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.

Sabotage !!!!!

February 16th, 2007

I drove through Blakehurst on my way to do a small job in Narwee this morning and I noticed that the same flashing light outside the Crystal car wash wasn't working again, yet it was 8.35 am on a gazetted school day.

I chatted with a friendly chap there, who also had a camera and we both saw the light come back to life, just before nine am.

Another well dressed man arrived and took a picture of the now flashing light with a camera phone.

I asked him if he too was interested in the lights? (obviously a silly question on my part))

He backed away as if I was covered in anthrax spores, saying that he knew who I was and he didn't want to talk to me.

If he also reads this website, please tell me and the other readers what I have done or said, that you find so offensive.

Just click on the comment button and give a reason(s) for your reluctance to talk to me and I'll post it/them as I did with Simon's feed back.

We all want the same, school zones that work for children and for motorists,.............. don't we?

Around 10.30 am or so I again was passing the same site and there were a bunch of men working on the footings for the other yard arm sort of flashing light unit.

"Can I help you?" I was asked.

I said that this light (pointing to the one above our heads) was off again this morning.

"Yes he said someone has been tripping a switch here, and at a couple of other locations"

" You mean from town" I asked,knowing about the handy back to base feature.

" No from here" he said.

"You mean sabotage? I asked "using a ladder?"

"Yes" he replied

"How does that explain why this light came back on this morning at 8.55 wihout a ladder in sight." I asked

He then went all shy, and didn't contribute anything more.

Is sabotage the excuse that is being used to explain why the lights have failed after only 2-3 weeks?

It would have nothing to do with faulty equipment would it?

I for one don't see the need to climb a ladder to make the lights look bad, as they are doing a pretty good job of that themselves.

Are there other saboteurs interfering with any of the other lights across the state or is it in just this area?

Hullo Simon

February 16th, 2007

This is from Peter Olsen

I'll post this now and read it later myself

Dear Simon,

As the School Zone Santa pointed out the web site is owned by him, not me. He was pushing the issue of school zone safety long before I became interested in it and is to be congratulated for his efforts.

In reply to the issues you raised:

1. How will a system be monitored that does not have back-to-base monitoring?

It will be monitored by the hundreds of students and parents who pass the sign each day. The schools simply assume responsibility for their own lights given that it is their children who will be affected if they fail. Offer a 5-minute early-mark (primary school) or a suitable small recognition (high school) for the first child who reports a fault in the lights. Plus roster a few volunteer parents who drop their children off every day to check the lights daily.

It is the same system that is used quite successfully to monitor virtually every other aspect of our infrastructure:
- Large potholes in the roads.
- Street lights that are out.
- Blocks of concrete that fall off trucks onto the road.
- Accidents that cause traffic snarls at intersections that do not have RTA cameras.
- Serious car crashes with people bleeding to death.
- Broken water mains that flood roads and railway lines.
- Power lines brought down by trees in a storm.
- Smashed glass in bus shelters.
- Traffic safety signs that get run over by cars and flattened.
etc. etc.

All are safety risks but we do not spend $800M on automated monitoring. That is what it would cost to install the RTA's $36,000 lights on all 22,000 school zone signs in the state.

2. How was I notified?

I was notified by the above means, namely by a parent or passer-by. More importantly each time I was notified the problem was fixed within an hour.

When the 3 sets of RTA lights at Taren Pt broke down on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning the RTA was presumably automatically notified, yet late Wednesday afternoon, after being out for 4 school zone periods, the lights had still not been fixed. The northbound footpath sign was not working at the start of the 5th school zone period on Thursday morning.

After I advised the RTA of the problem with power to my lights it took them 2 months to fix it. So what is the point of expensive back-to-base monitoring if the problems are not going to be fixed promptly anyway?

3. You say the RTA has been doing this for many years and is world renowned. In spite of that:

- Numerous existing 40kmh signs are installed directly behind poles and trees so that they are almost invisible. See attached photo of Forest Rd Bexley cnr Anderson St. The sign on the left is obscured by a pole and the sign on the right is totally hidden by a tree. 40kmh signs like that are everywhere. It gives the appearance of a total disregard for the safety of children by the organisation that is charged with administering road safety.

- Many of the new $36,000 flashing signs have likewise been installed where they are impossible to see until drivers are almost past them. Why spend that amount of money then hide the signs behind trees and poles?

- In numerous school zones there is a set of traffic lights in the middle of the zone, but no 40kmh sign beyond the lights. After sitting at the lights for several minutes many drivers forget that they are in a school zone. Princes Hwy Kogarah is a case in point. The problem (feature) helps the government rake in $6.5M pa. from unsuspecting motorists via the speed cameras there, at the expense of child safety. Does it take a lay person such as myself to point out problems like these to the RTA's "experts"?

- The RTA did a 3-year trial of flashing lights, analysed the results in great detail and produced a huge and expensive report, yet promptly ignored the findings of its own report. The report, available at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/downloads/finalreport_flashinglights_2006.pdf found (p.65 para 5.3), based on the results of the largest and most significant survey sample "Group A", that two simple flashing lights (Type 1) reduced average traffic speeds by 50% more than the lights with flashing lights around the "40" numerals (Type 3). In spite of that the RTA is persisting with the less effective and more expensive Type 3 lights in the latest 100-school trial. That does not suggest competence on the part of the RTA.

