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".
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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.
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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.
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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)
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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 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 ????????
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"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

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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
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This reply came back a few days later.
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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

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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.

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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
_____________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________

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
_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________


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

ON TOP OF THE SPEED CAMERAS? WHAT WAS HE THINKING.

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

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

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?

You're a "retad"

July 28th, 2008

----- Original Message -----
From: "a P plater driver" info@schoolzonesanta.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 7:05 PM
Subject: P crisis. not giving you my email

> your a retad not every P plater drives like a moron this is just ageist if it were a older person to crash they wouldnt suffer as much as a P plater would
>
> **This messages was sent via the email form on your blog.**
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.526 / Virus Database: 270.5.6/1575 - Release Date: 26/07/2008 4:18 PM

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

This person has obviously taken offence at my "P Plate driver crisis" category.

Where have I said anywhere in this website that "every P plater drives like a moron"?

I have tried to help good average drivers, whatever class of licence.

PS most computers have a spell check function.

Correction.

July 11th, 2008

Ever since starting this website I have tried to be as accurate as possible.

Information from newspapers or other media is of course only as accurate as the reporting.

I was told yesterday that the piece of footpath where the illegal paper stand had been trading at Sutherland Station IS SUTHERLAND COUNCIL RESPONSIBILITY, they (council staff) told me it belonged to Railcorp.

The room on platform one that now is the reopened paper kiosk was not redecorated by railcorp, the tenant had to that, Railcorp only took six months to remove a signal box from an inside wall of that room.

Six months to remove a switch box !!!!!

Congratulations Railcorp.

Finally

July 7th, 2008

This morning taking my dogs for their walk I see that the illegal paper stall at Sutherland station wasn't set up in it's usual spot on Railcorp property.

The vendor instead had it set up on the footpath outside his newsagency which is now a council problem.

What a lot of nonsense, how many desks did it have to go to till someone at Railcorp picked up the phone to tell Sutherland railway security to just ask this chap to cease and desist.

I hope that all this nonsense doesn't impact in any way on Mr Ng, as I said all he wants to do is run a business to provide for his family.

See "RailCorp bullies loyal tennant" category

GRAFFITI

July 3rd, 2008

7/3/09
IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?

On the corner of Waratah st and Arcacia rd in Kirrawee is a shop wall which has been in the past "tagged" many times by vandals.

Now this wall has been painted, but in the graffiti style, a landscape mural would I suppose be acceptable, but to cover the wall with the same sort of thing that's sprayed on train carriages is wrong.

How much time and paint was used to do this wall?

Don't get me wrong it takes talent to do the graphics, but why at the same time couldn't they spare half a can of paint and spray over the tags on the bit of fence on the left as this colour bond fence belongs to the same property?

Graffiti vandals that go around in the dead of night are selfish and don't care about the damage they do.

For the people that painted this "mural" not to repaint that bit of fence at the same time, seems a bit uncaring, and dare I say it selfish.

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Driving North over the Tom Uglys, for months there has been graffiti on the steelwork on the bridge in a number of places.

Its well known the idea is to paint over graffiti straight away, so that the vandalism doesn't get exposure.

THIS IS FROM THE NSW GOV. GRAFFITI WEBSITE www.graffiti.nsw.gov.au

Remove graffiti promptly

The most effective way to prevent graffiti vandalism is to remove graffiti promptly (preferably within 24 to 48 hours) to show that you care about the property. This will discourage the graffiti vandal because it doesn?t give them the recognition they are looking for. For advice on removing graffiti, refer to the Removing graffiti web page.

They are still painting the bridge (a year after they were to have it finished) why wouldn't someone take a brush or roller and repaint the graffiti ed areas?

How long would it take, have they no pride in the work they've done?

Does it needs an upper house committee to work out who does it.
I took the photo by parking in the lane that was closed for the painters on cherry pickers painting upper steel work.

I asked a safety vested man carrying a stop sign who came over to see why I'd dared to stop there, why no one had overpainted the graffiti and he said it had been discussed but you know, it's the RTA.
..................................................................
UPDATE 14 July 08
Last week I had a letter in The Leader about the graffiti on the bridge but it's still there, maybe the painters can't read.

The graffiti on the bridge is still there so I hit the contact button on the RTA website.

