A tale of two schools #2

May 22nd, 2007

As there was renewed interest in school zones because of the increased penalties I e-mailed this to the paper but it missed the cut.
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Dear Sir,
Liberal MP Pru Goward has been caught and fined for speeding in a school zone and she will now campaign to have flashing lights installed at that school.(DT. May 19)
As the flashing lights units favoured by the RTA are very expensive, the school in question will have to meet certain criteria to justify their installation, but what these are is hard to work out.
On Taren Point rd at Holt rd Taren Point, there is a school zone for the Taren Point Public school (which has its main entrance in Woodlands rd.)
During the whole of the 8 - 9.30 morning school zone time last Wednesday, I counted only five pedestrian children on that school zone, three were escorted by parents and the other two waited patiently to cross safely at the traffic lights to get to school.
Yet in the next suburb the Miranda North Public school with 240 pupils and staff have to cope with the very heavy traffic on The Boulevarde outside its only entrance.
Heavy traffic is an understatement, as during the morning school zone time on Thursday I counted 318 semi -trailers, flat tray trucks, buses, concrete trucks, tow trucks, you name it, passing the school entrance. There were also hundreds of cars that went by as the children came to school on foot or were dropped off during that one and half hours, and this goes on every school day.
Even though the school's P&T have pleaded with the RTA for flashing lights to help make it safer for the children for some reason this school doesn't qualify .
Maybe the RTA has it hands full with the ones they have installed this year as I see yet another of the favoured "state of the art" flashing light units has broken down, this one is on the Kingsway Miranda (opposite University st).

Regards
Hans Stephens

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I trust that the extra revenue from the increased fines is all used to put up more lights.
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Update: The Kingsway Miranda faulty flashing light unit was still not working pm Monday.

Another faulty Light

May 18th, 2007

On the Kingsway Miranda heading South after Sylvania rd.

I saw this one at 3.35pm this afternoon (Friday)
How long it's been off I don't know but I'll keep an eye on it to see when the "back to base" feature kicks in.

Well that didn't work.

May 17th, 2007

About two years ago the then roads minister Mr Micheal Costa, because of media pressure, nearly halved the fine for low speed violations at school zones to show that it wasn't revenue raising.
The demerit points was raised to 3

I heard on the radio this morning that next week the fine is going up to $128 from $77 and now it'll be 4 demerit points at school zones.

I said when Mr Costa halved the fine and added the extra point, it's now cheaper to loose your license quicker.

Now it's 4 points.
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Miranda Public School.

This morning I parked opposite the school to count traffic going past the school during school zone time 8.00am-9.30am.

I started to count cars and made a mark on the pad for every heavy vehicle that went past.

After 500 cars, 4WD's, utes etc(xxxxx at bottom of page) I gave up on them and only marked the semi trailers, buses, table-top trucks, tow trucks, pantecs, concrete trucks, council garbage trucks, you name it.

318 heavy vehicles passed the school in that one and a half hours, All this is while parents are dropping off their children

and this goes on day after day.

A highway patrol police car pulled up in front of me sat there for 4 minutes, as I marked on the sheet.(top left)

The traffic was on the whole was well behaved, but every now and then a group would go past going way over 40.

It happens a bit when drivers seem to forget it's school zone time when they start off again after stopping at the pedestrian lights there.

Tale of two school zones

May 15th, 2007

There are two school zones in the Sutherland shire less than 2 kilometers apart.

One is on Taren point rd alongside the back boundry of Taren Point Public school.

This school zone has large flashing lights at either end of the zone.

This morning I counted the number of pedestrian school children crossing Taren pt rd, at this school zone during the morning school zone time.

The total number between 8.00am and 9.30am was FIVE
................................................................................................................................................

At 8.52am two adults (I assume mum and dad) walked two children to the school.


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

At 9.00am A boy and girl patiently waited for the lights to let them cross Taren pt rd. to get to school.


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

At 9.15 am the fifth child was escorted by dad to the school.


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

This is one of the two light units installed at this school zone.

So here is a school zone that is nowhere near the school's main entrance, used by 5 pupils and has flashing lights, yet in The Boulevarde, opposite Edward St Miranda, the Miranda North Public School has 240 pupils and staff whoes only access to their school is the very busy Boulevarde where warning lights apparently aren't warranted.

This is a very dangerous school zone, with a rise in the road
and with trees and the school set off from the road, it is difficult to notice that there is even a school there.

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

This is the sort of traffic that the pupils and staff have to cope with every school day at the Miranda Public School.

240 children, (plus all the passing school children from Endevour high) and no flashing lights to help make drivers aware, yet less than 2 kilometers away a school on a side steet does.

What is the formula used by the RTA to allocate flashing lights

Or is it a case of putting them on main roads, so it appears that they are doing something?

I don't begrudge the Taren pt rd school their lights, as every child is precious but why there, but not at the Miranda school.

Imagine a car driver on the Boulevard suddenly realizing that it IS school zone time hitting the brakes in panic in case of police and being closely followed by a semi trailer.

Put up flashing lights and give the kids and the motorists a chance.

Speaking of......

May 11th, 2007

Speaking of "state of the art". I read that buses are going to get "state of the art" video security cameras.