- The RTA and Roads Minister said the technology used in the original 3-year trial at 43 schools was unreliable based on an average failure rate of once every 9 months. They said that newer, more reliable equipment would be used in this 100-school trial. The latest systems are supposedly based on years of research and hundreds of thousands of dollars in R and D yet they have broken down repeatedly in the 3 weeks that they have been operating (not 6 weeks as I said below). How did the RTA get it so wrong? Did it just install the equipment and hope that it would be more reliable.

4. You ask how I will maintain the lights if I "get the gig".

There is no "I" (me) and there is nothing to "get". I have GIVEN my technology to the RTA to use at NO COST. It is up to them how they use and maintain it. I am not earning one single cent from the exercise. They offered to refund my current out-of-pocket expenses, nothing more. I am certainly not making the millions of dollars at taxpayers expense that the current tenderers stand to make. If that was my aim I would have tendered $5,000 vs their $36,000 to do the lights, installed them for under $1,000 (including back-to-base monitoring), and made millions.

I am not "angry that I have not been given the gig" as you say. I am angry that the RTA is persisting with expensive technology that has been shown to be less effective and no more reliable than a simpler system costing 1/100th of the price. As I have said repeatedly lights that work 99% of the time have to be better than no lights at all. I do not care whether they are my system or someone else's, as long as they are cost effective and are installed at all schools.

5. You say the tender process is a long one and many systems have to be tested.

The RTA has been trialling different systems for 4 years! At this rate we will all be dead before they make up their minds. Or at least some of our children may be, and that is my concern, that it is going to take another Sophie Delezio before the government gets tired of the RTA's procrastination and orders them to "just do it".

6. You say that after the current trial the lights will be installed at all schools.

Read Eric Roozendaal's press release of 21 May 2006. He said the lights will only ever be installed on a "needs basis". Try explaining to the parents of a dead child at a small school that their child did not "need" the protection of lights. Or try explaining to other law-abiding and unsuspecting motorists like yourself who have been booked 3 times in school zones, that they do not "need" a better warning system.

To illustrate the latter, on Wednesday afternoon the Police cynically took advantage of the non-functioning lights on Taren Pt Rd Caringbah and set up a radar trap. Not only that, they set it up on the far side of the traffic lights that are in the middle of the zone, with no 40kmh sign beyond the lights. They thus sought to maximise revenue by taking advantage of two problems at that location.

If the lights are only installed at some schools the Police will target the schools that do not have them.

7. You say my lights would have to be thrown away if school zone times change.

The hours of operation, holiday dates and daylight savings dates can be changed in any of my lights at any time via radio. Nothing has to be thrown away. They store up to 6 years worth of holiday data, which is overkill given that the dates are only gazetted 4 years in advance.

8. You suggest the RTA lights on Taren Pt Rd may have failed due to an Energy Australia problem.

The RTA lights are solar powered. Last time I checked Energy Australia did not control the sun. A higher power does that.

I note that converting my lights to solar power would increase their cost to $700, but they would then be about 100 times more expensive to run. The batteries have to be replaced every 2 years and the solar panels every 10 years. That costs over 100 times the annual 50c cost of powering my lights from mains power.

9. You say I am trying to blame the RTA over the faulty transformer.

I offered to supply my own transformers but the RTA elected to install their own. Who manufactured them is irrelevant, it wasn't me.

Fell free to comment on what Peter has said Simon and I'll post it without alteration.
Just click on the comment button.

Peter sent a second e-mail.
Media Release
16 February 2006
Another day another School Zone Lights Issue

A Greg on the Princes Hwy Blakehurst just phoned me to advise that the RTA had dug an enormous hole in the footpath outside his home and was about to fill it with 7 tons of concrete, to support a huge pole that would have an arm across the road with a 40kmh sign on it. The problem is the pole will be directly in front of his front gate.

He asked me if I could do anything to stop the installation and get the pole installed in a more sensible location, such as on the boundary between his property and the next. He said the RTA "big wigs" would be on site around lunchtime today to consider his request.

This would seem to be another case of a total lack of planning and control on the part of the RTA.

PS. The flashing lights on the Princes Hwy Blakehurst that failed on Monday afternoon were once again not working this morning. The School Zone Santa took a photo of them at 8.43am showing the clock on the car wash in the background.

Vroom Vroom!

February 16th, 2007

This morning there was an insert in with my paper

"Young driver safety"

This booklet would be helpful to any teenager that reads it.

"Damian you must read this, and you will learn something and be a better driver."

"Yes mum"

As I said the booklet will be helpful,if you can get them to read it, and for them to realize that it applies to them.

But more can be done .

I would like the sponsors involved in producing this booklet to try a bit harder to lobby our leaders to have the advertising code altered, to exclude all advertising in or on all media that emphasizes speed.

There's a ad running now for Saab that shows a speeding car that sounds like a jet fighter and what about the one that shows a city Street scene with helicopters and the usual parking station where by driving this make of car you can WIN THE GAME.

Driving is a game?

But media runs on advertisements, and you mustn't upset the sponsors, there's big money involved

Where's the government leadership, or are there donations involved?

Tobacco ads are banned , so it can be done.

VW still does the right thing with their clever ads and must be selling cars with their responsible approach.(I drive a Ford.)

See Category "Is there corporate responsibility in advertising" and if you like "the P plate crisis" category also.

Note the date when I wrote both what has changed since then?

Letters to the Editor

February 15th, 2007

In the Daily Telegraph Wed 15th

A jackpot of sorts. Two letters one below the other

and just below that letter was this


I just found this on the inbox.