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

>
UPDATE FRIDAY 6/02/09
_____________________

Contact the RTA
Thank you for visiting the RTA web site.

Phone contacts

Feedback
Thank you for providing us with feedback.

These are your responses:

Message Type
Suggestion
Subject
Road/bridge infrastructure maintenance
Message

Dear sir/madam, Graffiti is back in the news again, and it's becoming an increasing problem. One way to discourage the vandals is to remove or paint over graffiti as soon as possible. The Tom Uglies Bridge has be going through a repaint and other maintenance and was spraycanned last February 08,and even though painters were still working on cherry pickers painting, no one thought to get a half can of paint and cover the damage. I thought that if anyone there had a bit of pride in their work it would've been fixed the day after the attack. It's still there twelve months later for all to see. Why? Could you please pass this onto someone who can see to it.. A photo of one section of damage can be seen in the "Graffiti" category of www.schoolzonesanta.com." thank you. Regards Hans Stephens.

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

Update: 8/3/09

Nothing back from the RTA on my email about the graffiti on Tom Uglys Bridge, and "someone" wearing a fluro safety vest last Sunday morning has covered the offending graffiti with what looks like "mid grey" aerosol paint, bought at Supa Cheap Auto

That'll do till the RTA get around to using the right shade.

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UPDATE: 11/3/09 An email came in today from the RTA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Ref: GE09/0826
Dear Hans
I refer to your email concerning graffiti on Tom Uglys Bridge.
The graffiti in question has been attended to by the painting contractor working on the bridge.
Kind regards
Jagtar Rakkar
RTA Customer Services
----------------------------------------------------------------------
There must be 2 Tom uglys bridges that have a graffiti problem, the graffiti on the Tom Uglys bridge at Blakehurst was definitely not fixed by an RTA contractor.

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A person is caught vandalising property a judge understanding the damage graffiti "artists do, makes an example of her by sentencing her to 3 months jail and this happens........

Sentence for graffiti overturned
HARRIET ALEXANDER
5/03/2009 1:00:01 AM

THE judge said a jail term should never have been imposed and even the prosecution sought no further punishment than a criminal conviction and a good behaviour bond.

But according to the NSW Opposition, Cheyene Back, 18, who has no criminal history but was sentenced to jail for drawing graffiti on a cafe wall, should be behind bars.

"We need to put fear into people's lives," said the Opposition's justice spokesman, Greg Smith. "To just slap people on the wrist and give people a good behaviour bond, or even less than that, the problem really is that there's not any enforcement of the laws."

Ms Back pleaded guilty to writing the word "2shie" on the wall of the Hyde Park Cafe on January 11. Downing Centre Local Court magistrate Ian McRae sentenced her to three months' jail.

Yesterday she won an appeal against the severity of the sentence. Judge Greg Hosking in the District Court wiped her criminal record and put her on a 12-month good behaviour bond. The judge said he did not condone vandalism but the law clearly stated jail terms should be imposed only when no other penalties were appropriate.
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18/3/09

A GRAFFITI gang of teenagers in western Sydney look set to pay the penalty for being too keen to have their name up in lights.

The group of intelligence-challenged youths filmed themselves graffiting a Fairfield skate park and posted the video on the internet.

But along with images of themselves, the teens posted their full names online, the Fairfield Advance reports.

And now they could be slapped with a $2200 fine under the State Government?s tough new graffiti laws.

The film, shot in Wetherill Park, shows the teenagers performing stunts on their scooters.

The group has posted more than 25 films on YouTube, with many featuring their tag on roads, footpaths and pedestrian crossings around the city.
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We'll see how tough the new graffiti laws are.

They have got to be kidding!

June 16th, 2008

It has been obvious that drivers have had difficulty with 40 k/mh school zones since they were introduced.

Not that the average drivers doesn't want to slow down, but to know where school zones are, and when school zone time is the problem.

Flashing lights on the school zone signs have proven to be effective in making drivers aware of when it's school zone time, and and where school zones are.

So the RTA reluctantly is installing flashing lights and at the rate they are doing it (100) a year my great great grandchildren might see the last NSW school get them.

The cost is one reason why it will take so long.

Why does everything done by the public service have to cost so much?

This is why.......

