements Court will only grant payment orders and revocations in certain circumstances.

For more information on 'wheel-clamping' or other sanctions, visit the Fines FAQs page.

To discuss 'wheel-clamping' and clear any outstanding fines, contact Civic Compliance Victoria on 1300 743 743.

Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy
Reviewed: 30/1/2009

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From a press release from the Pedestrian Council Of Australia 17/01/05

www.walk.com.au/pedestriancouncil/Page.asp?PageID=851 -

"We could also look at employing the latest technological devices such as block-boxes and wheel-clamps, so that the vehicle may be returned to the owner's home, but if driven, the authorities would know and the driver arrested and possibly incarcerated."

TO GET BACK TO HOME PAGE CLICK ON SANTA FIGURE AT TOP OF PAGE

RTA reply

January 11th, 2009

THis reply came in answer to a copy of an email I personaly handed to the roads Minister when he was at Peakhurst see :

http://schoolzonesanta.com/index.php/2008/12/11/desensitized
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There is an alternative to NO signs to advise drivers on what speed it is in "off duty" school zones. Very simple.

How about a sign like this when you are in a long school zone, (or any school zone)in Beverly Hills as you turn right into King Georges rd from Stoney Creek rd, because the lack of any sign there has been the cause of so may court cases.
I've been to Sutherland Court (as a spectator) and seen it, a driver tries to explain that he didn't know what the speed was, and the RTA man says to the Judge that any driver not knowing what the speed is , should then drive at the "default speed". ????????
__________________________________________



"Oh no another different sign, no way, it would confuse drivers." could be the argument for a NO from the RTA.

Would one extra sign really be that difficult? Drivers are meant to know a few different rules now, have a look down the left hand column of the link below and I think a new advisory sign or similar to my example above, isn't too confusing.

I think the average driver would work it out.
http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+fn+0+n

Cronulla railway staff carpark continued

December 29th, 2008

In a letter to the Leader a reader called the Cronulla Railway staff car park
(see "Railcorp waste" Category)"ultra secure" and not one to let an opportunity pass, I emailed the Leader, and my letter was printed on
Nov 25 08

_
________________________________________________________________________

My letter appears to have been noticed, and this is from the NSW Parliament records, Hansard page 12060
_________________________________________________________________________

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While 12 cameras remain in that small car park, RailCorp waste is on display for all to see.

12 cameras to look after a maximum of 30 cars behind an 8 ft. high spiked fence on a main road, this is not the "green zone" in Baghdad, but downtown Cronulla.

to be continued.

"Desensitized"

December 11th, 2008

If flashing lights are used widely used then drivers would be "desensitized" said Mr Micheal Dalley MP NSW roads minister at Peakhurst this afternoon.


Minister Dalley (on right) and Mr. Peter Olsen.

2GB's Chris Smith asked the new roads minister to have a look at the flashing lights that Peter Olsen had installed at four schools in the Peakhurst/Lurgano area.

One of the numerous road ministers we have had in recent years said that all schools in NSW would get flashing lights.

I didn't get that impression this afternoon.

I can't see it happening purely because of the horrendous cost involved, if the RTA insist on using their preferred overpriced overenginerred flashing light systems.

Flashing lights at school zones are there to help drivers to know when it's school zone time.

Mr Harold Scruby who also is always good for a soundbite on road safety (as Kyser Trad is on anything Muslim) came to have a look, talked about the way clever lawyers would fight cases in court, as they do with speed cameras and extolled the virtues of the RTA's lights.

What's court got to do with it.

Put up Olsen style lights (or similar cheap reliable technology) at school zones, and if drivers still speed when the lights are working, have Highway patrol with camera mounted radar with a photo of the offending vehicle, logging the time, speed and with the flashing lights in background.

"Book 'em Danno"

As it is now, once the smarties know where fixed speed cameras are, by Sat/Nav, Tom Tom or experience, they slow down only at the camera, but as Highway Patrol are mobile and should be in unmarked cars, they are more effective at catching the real menace on our roads.