I drove through Blakehurst this morning all the warning lights (that I saw)at the two school zones there,.... WERE working.

State of the art

May 3rd, 2007

Now I might be a little, how do I say ......."passionate" about school zones but I do not drive around checking on the flashing lights that are in the local area, that are some of the 100 sites installed at the cost of $7.2,million, but as I go to and from places where I work, I do take take care to slow down at school zones and do notice things.

On the way back from Hurstville this afternoon at 3.45pm, on King Georges Rd heading south after Terry St, I looked up and the Yard arm style flashing light was going, but missing part of the display.
I pulled over walked back with my trusty camera and the whole display was off and then came back on ...an intermittent fault, I think that's called.

You can see the unlit patch of display that I first noticed, and the whole display has failed in the top photo.
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There are only a few of these 100 flashing light sites that I see in the South and I have seen and have photos of these failures.

Feb 13
Feb 14... 3 units
Feb 16
Feb 22
Feb 24
April 24
May 3

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.
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All that is needed at school zones, are simple BRIGHT flashing lights, on the school zone signs, not fancy over-engineered units made up of many parts which not only make them expensive, but as shown, unreliable.
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UPDATE Fri 5th

The light unit mentioned above appeared to be working as I drove under
it at 9.15 am this morning.
or maybe it was on it was on the working part of an intermittent fault cycle.
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At last

May 2nd, 2007

Well the overhead flashing light at Blakehurst that failed "last month" has been repaired.
If one light unit out of the one hundred sites fails and it takes about a week to fix, how long will it take to when all schools have them?
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26/5/07 Well the overhead flashing light at Blakehurst that failed "last month" has been repaired.
If one light unit out of the one hundred sites fails and it takes about a week to fix, how long will it take to when all schools have them?
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No change

April 30th, 2007

A weekend and two more school zone times have gone by and there is no blinking change to the non working overhead flashing light at Blakehurst.

Maybe they'll get around to fixing it next month.

Spot the difference

April 29th, 2007

This photo is of the new expensive flashing lights that the RTA had installed,(on the left hand sign), at the Princes Highway Kogarah heading south late last year.

As you can see they are obscured by a row of young trees planted on the nature strip as part of a new unit block's landscaping.

On the 16/1/07 "where's the common sense", I did point out the stupidity of hidding them behind trees, and as the flashing light unit is solar powered, it could easily be placed on the wide centre median strip, in fact would be better there, as then the lights could be seen as far back as Park St.

No a better idea is to cut down the trees, who needs trees anyway.

Back to base

April 28th, 2007

One thing about the fancy expensive flashing lights that the RTA have had installed at 100 schools is that they have a "back to base" feature.

If there is a malfunction the faulty unit in question calls for help.
The faulty flashing light at Blakehurst, has been calling for help for two days now.(that I know of).

The non flashing light (previous page) was inactive both am and pm school zone times today.

How long would it take to get around to repair lights that break down after 2 months if the RTA had to rely on passersby to report faults.

Why does this "state of the art" unit and the similar unit at Taren Point break down after such a short time?

Not again

April 26th, 2007

Modern technology.

Guess what?

This morning at 8.50 this "yard arm" style fancy flashing light unit at Blakehurst wasn't working.
This afternoon at 3.10 pm it still wasn't working when I took this photo.

As you can see the second expensive unit on the sign is working.
Although for the money they cost, these sign mounted lights, don't really stand out.
The lights being solar powered would be limited in power usage I would imagine, so less power = less light.

How's this for an idea.

Hook into the 240 volt power that most schools have, transfom it down to whatever is needed to power lights,.... that can be seen!

No solar panels or batteries needed, and you get visible warning lights.
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In todays Leader was this news snippet.

So after the thousands and thousands that these units cost, what have we got?

My good mate Brenton tells me that the school zone lights were also flashing on King Georges Rd Blakehurst on Anzac day.

I ask again, how many of the other flashing light units at the other 100 sites malfunction?
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This story was in The Daily Telegraph on Anzac day.

Thinking outside the square....At Last!

April 17th, 2007

I drove on Taren Pt Rd this afternoon and glanced over to the overhead flashing light I mentioned in my last page, and saw a change of thinking, the school zone sign on the center median strip, now has flashing lights attached.

The idea of only having flashing lights on the left school zone sign "for safety reasons" has changed.

The stupidity of having very expensive lights hidden by bushes on the left hand side of the road, as on the Princes Highway at Kogarah, was pointed out by Peter Olsen and myself earlier this year.

So this spot on Taren PT Rd we have two expensive sets of warning lights, and the very busy long school zone around the corner on the Boulevard has none, but does have lots of schoolchildren.

Because these new lights are prone to malfunctioning, maybe two , one as a spare is necessary.

How many schoolchildren pedestrians walk along this section of Taren Point road during school zone time?

Am I now complaining that there are too many lights, not if the lights on the school zone sign were of a cheaper version.

How much does this ONE setup cost, and how many schools are there in NSW?

It's sad

April 3rd, 2007

This morning I drove to Hurstville and as I went through the Princes Highway and King Georges intersection I looked up and couldn't see the overhead flashing light working.
I can't be 100% sure and as it was peakhour, and I didn't turn around to double check.
But this afternoon at 2.50pm at Taren Pt Rd (the South end) the overlane flashing lights weren't working, the flashing lights on the school zone sign alongside were. I did double check.