Instead of using flashing lights like these or similar, that are working quite nicely at schools in Peakhurst/Lurgano, lights that are simple,(relatively speaking) cheap and do the job,

it appears that they have to be ridiculously complicated and hideously expensive before they get the necessary tag of "State of the art" and
are suitable, as the press release below explains.

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MEDIA RELEASE
16 June 2008

RTA Over-specifies School Zone Flashing Lights

There is an RTA tender out at present that closes on 24th June for the supply of school zone flashing lights at another 50 schools by 30th June 2009. See https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/rta/shared/rftdetail.cfm?p_id=18031&p_criteria=RTA%2E08%2E2587%2E0998&p_advert=0

It is little wonder that the lights cost $58,000 per sign and hence will never be installed at all schools. The RTA has gone so totally over the top with the design specification that it would be impossible for anyone to design and produce lights for less. A specification for the life support system on the Space Shuttle would be less exacting.

The technical specification (attached) runs to 126 pages and that is just one of nine documents in the tender. And this is just for part of the system, the flashing lights and "lights controller".

There is a separate component called an "Alert Device Controller" which decides when the lights should be turned on and off. It is the subject of a separate tender. It in turn is controlled by the RTA's mainframe computer system.

What we are talking about is simply making a pair of lights flash for two periods per day. I have demonstrated that it can be done reliably and accurately for $350 yet the RTA has turned that simple process into a complex and expensive nightmare:

1. There are three controllers to make each sign flash, a lights controller on the sign, a separate Alert Device Controller, and the mainframe computer system, with an extensive computer network connecting it all together. (Diagrams p.18, 19)

2. The lights have to be capable of accepting commands that specify up to 32 different flash modes for up to 8 separate flashing components per sign. (p. 50, 5.5.4.2.2a)

3. An entire new 40kmh sign has to be supplied with the lights. They cannot simply be mounted on the existing signs. (p.21, 5.2.2(a))

4. The box that houses the electronics cannot be any old box. Quote: "All equipment and sign housings shall be constructed from Alloy What is more, quote: "For equipment housings and over roadway sign housings, the access door shall be hinged on the left hand side of the door. For advance warning sign housings, the access door shall be hinged on the right
hand side of the door. (p. 23, 5.2.6.3.1)

5. The LEDs that make up the lights are connected in series strings, typically 5 per string. If one LED blows all 5 go out much like Christmas lights. So of course to avoid the disaster that would result of a contiguous group of 5 LEDs (out of 96) were to go out, the lights must be constructed such that no 2 LEDs from any one string are side-by-side. (p.40, 5.4.3).

6. The lights controller has to be capable of detecting and reporting the loss of any single string of 5 LEDs (p.40, 5.4.4.1)

7. The LEDs cannot be any old yellow colour. Quote: "The chromaticity co-ordinates of the emitted light from the Alert Display shall fall within the relevant colour boundaries on a CIE 1931 chromaticity diagram as specified in AS/NZS 2144 for traffic signals, when measured on the light axis of the test specimen and at the horizontal and vertical half angle positions." (p.43, 5.4.11.1) They also must be made from from aluminium indium gallium phosphide (p.40, 5.4.2)

8. When the Alert Device Controller tells the lights to start flashing, they must do so within 1/25 of a second. 1/10 of a second is simply not good enough! (p.42, 5.4.8)

...and on and on for 126 pages.

At least it is pleasing to see that they have finally adopted my design for positioning of the flashing lights, namely mounted directly on the 40kmh sign each side of the words "School Zone" rather than on a separate panel above the sign as per their previous designs. See diagrams Page 19 and p.96 and see www.schoolzonelights.com.au


Peter Olsen
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216
9012-5298
9599-1811
0414-538-404


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I will add the attachment link when I figure out how to get it off the email.

Reading the above I can only summise that someone(or design team), at the RTA is trying to justify their salaries.

Yes it's vitaly important that a door on a control box made out of "Alloy 5251 H32 aluminium sheet to AS/NZS 1734". (p.23, 5.2.6.1)" "shall be hinged on the left hand side of the door."