A set of Peter's lights lights in action

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OLSEN SCHOOL ZONE FLASHING LIGHTS

- Eight sets of Olsen lights have operated for the past two years with 100% reliability. RTA lights average 98.2%. (Morris Iemma media release 26/9/07 p.2 para. 11)
- No need for expensive back-to-base monitoring because of their reliability. RTA lights have back-to-base monitoring but regularly take up to a week to fix when they fail.
- Olsen lights reduce average speeds by 50% more than RTA lights. See: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/downloads/finalreport_flashinglights_2006.pdf p.vi para.1 and p.65 para.7. (Olsen lights are Type 1, RTA lights are Type 3).
- Olsen lights have GPS receivers in them to obtain current time from satellites giving them sub-second accuracy. RTA lights do not.
- Olsen lights are twice the diameter of RTA lights (200mm vs 100mm).
- Olsen lights are angled to face the traffic for maximum brightness. RTA lights point straight down the footpath and are often barely visible.
- Olsen lights cost $350 + installation per sign vs. $58,000 per sign for RTA lights.
- Could be installed at every school zone in NSW for the cost of the RTA?s current roll out to just 4% of school zones. (Allowing $2,300 per sign including installation).
- Mr Olsen has no commercial interest. Technology given to the RTA to use for free.
- Mr Olsen wants RTA to issue a new tender for lights, maximum price say $5,000 including installation. No back-to-base monitoring or other unnecessary bells and whistles. Lights to be installed at all school zones in NSW.

Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
peter@peterolsen.com.au
www.schoolzonelights.com.au
9599-1811
0414-538-404
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I gave the Roads Minister a copy of the email (further down page) I sent a couple of weeks ago and tried to explain the situation at Beverly Hills.

He said he couldn't do anything as it is the RTA that works out the needs for different locations.

I thought he as the Minister responsible for roads he would have some say if a concerned citizen had an sensible issue.

Then maybe a repeater set of flashing lights at this school zone at Beverly Hills which is over a kilometer long with proven problems isn't warranted.

The RTA never gets it wrong, except maybe for a minor miscalculation about numbers of vehicles that would use the cross city tunnel, the M5 East has a couple of issues I believe, the Lane Cove Tunnel......but they are right at Beverly Hills.

I'll wait a while to see if the the "as soon as possible" reply to my email does come from the Minister's office.

To be continued...

I said it was a headline.

December 3rd, 2008

NSW Government Rail Line project fails to include parking
(Daily Telegraph Dec 2 08)

NOT one new commuter car space has been built as part of the new Rail Line project.

Unions say the situation is so bad that staff working at the new stations will have nowhere to park.

As a result, the Government has been asked to provide taxi vouchers to ensure RailCorp employees can get to and from work safely.Rail Train and Bus Union boss Nick Lewocki said: "None of these stations have anything available, and in fact there's not even any employee parking."

"We are talking (with the Government) about taxi vouchers for employees because there's not even provisions for them to park before and after work."

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I emailed the Telegraph.

The headline wasn't quite right but my letter would've been noticed and actually was read out by Alan Jones on 2GB.

Every opportunity I get, I will bring up those cameras untill most are
removed.

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This email I sent was printed verbatum in the St George and Sutherland Leader
and parts read out in NSW Parliament

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20081127042

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----- Original Message -----
From: stephens1510
To: leaderletters@fairfax.com.au
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:53 PM
Subject: Cronulla Railway station carpark.

Dear Sir,
Des Levins ( your view Nov 13 ) writes about the "ultra secure" Cronulla Railway Station staff car park.
Ultra secure is right, a 30 space car park fenced off from us mere mortals by an 8 ft steel fence adorned on top with spikes, and then there's 12, yes twelve, security cameras.
It also had a 24 hour security guard because the new "state of the art" electronic gates sometimes malfunctioned and it stuck in the open position so a guard was needed around the clock to keep out the Cronulla desperados.
I contacted RailCorp querying this seemingly wanton waste of resources and the Transport Minister Mr David Campbell informed me that he would get the CEO of RailCorp to answer my questions.
Mr Ron Manson did write to me and said "that like many areas Cronulla Railway Station has a continuing problem with graffiti, vandalism and theft." and "the electronic gates are now functioning correctly and there is no longer a need for the security guard"
Who paid for the 24 hour guards when they were needed, Railcorp / taxpayer, or the firm that installs faulty goods?
An 8 ft fence, 12 cameras and a 24 hour security guard for a 30 space car park, and don't get me started on the number of traffic control personnel supposedly needed between Sutherland and Cronulla employed to make sure that passing cars don't damage trucks leaving worksites along the line.
No wonder the cost of this project has gone from $108 million to $344 million.... and counting.
Photos and the correspondence can be seen on www.schoolzonesanta.com

Regards
Hans Stephens

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I had written to RailCorp about the excess in security at Cronulla and the mail is further down this page.

New term, new fault.

November 5th, 2008

Going South on King Georges rd Blakehurst the over road overhead flashing lights were not working.

I took the photo from the right lane because even though the middle median sign is just past the bend, to angle the sign more toward oncoming traffic so the flashing lights can be better viewrd by all three lanes apparently is just too difficult to do.
No, the installation manual says it has to be at right angles to the kerb, so that's how it goes.
Just like the one (photo below) at the car wash down the road which is happily flashing away toward a Chinese restaurant not the traffic.