This is the light unit that was faulty.(the photo was taken when the same unit failed earlier this year)

It really is quite sad to see that this equipment has failed again

and to think that the RTA were against the "Olsen lights" because they could be unrealiable.

How many of the other 100 sites are having problems?
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As we now have a "new Government" I'll e-mail the road minister and get his feeling on not having flashing lights on the other roads feeding into the school zone at Kogarah.
I assume it will be a "we'll get back to you as soon as possible" reply but I have to ask.
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New signs

March 16th, 2007

The previous page was to let someone see what I have had out there recently, without looking too far back through the site.
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This afternoon I placed a new "Let's Keep Collier..LAST" sign as someone had pinched the first one, and I put up the new one for the homeward bound voters to see.
I counted around 70 - 80 vehicles passing this site per minute and I was there 2 hours up till 6.15 pm

More next week

Getting the message out

March 16th, 2007
WHICH GOVERNMENT BROUGHT IN SCHOOL ZONES?

Which Government knew that school zones didn't work as well as expected because motorists can't get used to them?

Why we are still reminded by radio spots and on RTA overhead signs about school zones, even after it being years since school zones were introduced?

Finally a "clayton" system of flashing lights have been set up at 100 sites because of media pressure.

The Liberals say that they will fix the school zone mess if they win the upcoming election and as I live in the very marginal seat of Miranda held by Labor MP Barry Collier, I thought I would give the opposition a bit of a hand.


MP Barry Collier

I have nothing against Barry personably as he has done a lot of good for Miranda, but this would've been made easier by the extra funds given to marginal seats by head office to keep the local voters onside.

I DON'T REALLY CARE WHO IS IN GOVERNMENT JUST AS LONG AS THEY DON'T WASTE MONEY AND LOOK AFTER THE PEOPLE

My idea was to make people think and as billboards are used to inform , I thought a message in a prominent place might make a difference.
.......................................................

This is the first of my van signs.

The sign is bolted to the back of my van's roof racks, hinged and takes 15 seconds to unfold and can be parked anywhere for the best result.

I will be parking in peak hour, to get at least a few passing people/voters thinking.

The other easy, low cost way is to use ordinary doors recycled from council clean ups, painted white (if needed) and then add suitable messages.
The local ALP member for Miranda is Mr Collier
These signs went up overnight, no doubt to expand on his recent flyer.

So I thought what could I do to use the wording of this heartfelt plea.

This afternoon (same day) my suggestion greeted the peak hour traffic heading south off Tom Uglies Bridge, into the Miranda seat of Mr Collier
The next morning it was on display for the day heading into the city.

By the way someone stole my "let's keep Collier Last" door/sign.

(I have more doors to use, courtesy of the council clean up in Mr Collier's seat of Miranda.)

This sign was put up by "someone" this morning on the Princes Highway Sylvania, seen by many thousands of voters heading into the city

Yesterday it was on the Kingsway at Woolaware, for the Liberal launch and this morning at my spot at Sylvania, for the morning peak.

I put the 2 Collier signs out this morning, one on Taren Pt Rd to catch a new audience and parked the "Don't recycle Carr's cronies" at Sylvania.
Plus a new one for drivers to read at the traffic lights there, and the vote Labor one.

Is that meant to be WHINGE?

Sitting in my van listening to the radio I notice that the ads already are over the top with Labor on about all the thousands of "front line workers" going to be sacked if Mr Debnam gets in.

A sad fact is that people will believe it.

With close to 100 vehicles passing my post per minute this morning,

these are the number of proud Labor voters ----- SEVEN!



I gave warning of the survey on both Port Hacking Rd and the Princes Highway thus,

Of course you would realize that the Poll is all a bit of nonsense just to get you to get onto this web site, and to make voters think, as with my different signs recently.

I was surprised though, that there were only seven, as I thought that there would be more Labor devotees that could find the horn button.

But then again leaving aside the mechanics of tooting, have you ever met anyone that actually admits to voting labor, State or Federally?
.......................................................................

If you look in the Category on the right "About School zone santa" you can see why I have this site.
........................................................................

Mr Debnam has promised "flashing lights" for school and as Miranda is a marginal seat it is therefore important to both sides.

Yes I know that Politicians make promises at election time, and I will be watching to see what happens.

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

This is what I wrote on the site on 11/10/06

[ Promises are coming thick and fast and the election is months away.
I just hope that the "I'll put flashing lights at schools when we win the election" is a core promise and doesn't come into "the circumstances have changed " bracket, with the disclaimer, that "school zones are all Labor's fault anyway". ]
....................................................................


Sorry about the wobbly sign writing but this is a no budget operation....................................................................

This is the text of a letter in the Daily Telegraph yesterday 12/3/07
................................................................

One wonders how many people will walk into polling booths in less than two weeks with little idea of who they are voting for.

Vic Emerton
Chester Hill

.....................................................................
I have felt the same and sent my two bob's worth in to the same paper.
.....................................................................

The following paragraph was left out of my e-mail, I assume due to lack of space.