Firstly a correction Simon, this site does not belong to Peter Olsen,he sent me, press releases and I post them just like yours.

So before you confuse me with Peter look through the Archives or look at the Category "about school zone santa" I have never built flashing lights I'm not that clever , I just waved my sign around to try and create some interest in solving the whole school zone bullshit.

Mr Olsen,

I have read through your website and have heard of you as well through the media.

I think there are a few issues you have not mentioned in all your paragraphs of your own one sided bias writing. I would gladly bet you will not be prepared to put this letter on your website for your readers in full to perhaps see another NON PETER OLSEN side of the story.

You say your system is just as good as anyone elses lights / system, yet it fails, you have openly admitted that.

I am just confused as to how you think your so called flashing light system will be monitored after you have said there is no need for this in your latest posting.

In one paragraph you say how you were notified your lights were out,
please tell me and your readers, how were you notified? if not by an automatic back to base type signal
how are you going to monitor 22,000 lights as a system?

how will you maintain these 22,000 if you got the gig, same price $350 once off or is there a warranty of how long??

Considering the RTA have been doing this type of thing for many many years (sure they're not perfect, who is?), as you may or may not know the RTA is considered one of the best world wide traffic monitoring systems including all traffic lights, with more than 70 other major cities world wide have adopted the same system - SCATS.

Please tell me what monitoring system you may employ that will be better or at least equal to the RTA's that the other 70 cities worldwide employs?

As far as i have read the first 100 sites are to be trialled in NSW. The RTA seem to be trialling various systems / flashing light displays in different type areas to see what will work best in each area. They have been very public in saying so.

How are your flashing lights going to be seen on the side of the road when there is a bus or truck next to a car if you were in the car?

(maybe not too many of your readers) Know you have a very bias attitude to your own system quite clearly to me anyway, and furthermore seem quite angry at the fact you have not been completely given the gig as yet.

The tender process is a long one as obviously many systems and lighting poles need to be tested, checked and seen by the public, along with road statistics taken which is what is happening now as far as i know. THe winner/s of this tender will be asked to provide all of the schools in NSW with flashing lights and or a system of some sort.

Also, what would happen if someone decided that it was actually quite silly to have a school zone after 9am when kids are in school? why not maybe change it to 7:30 - 9am, I personally have seen many more kids on the road at 7:40am rather than 9:15am. The old signs would have to be thrown out, wouldn't they? What would you do then?

As you can see i am quote passionate about this subject too as i have also been booked in 3 school zones NOT SEEING the signs especially when i travel in areas i don't normally travel.
I have seen your flashing light system and to be perfectly honest it is very possible for people to miss them, especially as you admitted they haven;t always worked. Easy to manage when you have 3 or 4 sites, not so when it is 22,000.

Also, you asked someone to write in to explain why the signs on Taren Point Rd weren't working yesterday. Isn't it possible that they had the same problem you did with something possibly tripping power from ENERGY AUSTRALIA similar to the RTA faulty transformer. You blamed the RTA in your paragraphs with extreme pace. I think it is interesting how you can blame the RTA for your owngear you were trying to flog - did the RTA manufacture the said faulty transformer? - i think not.

All in all I look forward to your answers / reply to my questions. Please answer on your website so all can see, both my questions and your answers.



Well I've just read through your welcome comments and I'll ring Peter in the morning, if he hasn't seen it and I'm sure he will give a response.

I asked the question as to why it took so long to fix the Taren Pt lights.

If I was from the Roads ministers office and only a month or so out from an election, and because so many people have been caught out at school zones, and cranky drivers make cranky voters, I'd make sure that they were back in operation quick smart.

It amazes me that after all the negative publicity concerning school zones and the medias plea for flashing lights that the RTA has spent $7.2 million on 100 sites and nobody asks what it would cost to equip all the schools.

Then after only two weeks two sets at different schools have failed and the Police set up a speed camera downstream of a non operating flashing unit, and that's not a story?

I asked yesterday why the Taren Point lights weren't working, and you suggest Simon, that maybe it has something to do with Energy Australia as was the case with Peter' lights, but unless all the fancy RTA approved lights I've seen, are mains powered as well as well as solar, I can't see that being the problem.

If they are, maybe they're overpowered.

Peter Olsen Media release

February 15th, 2007

..Media Release
15 February 2007
Reliability of Olsen School Zone Flashing Lights

After hearing me criticizing the RTA's non-functioning school zone lights on air yesterday someone emailed the radio station to say that they had seen my lights at Peakhurst West Public School not working on a couple of occasions. Here are the full facts regarding the reliability of my ($350) lights versus the RTA's ($36,000) lights.

One set of my lights at Peakhurst West failed on 4 occasions as a result of a faulty 12v transformer supplied by the RTA. It was tripping the Energy Australia safety switch.

I notified the RTA of the problem by phone on 5 Dec 2006 and by email on 7 Dec 2006, 5 Feb 2007 and 8 Feb 2007 (see below). I also telephoned the RTA traffic lights hotline on 5 Feb 2007 and 8 Feb 2007. The RTA did not replace the transformer until 9 Feb 2007, over 2 months after I had first reported the problem.

On 2 other occasions the lights at another sign were flashing after school zone hours due to a separate issue.

On all occasions the problem was fixed within one hour of my being notified of it.