That's like installing the flashing light unit at Blakehurst, no doubt to the rulebook at 90 degrees to the kerb, so that the flashing lights wink uselessly toward a Chinese restaurant and not the traffic

A dreadful photo taken through my windscreen shows the lights on the school zone sign that aren't angled toward the cars sweeping around the bend because of rigid (or stupid)installation specifications.

It is a mystery why they need this stand alone solar powered unit there in the first place, why two separate units at one place?

Wouldn't it be sensible and cheaper to run a wire down from the overhead one to lights on the sign and take this solar powered set to Edgbaston st Beverly Hills where it can do some good?

No wonder there's no money for school maintenance and for all schools to get life saving flashing lights will take 100 years.

Action.

June 13th, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE
2 February 2009

RTA DIRTY TRICKS CAMPAIGN REVEALED

School zone lights campaigner Peter Olsen has today revealed details of what he claims has been an ongoing dirty tricks campaign by the RTA against his school zone flashing lights.

"The false and misleading claims made by the RTA in a recent media release were simply the latest in a series of dirty tricks the RTA has used in an attempt to discredit my lights," Mr Olsen said. "I believe it is time to reveal the full story"
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

.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 continues,

"The RTA's actions have all been aimed at increasing the apparent cost of my lights and reducing the apparent reliability and effectiveness of them, to help justify the exorbitant cost of their systems.

"The RTA's lights are 98.2% reliable and cost $58,000 each all-up. My lights have been 100% reliable and cost $1,000 each. I have given my technology to the RTA to use for nothing yet they still oppose the use of cheaper alternatives.

1. INCREASING APPARENT COST

"In 2006 I installed eight sets of flashing lights in Peakhurst and Lugarno. I chose locations where the 40kmh signs were mounted directly on Energy Australia power poles so that powering the lights from the overhead mains would be simple and cheap. (Mains power in this application is far greener than solar power). Five signs were on power poles and three were not. It was agreed in writing that the three signs that were not on power poles would be relocated onto nearby power poles.

"An on-site meeting was planned for early August 2006 between myself, the RTA and Energy Australia to finalise the installation details.

"The day before the meeting was to take place the RTA went out and removed the five signs that were mounted on power poles and reinstalled them on separate poles up to 5m from the power poles. The only possible explanation for their actions was to increase the apparent installation cost of my lights, as the wiring then had to be run underground from the power poles to the 40kmh signs.

"There was no actual cost involved as Energy Australia did the installations for nothing. What increased was the notional cost that the RTA is now quoting.

"Energy Australia had not objected to the lights being installed on the power poles and in fact there are numerous power poles with private floodlights on them outside car yards and other businesses. (See photo)

"The RTA later claimed that it was just part of an ongoing program to remove RTA signage from power poles. That claim was demonstrably false:

1. The only signs that were relocated were the ones that I was planning to use. They did not relocate other 40kmh signs in the SAME school zones that were also mounted on power poles. They remain in place today.

2. They did not relocate any of the 500 or so other RTA signs on power poles in the area.

3. They have mounted many new signs on power poles in Peakhurst/Lugarno and elsewhere since that date. Many are similar in size or larger than the 40kmh signs in question.

Case 1 - Lugarno Public School, Lugarno Pde (See photos)
"There were two 40kmh signs 100m apart on the approach to the school, both on power poles. The RTA relocated the first sign only, the one that I intended to use. The second sign, which they had to drive past, is still on the power pole two and a half years later. Pedestrian crossing signs in the new fluorescent yellow/green colour have also recently been added to that power pole and to another brand new pole on the other side of the pedestrian crossing.

Case 2 - Lugarno Public School, Old Forest Rd (See photo)
"There were RTA signs on four successive power poles. The RTA relocated the sign on the second pole only, namely the 40kmh sign that I intended to use. The other three signs remain on the poles today.

Case 3 - Peakhurst High School, Isaac St (See photos)
"The 40kmh sign and "End School Zone" sign were both on power poles. The RTA relocated the 40kmh sign only. The End sign is still attached to the power pole.

Case 4 - Forest Rd Lugarno (See photo)
"There were large RTA signs on four successive power poles. The RTA had to drive past them to get to the smaller 40kmh signs at Lugarno Public School. None of them were relocated and they remain in place today.