[A person could be forgiven for voting for Mr Collier because of his stance on crime, not realising that it was the "local MP's" own government with their law and order policies, that allowed the build up of tensions before the Cronulla riots.]

As the Tele has given me a fair run over the years, not to worry, I think my point comes across.

It was printed Tuesday 13

.....................................................................
................................................................
Jesse, pushed the comment button and wrote this:
....................................................................

Hey man how are you, it's Jesse, I was going through your web site and I think I have changed my vote after talking with you, and yes I had a good look and done a lot of research on what you where telling me.
I didn't quite understand at the time, but now I have a very good idea.
I now know about the things, you are trying to cover,
all the best m8,
from your pal Jesse
........................................................................
Good one Jesse
........................................................................

So tomorrow is crunch day.

All the Polls say that the people will decide to believe the mis-truths and promises, and stick with the ones who have misled us for the last 12 years.

As I drove onto the Pacfic Highway past the election posters this afternoon, a hearse drove slowly past,in the back a coffin covered in wreaths of white flowers.

What happens tomorrow doesn't seem as important.

Hopefully a change on March 24 will see a bit of common sense.

Well at least the seat of Miranda is still in doubt.
Today (Tuesday) they are still counting the votes, and it's neck and neck.

"Someone" put up this last sign at Sylvania.


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

Mr Collier won the seat with a .03% margin.

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

UPDATE: MARCH 15/09

I notice a pile of white doors on the council clean up in Bonnet Bay today.

Should I go back tomorrow to pick them up.........

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Exposure (To be continued)

March 14th, 2007

NB original posts had photos which have gone for some I.T. reason.

The local ALP member for Miranda is Mr Collier
These signs went up overnight, no doubt to expand on his recent flyer.

So I thought what could I do to use the wording of this heartfelt plea.

This afternoon (same day) my suggestion greeted the peak hour traffic heading south off Tom Uglies Bridge, into the Miranda seat of Mr Collier
The next morning it was on display for the day heading into the city.


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

I read the Telegraph front page at 6am this morning and I had three signs to greet the city bound peak hour traffic at 7am to give the voters something more to think about

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

For extra clarity I will need to double up on the board to stop light coming through.
.................................................................

By the way someone stole my "let's keep Collier Last" door/sign.

(I have more doors to use, courtesy of the council clean up in Mr Collier's seat of Miranda.)

This sign was put up by "someone" this morning on the Princes Highway Sylvania, seen by many thousands of voters heading into the city

Yesterday it was on the Kingsway at Woolaware, for the Liberal launch and this morning at my spot at Sylvania, for the morning peak.

I put the 2 Collier signs out this morning, one on Taren Pt Rd to catch a new audience and parked the "Don't recycle Carr's cronies" at Sylvania.
Plus a new one for drivers to read at the traffic lights there, and the vote Labor one.

Is that meant to be WHINGE?

Sitting in my van listening to the radio I notice that the ads already are over the top with Labor on about all the thousands of "front line workers" going to be sacked if Mr Debnam gets in.

A sad fact is that people will believe it.

With close to 100 vehicles passing my post per minute this morning,

these are the number of proud Labor voters ----- SEVEN!



I gave warning of the survey on both Port Hacking Rd and the Princes Highway thus,

Of course you would realize that the Poll is all a bit of nonsense just to get you to get onto this web site, and to make voters think, as with my different signs recently.

I was surprised though, that there were only seven, as I thought that there would be more Labor devotees that could find the horn button.

But then again leaving aside the mechanics of tooting, have you ever met anyone that actually admits to voting labor, State or Federally?
.......................................................................

If you look in the Category on the right "About School zone santa" you can see why I have this site.
........................................................................

Mr Debnam has promised "flashing lights" for school and as Miranda is a marginal seat it is therefore important to both sides.

Yes I know that Politicians make promises at election time, and I will be watching to see what happens.

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

This is what I wrote on the site on 11/10/06

[ Promises are coming thick and fast and the election is months away.
I just hope that the "I'll put flashing lights at schools when we win the election" is a core promise and doesn't come into "the circumstances have changed " bracket, with the disclaimer, that "school zones are all Labor's fault anyway". ]
....................................................................


Sorry about the wobbly sign writing but this is a no budget operation....................................................................

This is the text of a letter in the Daily Telegraph yesterday 12/3/07
................................................................

One wonders how many people will walk into polling booths in less than two weeks with little idea of who they are voting for.

Vic Emerton
Chester Hill

.....................................................................
I have felt the same and sent my two bob's worth in to the same paper.
.....................................................................

The following paragraph was left out of my e-mail, I assume due to lack of space.

[A person could be forgiven for voting for Mr Collier because of his stance on crime, not realising that it was the "local MP's" own government with their law and order policies, that allowed the build up of tensions before the Cronulla riots.]

As the Tele has given me a fair run over the years, not to worry, I think my point comes across.

It was printed Tuesday 13

.....................................................................
................................................................
Jesse, pushed the comment button and wrote this:
....................................................................

Hey man how are you, it's Jesse, I was going through your web site and I think I have changed my vote after talking with you, and yes I had a good look and done a lot of research on what you where telling me.
I didn't quite understand at the time, but now I have a very good idea.
I now know about the things, you are trying to cover,
all the best m8,
from your pal Jesse
........................................................................
Good one Jesse
........................................................................