The only other problem with my lights, which did not impact their operation, was the internal computer clocks drifting by a few seconds a week. I adjusted them regularly by radio to keep them accurate. I then resolved the issue by installing GPS receivers in them to obtain the time signal from the satellites. I am not aware of any of the RTA's signs that use that technology to guarantee absolute accuracy.

In the 6 months that my lights have been operating there have thus been 2 problems attributable to my lights. Neither problem resulted in any risk to children and both were fixed before the next school zone period.

In the 6 weeks that the RTA's new lights have been operating there have been problems with at least 5 signs and no doubt more. On each occasion the signs were completely non-functional, in two cases for at least 5 school zone periods, resulting in a potentially increased risk to children. The signs on Taren Pt Rd Caringbah were still not working this morning after 3 days.

My lights are the result of about 3 months research and zero R and D costs. The RTA's lights are the result of about 4 years research and, it is claimed, hundreds of thousands of dollars of R and D costs by the commercial tenderers.

I have signed a deed giving the RTA my technology to use free of charge. The RTA has simply offered to refund my out-of-pocket expenses.

The commercial tenderers stand to earn millions of dollars from taxpayers from the installation of their lights.

For more information contact:
Peter Olsen
11 Maple St
Lugarno 2210
13/55 The Grand Pde
Brighton-le-Sands 2216

9012-5298 bh
9599-1811 ah

People have asked me why I have spent so much time over at least two years doing school zone santa.
All I and Peter want is for there to be flashing lights at all schools to make drivers aware that it's school zone time.

That's the reason.

(See the category "About school zone santa" for more.)

School zones don't need millennium style lights that will cost a ridiculous amount of money to set up and maintain.

Why do things always have to cost the earth, when there is a cheaper and more realiable way to go.

I would like someone that supplied the lights that have failed to e-mail me and explain why the lights failed after only 30 hours of operation and why the ones at Taren point took so long to get back in operation.

Just push the comment button.

Not getting better

February 14th, 2007

A couple of pages back I discussed the failure of a couple of the new deluxe RTA flashing lights at Blakehurst.

Well it's happened again.

Yesterday afternoon Peter Olsen was showing someone from the road minister's office around to show him the inapropriate placing of some of the new flashing lights.

When they were at the flashers during the pm. school zone time on Taren Pt Rd near Captain Cook Drive, it so happens that both the North and South lights weren't working.

Oh dear!

You would think that there would have been some very testy phone calls telling the company(s) involved to get them fixed pronto, as soon as this chap as soon as Peter had finished showing around.

This the North bound light unit heading towards Capt. Cook bridge.

This is the non working South bound light.

I drove past them this morning and they still weren't going, nor for the afternoon school zone time.

Why weren't they fixed in 24 hours.

Are there others also playing up, and ours are on the "to do list"

Then to add insult to injury the Police set up a radar speed trap down the road from the non working overhead flashing light, for the school zone time this afternoon.

When I talked to one of the drivers pulled over, I was told to desist, and I could be charged with hindering a "Police Operation"

The Police officer told me was doing his job, and a good job they do.

I think this "Police operation" in the interest of good public relations, could have been better carried out at another school without blacked out, new, very expensive state of the art, back to base, flashing warning lights.

Just incidentaly in the time I was there from 3.30 to 4.00pm I did see one adult pedestrian on that side of the road,apart from the police and myself, let alone a vulnerable schoolchild.

A step closer

February 13th, 2007

The telegraph had an article today and a most respected father who has every reason to be angry with speeding drivers said what I've been on about for over two years.

Mr Delezio realizes that drivers don't always mean to speed and in the case of school zones, can miss the signs.
So flashing lights would be a help I think, and of course you should always drive to the conditions.

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader did an interview and photographed me at Kogarah in my Santa suit on Fri 2 Feb. but up till now haven't had room to publish the story.

As it was about there not being any Flashing lights on the other 3 busy roads into the kogarah school zone I did think it was newsworthy.

Peter Olsen was mentioned in the leader on a number of occasions in articles and in readers letters (even in todays leader)so I thought I'd e-mail in a letter myself
.Dear Sir,
It appears that Peter Olsen with his School zone flashing lights, and Tow away/ clearway signs at Brighton- lee- sands can?t please every one.

One minute someone writes into the Leader and said because of his common sense ideas, Mr. Olsen should be the boss of the RTA.

Now Peter Jackson of Cronulla (Your view Leader Feb 6,) writes that Peter Olsen plastering up his lights and signs will cause more trouble than it?s worth.

Obviously Mr. Jackson has not driven in Lurgano and Peakhurst during school zone time, to see first hand, how effective Mr.Olsen?s lights are, and at $350, cost only a fraction of the solar powered, back to base, RTA favored units.

Mr. Jackson says to leave the RTA jobs to the ?professionals.?

Are these the same RTA intellectuals that gave us The Cross City Tunnel and allowed the M5 East and M7 toll roads to be built with only two lanes, and after finally admitting that school zones, as they are now, don?t work, are now wasting millions, $7.2 million for 100 schools, with their version of flashing light systems for those schools, leaving only 3900 schools to go

How professional are they to install only two units of flashing lights, one set at each end of the Kogarah school zone on the Princes Highway, and don?t think that the thousands of vehicles coming into that school zone, from Regent St, President Ave, South St, and Rocky Pt Rd during school zone times, all without the benefit of warning lights, pose any threat to the safety of the local school children.


I sent that into the Leader last Wed 6th, but it hasn't made the cut as yet.
I could have been a bit strong, but I thought the point was made.