Case 5 - Bay St Rockdale / Brighton-le-Sands (See photos)
"Two large RTA signs were installed on power poles in Bay St Rockdale/Brighton in late 2008. Both are larger than any of the 40kmh signs that were relocated in 2006. They protrude from one side of the poles only which places a large twisting strain on the poles in strong wind.

2. REDUCING APPARENT RELIABILITY

"In December 2006 I reported a fault with RTA equipment that was affecting the operation of one of my signs. It took the RTA three and a half months to fix it, during which time my lights appeared to be malfunctioning.

"To be specific, the mains power to my lights goes first to an RTA-supplied earth leakage safety switch, then to an RTA-supplied transformer, then to my lights. The transformer isolates the lights from the safety switch meaning it is physically impossible for the safety switch to be tripped by a fault with the lights.

"In November 2006 the safety switch tripped off. I reset it to restore power to the lights.
"On 5 December 2006 the switch tripped again. I notified the RTA by phone.
"On 7 December 2006 the switch tripped again. I notified the RTA in writing.
"On 5 February 2007 it tripped again. I phoned the RTA traffic lights hotline and notified the RTA in writing.
"On 8 February it tripped again. I phoned the RTA traffic lights hotline and notified the RTA in writing.
"On 6 March and 8 March it tripped again. I notified the RTA in writing.
"On 11 March it tripped again. I notified the RTA in writing.
"On 14 March and 16 March it tripped again. I notified the RTA in writing.

"The RTA did not replace the faulty switch until late March 2007, three and a half months after I first reported it.

"In its recent media release the RTA claimed that back-to-base monitoring is essential because it "alerts the RTA to any problems immediately" and "is essential to ensure our children remain safe". It further stated: "We cannot install potentially unsafe, unreliable and infrequently monitored systems when it is our children we are trying to protect"

The lack of action by the RTA over the above fault showed no concern whatsoever for the welfare of children. All it did was make my lights appear unreliable.

3. INCREASING APPARENT PROBLEM RECTIFICATION TIME

"Full ownership and control of my eight sets of lights passed to the RTA on 28 February 2007.

"In March 2007, whilst on site with RTA technicians, I pointed out a broken switch on one of the signs and asked for it to be replaced. It did not affect the operation of the lights but would have prevented the controller being reset quickly in the event of a problem.

"On 13th October, seven months later, I discovered that the switch had still not been replaced.

"On 14th October the RTA acknowledged in writing that they had been advised of the problem in March but had not fixed it.

4. REDUCING VISIBILITY AND EFFECTIVENESS

"The 40kmh sign at Peakhurst West Public School on the north (left) side of Belmore Rd near Henry Lawson Drive is completely hidden by an overhanging tree.

"The attached photo shows the sign from the rear. Only cars in the left lane can cross the intersection because the right lane is Right Turn Only. The sign is completely invisible from the left lane before passing the tree. During the half-second or so that the sign is visible, drivers are looking in their right-hand mirror or over their right shoulder preparing to merge into the right-hand lane.

"The sign is also 20m from the nearest power pole, making running the power cable to the sign expensive.

"I proposed that my lights be installed on the sign on the right-hand side of the road instead, as is the case with RTA-installed flashing lights on King Georges Rd Beverly Hills, Taren Pt Rd Taren Pt, Taren Pt Rd Caringbah and elsewhere. The sign on the right is visible from half a kilometre back and is directly beside a power pole to reduce the installation cost. The RTA refused, needlessly increasing the apparent installation cost and reducing the visibility and effectiveness of my lights. Once again child safety was ignored.












........................................................................
Andrew Stoner MP
NSW Leader of The Nationals
Shadow Minister for Roads & Ports
Shadow Minister for State Development