So tomorrow is crunch day.

All the Polls say that the people will decide to believe the mis-truths and promises, and stick with the ones who have misled us for the last 12 years.

As I drove onto the Pacfic Highway past the election posters this afternoon, a hearse drove slowly past,in the back a coffin covered in wreaths of white flowers.

What happens tomorrow doesn't seem as important.

Hopefully a change on March 24 will see a bit of common sense.

Well at least the seat of Miranda is still in doubt.
Today (Tuesday) they are still counting the votes, and it's neck and neck.

"Someone" put up this last sign at Sylvania.


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

UPDATE: MARCH 15/09

I notice a pile of white doors on the council clean up in Bonnet Bay today.

Should I go back tomorrow to pick them up.........

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Donkey votes

March 13th, 2007

This is the text of a letter in the Daily Telegraph yesterday 12/3/07
................................................................

One wonders how many people will walk into polling booths in less than two weeks with little idea of who they are voting for.

Vic Emerton
Chester Hill

.....................................................................
I have felt the same and sent my two bob's worth in to the same paper.
.....................................................................

Well at least the seat of Miranda is still in doubt.
Today (Tuesday) they are still counting the votes, and it's neck and neck.

"Someone" put up this last sign at Sylvania.


......................................................................
Enough of that nonsense .
......................................................................
This was in yesterday's paper.

I'll see if I can find out what sort of Flashing lights they will use, that's if they get past the RTA.
........................................................................

The Telegraph did print my letter this morning but left out the following paragraph, which I did think made a valid point.
.

[A person could be forgiven for voting for Mr Collier because of his stance on crime, not realising that it was the "local MP's" own government with their law and order policies, that allowed the build up of tensions before the Cronulla riots.]

But as the Tele gives me a fair run not to worry, I made my point.
........................................................................

This morning I noticed signs that have appeared high up on power poles in my area, no doubt to follow up on Mr Collier's Logo less flyer from last weekend.

So I thought what could I do to use the wording of this heartfelt plea.

This afternoon my suggestion greeted the peakhour traffic heading south off Tom Uglies Bridge.

Mr collier
After nailing the sign and taking a photo a young man came up and asked what the sign meant.

Jesse is his name, HI JESSE! and he wasn't too sure that NSW would be better under a Debnam government. He'd heard that the Liberals only help the rich and he would loose overtime.
I assured him that a good worker will always be OK.

I explained that I was helping to make aware that Barry Collier is actually ALP, a fact he is appearently trying to hide.
I could be mistaken and it's just that his printers leave out bits.

I've got nothing against the man personally, it's just that I can't stand people being conned, and I can see no other reason to leave out ALP logos, and don't mention in any flyers (I've seen) that he is the ALP MP for Miranda, in case it could cost votes.

All the best in the future Jesse.

mr collier
With close to 100 vehicles passing my post per minute this morning,

these are the number of proud Labor voters ----- SEVEN!



I gave warning of the survey on both Port Hacking Rd and the Princes Highway thus,

Of course you would realize that the Poll is all a bit of nonsense just to get you to get onto this web site, and to make voters think, as with my different signs recently.

I was surprized though, that there were only seven, as I thought that there would more Labor devotees that could find the horn button.

But then again leaving aside the mechanics of tooting, have you ever met anyone that actually admits to voting labor, State or Federally?
.......................................................................

If you look in the Category on the right "About School zone santa" you can see why I have this site.
........................................................................

Mr Debnam has promised "flashing lights" for school and as Miranda is a marginal seat it is therefore important to both sides.

Yes I know that Politicians make promises at election time, and I will be watching to see what happens.

mr collier
.....................................................................

This is what I wrote on the site on 11/10/06

[ Promises are coming thick and fast and the election is months away.
I just hope that the "I'll put flashing lights at schools when we win the election" is a core promise and doesn't come into "the circumstances have changed " bracket, with the disclaimer, that "school zones are all Labor's fault anyway". ]
....................................................................



Mr collier

Sorry about the wobbly sign writing but this is a no budget
operation.
mr collier

Ahh what's number one?

March 12th, 2007

This sign was put up by "someone" this morning on the Princes Highway Sylvania, seen by many thousands of voters heading into the city.

Is it worth the trouble?

March 11th, 2007

This week I received this e-mail,
.....................................................................
Hi, I love the site and the campaign.
I got caught by the camera at Kogarah ........ into the new school year having become used to the non-school period. I have received my penalty notice and am considering going to court rather than accepting the fine and points deduction on the basis of the lack of flashing lights. How do the courts respond to the plea that it is unreasonable to expect us to be aware of the time at this crucial period when schools return back. I see from your site that hundreds of people were similarly caught out. Have you any idea about whether it is worth pursuing this or not on an individual basis? it seems disgraceful to me that lights are not routinely used in school zones and hopefully your campaign is going to drive some political action in this regard.

Thanks
........................................................................

I erased the time this driver was caught out for privacy reasons.

I replied
.......................................................................

Hi, ....

Where did you come from, into the school zone?
Was it from President Ave or Rocky point Rd ?
If it was, then you didn't have flashing lights to help make you aware of the new school year.