As the Kogarah school zone problem is a local issue, I thought a local paper would be interested, but then maybe school zone stories are passe now.

Believe me I'm not in a some sort of publicity quest for myself, all I want is Flashing lights at school zones, to give the average driver and school child a fair go.

Now of course is the time, just before an election that publicity for any cause is very important and can make a big difference to any cause.

This afternoon I did an interview with Troy Murphy on 2SS 99.7 FM Radio and went over the reason for School Zone Santa.

It went well I thought and hullo to any listeners that took note of my website name.

Thanks Troy for the space on your show.

The RTA admitted to 2GB this afternoon on the Chris Smith Show, that the flashing lights at Blakehurst, that I rang 2GB about,.. were faulty.(see yesterdays page)

School zone santa ................................. 1
Fancy Solar back to base, flashing lights.. 0

Forget them and bring on the Olsen flashers

Oh Dear !

February 12th, 2007

Well it's Monday afternoon and the school year is two weeks old.

That means that the fancy solar powered, back to base flashing lights that the RTA has had installed at one hundred schools for $7.2 million have been working for 30 hours.

Guess what, this afternoon outside the Mater Dei primary school at Blakehurst, both the North and South flashers on Princes Highway weren't working.

This is my photo of the non working flashing lights heading South, at the corner of King Georges Rd.

I haven't shown the photo of other non functioning unit because it didn't have the handy clock in the picture.

So much for "State of the art".

I'm sure the $350 Olsen lights at Lurgano and Peakhurst,are blinking away quiet happily, even though there has been a shower of rain.

I rang 2GB and Chris Smith said he would ask the RTA why the lights weren't working.

Peter Olsen's Press Release

February 7th, 2007

I've mentioned Peter Olsen and his great flashing lights which do the trick in making drivers aware of when it's school zone time.

........................................................................ MEDIA RELEASE
30 January 2007

The RTA's new school zone flashing lights at 100 schools are an expensive scandal:

1. Three times the price of the last lot - $36,000 per sign vs $12,000 (vs $350 for my lights).
2. Supposed to be the final deal, but just another trial.
3. Supposed to be much more reliable than the original ones, so why the need for expensive back-to-base monitoring.
4. At every location in St George at least one of the signs is hidden by trees, poles or a bend in the road (attached photos).
5. No flashing lights on two of the main approach roads to the speed camera site at Kogarah.

I complained about the last lot that cost $12,000 per sign. (The 3-year trial at 43 schools.) The new ones cost $36,000 per sign ($7.2M for 200 signs as per RTA web site http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/newsevents/2006_11_schoolzones.html )

According to the RTA there are 11,000 school zones in NSW, or 22,000 signs. At the above price that comes to almost $800M to do all signs!

By comparison my lights cost $350 per sign, plus the cost of Energy Australia running the power down the pole. That price includes a GPS satellite receiver to receive the time signal accurate to the microsecond. For standalone solar powered units mine cost $700 per sign.

(The 3-month RTA trial of my lights was successful and the RTA has given me a contract to sign saying that I hand over the technology to them at no charge. They offered to reimburse my current out-of-pocket expenses.)

According to Eric Roozendaal's press release of 21 May 2006 regarding the new lights, quote: "This is not a trial".

The RTA said last week that the new lights are a "trial of lights from 7 different manufacturers". The above RTA web site says: "An evaluation of the new systems will occur over 12 operational school weeks?.

The new lights are more expensive because they have back-to-base monitoring. In the press release the Minister said the new lights will be much more reliable than the previous ones, which he said had an average of 2 faults per 18 months. If they are so reliable why do they need back to base monitoring, especially given that hundreds of interested parents, teachers and children pass the signs every single day and can report any faults?

All lights are installed on signs on the left hand side of the road even though that means most are hidden by trees, poles or bends in the road, especially when travelling in the left-hand lane - the most dangerous lane to children (see attached photos). We are paying $36,000 per sign for invisible lights!

The RTA claims that the flashing lights cannot be installed on the sign on the median strip or on the right hand side of the road even when that sign is much more visible, because a driver might look at the lights on the right and fail to see a child leaving the kerb on the left. THEN WHY HAVE A SIGN ON THE RIGHT AT ALL??? It takes 3-4 seconds to read the entire sign, but only about a tenth of a second to register the flashing lights. And in all of the cases listed below drivers would see the flashing lights when still 200-300 metres from the 40kmh zone if the lights were on the other side, hence no such risk to children at all.

- Caringbah High, Taren Pt Rd Caringbah heading north - completely hidden by trees even when 10m from sign.
- Caringbah High, Taren Pt Rd Caringbah heading south - obscured by pole.
- Bexley Public school, Forest Rd Bexley heading south - hidden by bend and poles
- Sydney Tech High, Forest Rd Bexley heading south - obscured by pole
- Sydney Tech High, Forest Rd Bexley heading north - obscured by pole
- Mater Dei Catholic Blakehurst, King Georges Rd heading south - hidden by bend
- Mater Dei Catholic Blakehurst, King Georges Rd heading north - obscured by pole
- Mater Dei Catholic Blakehurst, Princes Hwy heading north - sign not pointing at traffic, lights invisible in afternoons.
- James Cook High, Princes Hwy Kogarah heading north - completely hidden by trees and pole
- Sans Souci Public, Rocky Pt Rd Sans Souci heading south - hidden by trees
- Sans Souci Public, Rocky Pt Rd Sans Souci heading north - obscured by pole
- Taren Point Public, Taren Pt Rd Taren Pt heading south - hidden by bend

At the ($6M+ revenue per year) speed camera site on the Princes Hwy at Kogarah there are 4 main approach roads with 40kmh signs, Princes Hwy Nth, Princes Hwy Sth, Rocky Point Rd and President Ave. Flashing lights have been installed on the Princes Hwy approaches only. Why not the others?