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR?S FLASHING LIGHT FAILURE:
ROLL OUT TOO SLOW
Shadow Minister for Roads Andrew Stoner today slammed the State Labor Government for its
failure to roll out flashing lights in schools zones across NSW.
Today, private citizen Peter Olsen has installed flashing lights at Sophie Delezio?s school,
Balgowlah Heights Public School, in the absence of action from the State Government and
RTA. Mr Olsen says he has offered his technology free of charge to the State Government
and has no commercial interest in the flashing lights.
Last December Mr Olsen and Ron Delezio had met with Roads Minister Michael Daley. Mr
Olsen said Daley said that if all schools had flashing lights then drivers would become
?desensitised?. Mr Olsen also said Daley was content with lights being installed at just 4% of
school zones over four years at a cost of $116,000 per school.
?Successive Labor Roads Ministers have talked long and hard about flashing lights in school
zones, but they?ve dragged their feet on actually installing them,? Mr Stoner said.
?It shouldn?t have taken a private citizen in Peter Olsen to install flashing lights at Sophie
Delezio?s school in Balgowlah Heights,? he said.
?It?s inexcusable for Nathan Rees and Labor not to get on with this important safety measure
for our school children.
?Fewer than 5% of the 11,000 schools zones across NSW have flashing lights despite strong
evidence showing they slow drivers down.
?It?s about time the State Labor Government got fair dinkum and directed the $60 million
collected from drivers speeding in school zones into installing the flashing lights.
"Why is the State Labor Government delaying the installation of these lights? For heaven?s
sake, can Labor just get on and install them.
?Roads Minister Michael Daley also needs to explain why the State Government insists on
selecting the one of the most expensive providers of flashing light systems.
"Premier Rees and Minister Daley must understand they are dealing with the safety of our
children.
?Labor has spent three years delaying flashing lights with trials, excuses and platitudes.
Nathan Rees is showing all the decisiveness of his dithering predecessor, Morris Iemma.
?It?s time Mr Rees stopped focusing on his party?s divisions and started focusing on the issues
affecting the people of NSW and accelerated the roll out of flashing lights,? Mr Stoner said.
MEDIA: Andrew Stoner 0427 164 092 / Rod Bruce 0409 637 264

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Anything specified for use in a Government project, if it isn't over engineered or expensive it isn't considered.

When a figure of $7.4 million, the cost to fund flashing lights at 100 schools was announced Mr Peter Olsen made flashing light units of his own and mounted them at school zones.

Peter of Lurgano is a bit of a whiz with lights, as can be seen on his web site

www.schoolzonelights.com.au

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

Drivers rang up talkback radio saying how effective the lights were, and that same day as the lights were switched on three RTA trucks and about 10 men arrived to take them down.

I asked one why they were taking the lights down,and he said that "the wiring wasn't up to Australian standards".

The next morning Peter put up a spare set of flashing lights at the Lurgano Primary School and the RTA duly arrived and so did the media.

A hapless RTA supervisor had to explain to Peter, why perfectly functioning flashing lights doing a great job of slowing down traffic outside a primary school had to be taken down.

The surpervisor's reasons didn't impress Peter or 2GB's Alan Jones and after an on air interview with the then roads minister Mr Roozendaal, four schools in the Lurgano/Peakhurst area have had their pupils protected by Peter's flawlessly working flashing lights for over 2 years and three months.
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School zone warning lights rollout 'too slow'
BY MERRYN PORTER
12/06/2008 9:53:00 AM

TWO years after the RTA began a trial of flashing lights in school zones, only 18 schools in St George and Sutherland Shire have benefited from the technology.
While the RTA says flashing lights will be installed at five more locations in the area by the end of the month, road safety campaigners say it is taking too long to roll out the technology designed to reduce speeding in school zones and save lives. Flashing success: Peter Olsen outside Peakhurst Public School, where his flashing light technology has been operating.

Flashing success: Peter Olsen outside Peakhurst Public School, where his flashing light technology has been operating.

Picture: Jane Dyson.

Flashing lights will be added to school zone signage on The Boulevarde and Captain Cook Drive at Caringbah in a bid to slow traffic outside Miranda North Public School, Endeavour Sports High School, and Caringbah High School.

Lights will also be installed along sections of Rocky Point Road and President Avenue at Kogarah to alert motorists to school zones when passing Moorefield Girls' High School and James Cook Boys' Technology High School.

The schools are among 35 in NSW to benefit from the RTA's latest round of flashing light installations. Lights will be installed at 50 more spots by the end of the year, although a list of those schools is not yet available.

In all, 400 sets of flashing lights will be installed over four years. That is on top of the 100 installed as part of a trial that began in 2006.

The lights are being paid for using revenue from fixed speed cameras erected in school zones since late last year.

An RTA spokeswoman said flashing lights had so far been installed at 116 locations, 18 of which are in St George and Sutherland Shire.