Would you have slowed down if you'd known,... of course. All good drivers would, and I don't have any sympathy for the rest.

Maybe if it was pointed out to the judge about the fact that these other busy roads leading into the school zone don't have flashing lights and the Princes Highway does, he might see the stupidity of that idea.
It only takes one car to have an accident and the judge might find it
interesting, that we counted 2,798 drivers coming out of those two streets and South St on the morning school zone time, the 31st Jan, a pupil free day, but a gazetted school day,
and that was only the morning traffic.( archives, Why 30/1/07)

So I think that the drivers on the streets entering that school zone, apart from the Princes Highway, are being discriminated against.
I'd go to court and then it would be up to the RTA to explain why the
drivers on the other roads aren't important, and where does that leave the school children safety wise?

It would be a new defence angle and would get a bit of publicity and action I would think.
The RTA /GOV are treating average drivers like fools and expect them to just take it, and sadly, most do.

Someone has to be the first to test the waters.

The worst that can happen is that it will cost an extra $60 or so, plus your time .

What do you think?

Regards
.......................................................................

I haven't heard back as yet

To take time off work, to go to court, all for a $77 ticket does seem a bit of a waste of time, but that's how the RTA want us to think, to give in, cop the fine, and it's up to you not to forget school zone time again.

If it was pointed out to the judge that the RTA thinks that two sets of flashing lights on The Princes Highway are enough, and lets thousands of cars go through the Kogarah school zone each day without them from the other busy roads.
The RTA has fleeced many millions of dollars from drivers at that school zone,let them explain to the Judge why 2 sets of lights are enough.
Maybe he could rule against the RTA in favour of the driver, school children and common sense.

But first someone has to step forward.

Once the flush of anger after opening the letter subsides, it can then be a case of "they should do something about it."

"What we need is a "THEY"

Wheel clamps

March 1st, 2007

On the radio news today was the anouncement that the government was looking at the idea of wheel clamping the cars of hoons at their homes, and increasing the fine for hooning behaviour.

This wheel clamping idea I wrote about in "The P plate driver crisis" Category and not only hoons but drivers who are caught driving while disqualified.

Last week a footballer had the time of his diqulification increased to
2015 after being caught again, driving, and periodic detention.

Maybe having his car wheel clamped earier on, might have helped.

I rang the Stay safe commitee chairman Mr Paul Gibson about wheel clamps on 2/2/06, it's mentioned in "Cicumstances have changed" page on 2/2/06.

Type paul gibson in search panel (on right) and what he said about that,and about the the Kogarah school zone (and he is a serving LABOR MP) comes up, also the first day of school zone santa in 05.

see also "Wheel clamp hoons" category

Am I Political?

February 28th, 2007

It might seem so.

Which goverment brought in school zones?

Which Government knew that school zones didn't work as well as expected because motorists can't get used to them.

Why we are still reminded by radio spots and on RTA overhead signs about school zones, even after it being years since school zones were introduced?

Finally a "clayton" system of flashing lights have been set up at 100 sites because of media pressure.

What has happened to these lights is in previous pages.

Hopefully a change on March 24 will see a bit of common sense.

On the road again

February 26th, 2007

Yesterday it was on the Kingsway at Woolaware, for the Liberal launch and this morning at my spot at Sylvania, for the morning peak.

Sitting in my van listening to the radio I notice that the ads already are over the top with Labor on about all the thousands of "front line workers" going to be sacked if Mr Debnam gets in.

A sad fact is that people will believe it.
..............................................................
Well that was a silly thing to do yesterday, parking on the Kingsway when I should have been on Captain cook Drive, Oh Well,
thousands of vehicles do pass that way on any Sunday, so it wasn't a complete waste.
................................................................

I've tried to point out that the fact, that only 2 sets of lights were installed at the Kogarah school zone on the Princes Highway when there are 3 other busy roads feeding into it, requires answers from the roads minister.

Ask the thousands of drivers on those 3 other roads every day, if they think the problem at Kogarah is fixed.

Unless I'm totally misguided, I would think that the untold thousands of good drivers that have been caught out at school zones throughout NSW are important.

I ask the question to all and sundry,

"What do you do, when you suddenly realize that you're in the middle of a school zone?"

The usual answer is, "Siht, what's the time and how fast am I going?" (or words to that effect.)

Have you ever been booked?

Many of the people I ask have, or they know someone who has.

So after years of trials, denials, pie graphs, and media pressure the RTA have spent $7.2 million to install flashing lights at 100 schools, even putting up temporary ones to get the 100 sites up before the school year started.

That the lights started to fail after only two weeks of operation is a scandal when so much money has been spent, but then it's not unusual for the RTA to be involved in expensive failures.

The current roads minister also needs to explain why these expensive lights are faulty.

And no it's not because they are testing and trial ling these lights, they've done all that.

I would imagine that they are just too complicated and the more components the greater chance of malfunction.

All this money wasted and there are better and cheaper alternatives.

Don't recycle Carr's Cronies

February 25th, 2007


Labor are saying "we're heading in the right direction." but to take 12 years to realize that now, is reason enough for a change.

Why I'm interested, is because Mr Debnam has said that he'll fix the school zone issue.