For more information contact:
Peter Olsen
11 Maple St
Lugarno 2210


Welcome newcomers

February 1st, 2007

Well are you happy with the flashing lights at Kogarah?

That really fixes the problem, I think not.

Four busy roads not counting the ones north of President ave up to the start of the zone) all feeding into the school zone and all you get are 2 sets on the Princes Highway.

The RTA is kidding.

How does this help drivers and school children?

But this is the best time to get it fixed , because any bad news is not good leading up to the election.

So you can help by ringing and e-mailing the media.

Don't leave it to someone else.


I don't care who gets in, all I want is people in charge that have a bit of commonsense.

Friday evening 2/2/07

This afternoon for the pm school zone time at Kogarah, I counted the number of cars, trucks and buses coming out of Rocky Pt Rd, and 663 in all, came past this sign.


Where I was standing I could count the number of flashes of the North bound camera and 19 vehicles were flashed, so the super dooper flashing light back around the corner behind the trees was missed or ignored by those drivers.

The light is in the wrong place and should be on the centre island, drivers can then see it from a long way back.

But what can you expect from the RTA when they put an anti -climbing cover over the ladder of this sign, which is not far from the south camera at Kogarah.

and you can easily climb up the ladder behind the cover


I asked a young man who was passing, if I could photograph him climbing the back of the ladder, to show how easy it could be done, but he declined.

If this is the RTA"'S idea of a security cover for a ladder, no wonder what's happening with flashing lights, the type and their installation.

Why ?

January 31st, 2007

It was asked today why I'm doing santa again.
Look in the archives, I've never stopped.

We were promised flashing lights at school zones.

At Kogarah which generated $6.5 million in fines in 2003/2004 alone, all the RTA could afford , or thought was sufficient, were 2 flashing lights for four roads leading into the zone.
That's 2 lights for only ONE road.

I sent this into the two major papers

Dear letter's editor,
In keeping with the promise of the latest NSW Road minister, Mr Roozendaal, there have been appearing at selected school zones "State of the Art" ( read very expensive ) back to base, solar powered, flashing light units.

But why do they have to be placed so high, behind trees , and poles, and around bends so you don't see them till the last second.

Hello, they are solar powered (no wires) so they can be placed anywhere to improve sight lines.

At the infamous school zone at Kogarah with it's two speed cameras, the RTA has kindly allocated 2, one at each end of the school zone on the Princes Highway.
Great for drivers on the highway, but what about all the drivers on the three other busy roads leading onto the same school zone ?

On Mon 29 the start of the gazetted school year (a pupil free day) two friends and I counted the number of vehicles coming out of these three roads between 8-00am - 9-30am (school zone time), all 2,798 of them.

The 1,686 drivers leaving Rocky Point Rd had nothing to alert them of the school zone, and that it could be school zone time, except a sad looking, accident damaged sign behind two utility poles and the road markings, before they blissfully drove into the deserted school zone.

Without the help of flashing lights 332 drivers came out of
South St..

President Avenue, the main road artery from Brighton -lee- sands has only road markings and a sign hidden behind foliage to help the 780 entering the zone.

During that afternoon's school zone time, I counted 2,111 drivers heading south in President Ave into the Kogarah school zone.

If the RTA/ GOV/ honestly think that only two sets of flashing lights is the way to fix the situation at the Kogarah school zone,

Heaven help the school children .
The letter wasn't printed (today anyway), maybe it was a little too verbose.

What is needed at Kogarh is "flashers" at President Ave, Rocky Point Rd. and a set on a school zone sign facing South St.

An Olsen set would do fine there, actually Olsen flashing lights would do the job at all school zones.

But because they only would cost around $350 (not a misprint), a set, in the RTA's way of thinking, and government thinking generally, they couldn't be any good , because they don't cost zillions.

Alan Jones once said it's easy spending someone else's money.

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

A" Clayton's "flashing light school zone

January 29th, 2007

There are Flashing lights on the North and South ends on the Princes Hwy at the Kogarah School zone but there are three other busy roads leading into the school Zone.

This morning School zone santa and two of santa's helpers, Alex and Ron went to the Kogarah school zone to monitor the traffic on the first day of the new school year.

In the SZ time 8.00am - 9.30am I counted 332 cars, vans and buses coming into the school zone out of South St.

These vehicles don't have flashing lights to warn them.

Ron counted 56 truck and vans and 1630 cars coming out of Rocky Pt Rd. entering the school zone.

There are no flashing lights for them.

Alex's figures for vehicles coming out of President Ave was 780 vehicles

Those drivers also don't have the benefit of Flashing lights.

There were 2.798 drivers this morning who might not have known it was school zone time

President Ave, South st. and Rocky Pt. Rd. also need flashing lights.

I'll go to President Ave this afternoon to see how many come into the school zone between 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm school time.

This afternoon between 2.30 pm - 4.00pm school zone time , I counted 2,111 vehicles coming into the Kogarah school zone on President Ave Kogarah coming up from Brigton lee Sands.