"The $46.5 million school zone warning system program is an important feature of the RTA's school road safety program,'' she said.

"Another 100 sites will be installed each year in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

"These sites will be selected on an ongoing basis by the RTA to maximise road safety in school zones that need it the most.''

The Leader learned of plans for the latest round of flashing light installations as it was revealed that 95 per cent of speeding fines are incurred at fixed speed cameras in only 1 per cent of school zones.

Of the 125,000 fines issued for speeding in school zones in the second half of last year, 118,000 were for offences that occurred at less than 40 locations.

St George road safety campaigner Peter Olsen said this proved claims by government officials that the speed cameras reduced the road toll were nonsense.

"Ninety-five per cent of the fines came from just one per cent of school zones,'' he said.

"Safety at the 10,000 other school zones remains unchanged.''

Mr Olsen said that based on the Government's timetable of installing lights at 100 locations a year, it would take 110 years to fit out the state's 11,000 school zones.

This bit was in my delivered Leader but left out of the Leader's web page, where I got the above.

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10 months on and the drama continues.

May 21st, 2008

speed cameras are effective?

May 20th, 2008

NSW Education Minister John Della Bosca lost his license after racking up seven speeding fines.

He told reporters, "I can report that speed cameras are effective"

Are they effective at slowing drivers down?

Only after being caught the seventh time it seems, in Mr Della Bosca's case.

He had been on a probationary license.

And good morning to you

May 15th, 2008

An email in today from someone called "anominous"

ur a faggot, think about what u say before you say it, if you want more police cars on the road why don't you become a policemen and catch people if you want something this big then help out the cause.
.......................................................................

What did I say before I thought?

"if you want something this big then help out the cause."

And what does this part of your email mean?

I did try to reply by email, but you forgot to include your email address.

No excuse

May 5th, 2008

A couple of pages ago I pointed out that although there are 3 speed limit advisory signs on a relatively minor road at Oyster Bay, there is a distinct lack of them on King Georges rd Beverly Hills, a major ring road.

.

You can see three 50 signs at this once place.

Where there should be a 60 sign is between Stoney Creek rd going North, and the the fixed speed camera before Edgebaston st.

Nothing to say it's 60 after you enter from Stoney Creek rd.

The official excuse is that where there is no speed limit sign the "default" speed limit of 60 applies.

I suppose having a 60 sign near a 40 school zone sign could be confusing, maybe that could also be deemed a reason for not putting one there before cars get to the speed camera.

No such worries at King Georges rd over Hillcrest Ave

Heading South

And heading North.

So plenty of advice that 70 is okay here, but the RTA is reluctant to advise unaware drivers of the speed limit before a speed camera.

WHY?

I will email the road minister again and ask.

Backside

April 17th, 2008

Yesterday my wife (or do I have to say partner) and I drove out to Dural to a Bonsai place.

Now as you can gather by this site that I have a thing about school zones.

Yesterday we traveled through unfamiliar territory,as we live on the other side of Sydney, and drove through many school zones.

Four of these I didn't notice untill I saw the back of the school zone sign as we were LEAVING the school zone.

If it had've been "school zone time" and there had been a diligent Policeman there, I quite rightly could've been booked.

I still say that flashing lights at school zones is the way to go.
..................................................................

I DON'T BITE!

I was emailed a couple of days ago by a driver who has be booked at Beverly Hills, and I replied with my phone number.

I would've offered moral support, and perhaps could give advice if he does take his case to court.

He hasn't phoned me back.

I'm on your side if you are a normal average driver who tries to do the right thing.

Don't be shy and I won't bite and I'm free.

The RTA works in mysterious ways.

April 5th, 2008

Last December I took a photo of the last sign before the North speed camera on King Georges rd. Beverly Hills before you come out of Stoney Creek rd heading west.

So if you miss that sign turn right and head north there is no other sign to tell what the speed limit before you pass the fixed speed camera.

Driving on Cavers rd heading up to River rd Oyster bay, you pass two 50 km/ph signs after Box rd, and then there are THREE (pictured) as you come up to River rd. WHY?

The photo's not too clear,the the third sign is next to the SHELL sign.

The RTA can afford three signs here, but signs are in short supply at Beverly Hills