As the NSW Liberal Launch was in Cronulla I parked the sign on The Kingsway at Gannons Rd. today.

as you can see it stands out.

Good news.

February 23rd, 2007

I passed the new flashing lights at Blakehurst this morning during school zone time,.........AND THEY WERE WORKING!!!!!

And when I passed the Olsen lights in Belmore Rd Peakhurst they were also quietly doing their job, no fuss,and no ladder in sight.



Note the middle car's brake lights.
..................................................................

This letter was in the Daily Telegraph this morning

Nothing new but true.
.................................................................

Well it's finally been announced..... THE LANE COVE TUNNEL will be opened on the 25/3/07 the day AFTER the NSW STATE ELECTION.

Last year on the 15/2/06 I wrote this,
...................................................................
The present government must wish all this would go away because we have our next state election next March, and the Lane Cove Tunnel is going to open, and it also has "tunnel funneling"and road narrowing and closures, coercing drivers to use the tunnel.

Maybe there might be "technical Problems" and the tunnel opening is delayed, coincidentaly, till after the poll.

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

For full text you can type cross city tunnel blues
in the search panel, in right column
.................................................

Today the lane cove tunnel boss explained on 2GB, that the tunnel opening had been delayed because of "ventilation fan problems"
Sounds like technical problems to me.

We are told that the opening the tunnel the day after the Poll is all just a coincidence.

Peter Olsen to stand for the Upper house

February 22nd, 2007

Media Release
22 February 2007
Peter Olsen to Stand for Election to Upper House

Peter Olsen has today announced his intention of standing as an independent candidate for the NSW Upper House in the elections to be held on 24th March 2007. Full details can be found at www.schoolzonelights.com.au or www.peterolsen.com.au

For the past 12 months Mr Olsen has been campaigning hard for the introduction of flashing lights at all school zones in NSW. In spite of a 3-year trial by the RTA finding that flashing lights reduce the risk of fatal accidents around schools by 11%, the government's position is that flashing lights will only be installed on a "needs basis".

Mr Olsen believes that children "need" protection at all schools and that drivers "need" to be warned when the zones are in operation at all schools.

Mr Olsen proved that reliable flashing lights could be installed at an affordable price but the government has not changed its position. He has therefore decided that the only way to achieve change is from within.

Mr Olsen originally considered running for the Lower House in his local electorate but has since decided that it would be more appropriate to run for the Upper House given that it is a state-wide issue. He also sees significance in the fact that the current Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, is an Upper House MP even though his term does not expire at these elections.

Mr Olsen is not pushing his technology, which he has offered to the RTA free of charge. He simply wants to see cost-effective technology used so that flashing lights can be installed at all schools at an affordable price.

Mr Olsen will not just be focusing on school zone lights. He also has a keen interest in other issues as outlined on his web site, in particular desalination and filtration of the M5 East exhaust stacks.

For more information contact:
Peter Olsen
9012-5298 bh
9599-1811 ah
0414-538-404 ah
...................................................................
All the best Peter, if all the good average drivers that have been caught out at school zones vote your way, you're home and hosed.
...................................................................
...................................................................
Media Release
22 February 2007
More Problems with RTA's School Zone Flashing Lights

Callers to 2GB in Sydney yesterday reported that the RTA's reliable new school zone flashing lights were not working at the following locations:

- BOTONY RD. ROSEBURY

- VICTORIA RD RYDALEMER

- KING GEORGES RD BLAKEHURST


For more information contact:
Peter Olsen
9012-5298 bh
9599-1811 ah
...................................................................

How many more of the 100 locations have developed faults?
...................................................................

I rang Mr Debnam's office and pointed out that the faulty lights could be an angle to persue and lady I spoke to, said she would get back to me.
...................................................................

Oh Dear #3

February 21st, 2007

This morning after doing a small job in Gymea, I had some spare time so I parked the sign at Port Hacking and the Hwy at 8.30am and at 9.15 I headed off to Mortdale

and guess what?

Another one of the new deluxe school zone flashing lights has developed a fault.

Well it lasted 3 weeks that's not bad for$36,000
I see now why the back to base fault reporter is necessary for these systems

This one is at the corner of King Georges Rd and the Princes Highway at Blakehurst heading towards Hurstville outside the big Chinese Resturant.

One of it's flashing lights was frozen in the on position and the other was off.They should be flashing alternatively of course.

This was at 9-20 am when I saw it.

I would think that if it was handled correctly, the State government and the RTA could be made look quite foolish, that after years of inaction concerning school zone lights, they go against the advice they paid for, and install lights that break down, as I've chronicled, after only 2 weeks into the school year.
..................................................................



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

I had a look at the Blakehurst lights at 2-20pm this afternoon and the lights mentioned above were still stuck on (and off).

At 2.30 the Crystal car wash set did come on, but the faulty one across the way stayed the same.

What needs to happen is for the RTA to forget about these fancy over engineered units and go for the Olsen style of lights and double up on everything, if reliability is such an issue, and they I imagine would still cost under a thousand, even with four lights per sign.

But first we need a roads minister with the guts to reign in the fools at the RTA, with their 112 or so pages of pie graphs about school zone lights, and then we get the nonsense at Blakehurst and Taren Pt.