All they have to warn the drivers that it's school zone time, is road markings and a sign hidden by a tree.


Well done RTA

Why Santa's Back.

January 28th, 2007

Flashing lights at school zones were promised.

What did we get?

Expensive solar powered units placed on school signs behind poles, behind trees, around bends and in the case of Kogarah only on two of the five entry points into the school zone.

So hundreds of vehicles going through the Kogarah school zone, will not have flashing lights to help make the drivers aware, that a new school year has started.
Today is a pupil free day, so no kids, but still school zone time, but tommorrow there will be hundreds of excited kids and it only takes one vehicle......

As the flashing light units favoured by the RTA ,(and the only ones used that I've seen,) are Solar powered, it would take no time at all to do the job properly.

On the 16/1/07 I wrote about the situation at Kogarah and thought that they wouldn't leave it like this, but I was wrong.

If school zones are there to help keep the kids safe and the RTA admits that flashing lights help make drivers aware, why only put them North and South on the Princes Highway?

What about the hundreds of cars coming out of Rocky pt. Rd in the morning peak and all the drivers heading south in President Ave into the school zone in the PM, not to mention the cars coming out of South ST.

I can't believe that two sets are the RTA's answer to the problem at Kogarah.

What happens if an unaware driver comes out of the three other main entry roads and hits a child?

Did the years of trials and over 100 pages of figures and graphs conclude that 2 sets of lights per school zone will do to keep the children safe, even at Kogarah, a school zone that needs two speed cameras because it's so dangerous?

It reminds me of a Simpsons episode when Mr Burns entered his office through a door with all sorts of security locks, even a eye recognition device and when he gets in, the back door's open, the screen door's hanging off it's hinges, and a goat is standing near the desk munching on papers.

I wonder what goat at the RTA decided that all the drivers on Rocky Pt. Rd, President Ave. and South St. know when it's school zone time and drive at 40kmh or less, at those times.

I shouldn't call someone a goat but what they've done is laughable.

I hope a bit publicity will rectify this ludicrous situation before there's a pedestrian accident.

Mr Roozendal(see clipping below) promised that 100 schools would have flashing lights at the cost of $7.2 million, if Kogarah is a guide no other school would qualify for more than two sets , so thats 200 into $ =

$32,000 each.

Peter Olsen just told me that his flashing lights cost $350 per unit, and worked great in the Lurgano and Peakhurst area.

Radio station 2gb's Alan Jones embarrassed the Roads minister and the RTA into leaving Peter's lights up after they had torn them down.
But even though they do the job, for the RTA and the Minister to have to be embarressed to accept this common sense cheap solution is I think enough to never use them.
To have a school zone sign on the Princes Hwy. Kogarah at the lights opposite South St. is one good place for an Olsen Unit.
Drivers waiting at the lights don't have asign facing them, let alone one with Flashing lights.

Not to be

January 22nd, 2007

I had written to the then Roads Minister Mr Costa about the middle fence at the Kogarah school zone, sugesting that it would be better along the Eastern footpath to stop kids from accidently stepping on the roadway wheh they all come out at once at 3 pm.
A semi even doing 40 can't stop if one of the scores of kids suddenly steps on the road.

This was part of the fence last week

But no , there is a new fancy fence going up.

I tried to make a link of the letter I sent to Mr Costa but it didn't work .
It's in the "Archives" Under "Same old, same old" July 2005.

Where's common sense???

January 16th, 2007

So there have been flashing lights installed at selected schools.

But what is the rule for installation of school zone signs?

Do school zones start say, at exactly 100 meters from the school, if so, do signs have to go there no matter what, even though by placing the sign a few meters further, or closer would greatly help visibility?

King Georges and Moorfields Rd Beverly hills.

Wouldn't placing the sign a few meters further be better?

This rather sad one is on Rocky Pt Rd Kogarah, heading North towards the the twin camera school zone behind the pole and N.B. no flashing lights.

The Rocky Pt Rd traffic goes through to the twin camera School zone.

If you install a flashing light set, is the rule that it has to be on the left hand side of the road, even if its obscured by tree's or poles or the bend in the road.

Heading towards the Princes Hwy on King Geoges Rd this FL set is hidden by the bend, while the plain school zone sign on the middle divider is highly visible a lot further back.

The flashing light sets (I've seen so far) are all solar powered, so why can't they go on the centre sign in this case?

Hullo! solar means that there's no wires to worry about.

Or would putting the flashers on the middle sign be too sensible?

Here's another one hidden by the bend at Taren pt. rd Taren Pt

The offical reason given for only putting flashing lights on the left is because they might distract a driver, who could fail to see a child on the left.

Then why have signs in the middle at all?
So here you are drivig at 70kmh and you come around the bend and it's,
"Hey it's school zone time, look out you cars behind, I'm slamming on the brakes."
Put the lights on the centre sign and there's a lot more warning.

UPDATE: The RTA have moved the flashing lights to the very visible centre sign.
Wasn't so hard was it?


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

What can I say.

UPDATE: on the young trees obscuring the very expensive flashing lights.(above)

In their wisdom they have since cut down the trees put there to enhance the streetscape in front of the new unit block...well done RTA,

On President Ave Kogarah going up to the Princes Hwy and the twin camera school zone is this sign, without flashing lights, but does have the usual tree.

Thousands of cars come up from the city this way and no flashing lights for them?

Why is it so?