Even though this expensive flashing light unit is nigh on useless as they are installed at right angles to the road as per instructions, it does look neat and proper, to hell with common sense.

State of the Art

November 5th, 2008

Another one bites the dust.

Same school Zone as in previous page, but this is on the Princes Highway going South at Blakehurst.

Isn't it lucky that they have an expensive independant spare set of lights there.

A bit of old news I found.
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Kogarah Municipal Council Page 19
Regular Council 14 March 2005
N. General Business
Cr Mark Coure mentioned his intention to move the following motions at the next
Council Meeting:
1. That Council write to the RTA and the Minister for Roads about investigating the
installation of flashing lights on top of the speed cameras located on Princes
Highway and have them flashing during school drop of and pick up times.
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ON TOP OF THE SPEED CAMERAS? WHAT WAS HE THINKING.

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Sophie Delezio's father lashes out at Labor


The father of car crash survivor Sophie Delezio (above) has criticised the NSW Government for failing to spend enough money on putting flashing lights in school zones.

Ron Delezio, whose daughter suffered horrific injuries in two separate accidents, joined the NRMA in accusing the Government of taking too long to roll out technology that could save lives.

Sophie was struck by a car at a pedestrian crossing outside her school on Frenchs Forest Road at Seaforth, in Sydney's north, in May 2006.

The accident happened less than three years after she was badly burned when a car burst into flames after slamming into her child-care centre on Sydney's northern beaches.

Last year, the State Government promised to spend revenue from speed camera-related fines on installing the lights at 100 schools a year for four years.

Figures released during this week's Senate estimates hearing showed that the Government had taken $45 million in revenue from the cameras.

Mr Delezio and the NRMA say the Government should spend all of this revenue on flashing lights, which would allow them to be rolled out at all 400 schools in a single year.

"It's the Government's responsibility to make these roads safe for our kids and if they're not spending all the money from speed cameras, well why aren't they?" Mr Delezio said while standing in front of his daughter's school at Balgowlah Heights.

"I know what it's like to have your child hit on the road - how devastating that is. We don't want to see other drivers be responsible for knocking other drivers down.

"It's a proven fact that flashing lights around school zones do slow down drivers. You've got enough things to worry about when driving a car nowadays ... the majority of motorists who do speed through a school zone don't do it on purpose. The Government needs to help these people go through school zones at the correct speed."

Ninety-five per cent of schools in NSW do not have flashing lights installed.

NRMA Motoring and Services director Geoff Toovey said the technology needed to be installed at all schools across the state, not just those where it was needed most.

Roads Minister Michael Daley said last month the lights had been installed at 61 schools, with a further 39 to be installed by the end of the year.

He said a trial last year indicated the flashing lights slowed motorists down by an average of 7kmh when they entered a school zone.

One week and counting

November 5th, 2008

The flashing light unit on King Georges rd going South at Blakehurst has been out for at least a week now and the one on the Highway going South wasn't operating yesterday afternoon school zone time.

UPDATE: 26 OCT They are both working now.

www.protectkids.com.au

November 5th, 2008

While waiting to get off my crutches (see Jan 08 Archives Right colum) I used my spare time to try and get another matter looked at.

When the Beverly Hills farce started, many drivers asked their Members of Parliament for help with not much result.

I naively did the same to see if I could prompt our leaders to show a bit of common sense.

I had this letter printed in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.

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A driver emailed me:

HI Hans

Pleased to report I won in court today.

regards
.......

I rang him for more information and he was told in court that to keep your points after getting a section 10 from the judge (who can see your argument), you have to write to the RTA and apply to keep your points.

The driver when he gets paperwork from the RTA will apply and see what happens.
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Section 10

August 14th, 2008

I went to Sutherland court today to see for myself what happens when you take a Beverly Hills "over 60" to court.
A driver was there who pleaded not guilty to 4 offences that were detected on the Northbound speed camera.
The driver told the judge he didn't realize it was 60 there, and spoke of the inadequate signage.
He said that if Police had pulled him over the first time (instead of the camera) he wouldn't have got the other three.
After admitting to the RTA lawyer that he was the driver of the vehicle in the speed camera photo, the judge ruled the offences proven and let the driver off 3 of the fines by way of a "section 10", no conviction, but you still loose the points.

It's all really a farce, you go to court, the judge listens, he realises the setup there is confusing because of the BS signage, but he can't throw it out, and because you've taken the trouble to front up, he says that the offences are proven, and gives you a "section 10"

The next driver after a spirited effort to sway the judge his way on a similar alleged offence after pleading guilty, was also awarded a "section 10", no fine but loss of points.

Would having a $1200 lawyer represent you make a difference?