How many other of the 100 schools have lights that are faulty?

If it was sabotage at Taren Pt and Blakehurst shouldn't the RTA call the Police, and ask for witnesses to come forward.

Childrens lives could be at risk.

I'll bet RTA jobs aren't at risk, but they should be.

On the road again.

February 19th, 2007

I parked the sign this morning in the peak hour traffic in great a spot at Port Hacking and The Princes Highway Sylvania, giving passing motorists something else to think about, on their way to work.

I see the Telegraph also had "Going in the right direction" in this morning's cartoon.

The letters on the sign can be removed and new ideas can be posted,
Maybe something like ...

DON'T RECYCLE CARRS' CRONIES
WAKE UP NSW

And the one

BEWARE THE LIES OF MARCH
DON'T WASTE YOUR VOTE

I said when I first started School zone Santa Dec 2004, that with support, I was prepared to stand at Kogarah in my Santa suit till the next election or when they did something about school zones.

Well even though there was plenty of "good on mate, keep it up" sort of support I'm afraid that doesn't quite pay the bills.

I'd love to park the sign both peak hours on all sorts of busy highways, even in marginal seats, just to keep people thinking.

If you can help, push the very confidential comment button.

Apathy

February 18th, 2007

This morning I walked past the venue in Hurstville where the labor party was having it's official launch and there was a rag tag bunch of protesters a miniscule number of people (percentage wise) who came to represent all the people elsewhere, who have been adversly affected by inept government policy.

Just imagine the impact it would make if 10% of the people who moan about how bad the government is, can along and joined in.
Peaceful protest is still allowed .

Here is a sign I parked in the Hurstville and Kogarah areas

I will be parking in peak hour, to get at least a few passing people/voters thinking.

It is bolted to the back of my van's roof racks and hinged and takes 10 seconds to unfold and can be parked anywhere for the best result, be it on the highway, outside Fairfax the the Telgraph or a TV station.

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

Labor's new election slogan is "Heading in the right direction"

But how long will it take to get there?

what am I trying to do?

February 18th, 2007

Even after all the years that NSW has had school zones, ordinary average drivers can not get used to them, and politicians from both sides have acknowledged that.

I have documented examples of media statement, letters I've sent and replies going back at least two years about school zones.

Type Ms Burton, in the sites search panel, (right hand column below "Categories") or Mr Costa or Paul Gibson, or nrma. for details, of talk but not much action.

Drivers rang talk back radio, wrote to news papers year after year complaining, finally just before an election, 100 school get flashing lights.

The RTA has even has had temporary ones installed, like the one one with the intermittant fault at the Blakehurst Crystal car wash, till they put up the overhead yard arm type there.

$7.2 million for 100 schools and there are around 4000 schools in NSW.

How much is that just to install them at all schools, and how much each year for maintenance?

Sets of these new Flashing lights at Blakehurst and Taren Pt have failed after only 2 weeks and I was told by an RTA worker and from another RTA source, that someone has been sabotaging the lights. See Sabotage two pages back.

So some schools will get them, and the police will pounce on unaware drivers at the rest.

How does that make it fair for drivers and safer for school children?

The Kogarah school zone with it's two speed cameras has had a flashing lights installed at either end (one set behind trees) on the Princes highway.

But the three other main feeder roads into this school zone, Rocky Pt Rd, President Ave, Regent St, and even South St, motorists have to fend for themselves.

So even though those two speed cameras caught 49.500 drivers in 2003 -2004 and they were fined $6.5 million, all the RTA could afford or thought was necessary are two sets of lights for a school zone nearly 1
klm long with all the other busy side roads feeding into it.

That's why I'm here to try and highlight this nonsense.

Too many people have contacted me over the last couple of years agreeing with me, that I feel to just to go away now, would be letting them and all the other average drivers down.

I've said all along I don't care who gets in, as long as they do the right thing for NSW., why I even voted for Bob Hawke.

Half Baked

February 17th, 2007

Last night the phrase "Half baked" was used repeatedly by Mr Iemma in a debate with Mr Debnam on TV.

Another was we're starting NOW.

What have they been doing for the last 10 years?

For the RTA to go against it's own independent advice(see "Hello Simon" a couple of pages back for more deatails and RTA website) and go with the flashing light systems they have,and are installing is HALF BAKED.

They have gone against independant advice.

That's the trouble with independant advice,they don't always say what you want to hear.

I said way back in the site that I don't envy Mr carr his job as everybody wants a piece of the taxpayer pie, and there is only so much.

What I can't stand, is for any part of the pie to be wasted.

Obviously Mr Carr didn't envy his job either, and he decamped and because of his skills in management, got a position in a bank.

I hope that Mr Olsen does stand as an independant in Rockdale as a bit of common sense in needed in government.

The sitting member for Rockdale is Mr Frank Sartor who in his portfolio has the power to over ride councils on any project he considers to be of "STATE SIGNICANCE"

It's a case of, "The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into."

Mr Sartor has has a lot of bad press lately because of his stance on a lot of issues, and could be vulnerable.

Maybe Mr Sartor can give the Road minister a bit of advice.

I consider the school zone flashing light issue to be of "STATE SIGNIFICANCE" and a bit of common sense is needed.