There's more

January 7th, 2007

Driving down to Bulli yesterday I saw more Type 1 flashing lights at school zones and today saw more at Nowra, so they are spreading.
The number announced to be installed initialy, was 100 sites so that will leave 3900 schools left to do.

Flashing lights are here ....sort of

January 4th, 2007

There are a number of schools I've seen that have had flashing lights installed as promised.
But is it just a token PR gesture rather than making drivers aware of school zone times?
Are they the cheaper version? No
All but two I've seen, are solar powered Type 1 unit, with a black band added to the top of school zone signs with two orange lights.
Except at the Princes Highway Kogarah, School zone santa's stamping ground.

This fancy set up is at the south end of the school zone before the Rocky pt intersection and there's another the same, north of President ave on the Highway.
The white plastic is covering,I assume by the look of it close up, a circle of led lights around the 40.

But what do all the drivers have coming up from Brighton lee Sands on President ave have to warn them that it could be SZ time. Just the old sign (hidden by a tree) and the road markings.

Could children's safety still be an issue?

Also all the drivers coming up north from Rocky Pt road don't have the benefit of flashing lights and people coming out of South St onto the Highway are also being kept in the dark.

Maybe they haven't finished yet.

I drove down the Kingsway Miranda (between the fire station and Taren Pt rd) today and there are no lights at this very busy school zone, which has been mentioned a number of times in the media because of the high volume of traffic, and how dangerous this site is.

Maybe they haven't finished yet.

At the Gymea President ave school zone there are flashing lights on President ave, East and West.

But none on Gymea Bay rd on the main shopping strip, and where the school entrance is.

Maybe they haven't finished yet.

This the flashing used apart from the Kogarah ones

I've yet to see the Peter Olsen style of lights

Tunnel trouble

December 27th, 2006

Radio news today said that the Kings cross tunnel is in receivership.

This was in the paper last week

A Telegraph reader thinks the same as I do

Do as I say

December 11th, 2006

Last Friday I was passed (I was travelling under 80 kmh)on the Woranora bridge by a police station wagon going up towards Menai and I followed him/her left off the start of the Bangor bypass up onto Menai rd.

Then in front of me about 15-20 meters before Pryree st, this police wagon did a U-turn illegally over unbroken lines and I thought he must have spotted driver error of a car coming the other way.

But no he pulled off the road up onto the nature strip, and was still there 1 1/2 hrs later as he was operating an in car speed camera for the school zone there.

Why didn't he turn left at the next street do a proper u-turn, as the rest of us would have to, and then set up his radar camera.

It was 7.45 am and the school zone doesn't start till 8 am, so he had time to do the right thing and there are not many school children around (in danger) at that time of the morning.

It was a technical breach and his u-turn wasn't dangerous, but if he took a photo of a car doing 45 kmh at 8.10am in this deserted school zone, can the the driver say that as there were no children around and as it's really only a "technical" breach would he get off the fine and not loose the 4 demerit points?

I had a job in Menai this morning and for interest sake I took my camera and was there at 7.45 to see if there was a repeat performance, but no.

How many drivers were caught out last Friday at this school zone because they didn't realize it was school zone time?

It's a case of do as I say, not as I do, I can blatantly disregard the law, but you may very well do your license, if you are unaware of the time and go over 40kmh on my watch.

The Police vehicle I saw doing the alledged illegal u-turn has the
rego no YMR 472


November 19th, 2006

On the RTA web site I found the Flashing light report.

111 Pages of graphs, tables and lots of words .

It didn't say how much the report cost though.

This was the summary of the 111 pages
So it appears that the most effective ,was lights mounted on the existing "school zone signs".
In other words, simple orange lights.


Peter Olsen's cheap but effective "Flashing Lights"

So the "independent" people studied the data and worked out that flashing lights work. Amazing, 111 pages worth.

I sat and watched the brake lights come on at the simple, cheap Peter Olsen lights at Lurgano and I didn't need convoluted trials to come to the same conclusion.

No kids around but the drivers braked when they came up to the lights.


The Carnage contiues

There has been a number fatal accidents involving young drivers and the usual statements from our leaders.

We have leaders that regulate, tell us what to do, and penalise if we don't.

But what sort of example do they set?

We've had a minister "resign" for "misleading" parliament, (read lie and sacked)

There has been an unholy squabble over a to be vacant seat in the Blue Mountains, a minister has been charged over alleged underage homosexual acts over a number of years.
A minister is facing drink driving charges and another minister a Mr Hickey is also letting the ALP side down

So I e-mailed this in to the editor and it was in the Telegraph the next morning

I wasn't the only one to think this way judging by the cartoon in the telegraph the next day

What is needed to help slow the road truma, is a lot more unmarked highway patrol and the wheelclamping or confiscating of the vehicles of repeat offenders.

Woronora Cemetary: Posted 28 June 09

November 12th, 2006

Sorry the photos have disappeared


The Sutherland Shire has a beautiful final resting place for it's citizens called Woronora Cemetery and Crematorium, situated not far from Sutherland station, and where I have for years taken our two dogs for early morning walks.


and Jessie

As I walked around I noticed an increasing number of the discarded lengths of nylon whipper snipper cords thrown on grave sites,(not very respectful) and on the ground between the graves and paths.

Nylon cords not being bio-degradable would be there for years littering the place.

The common sense thing to do would be to put the unused cord end in your pocket, and place in the next waste bin you pass.

No, throwing them willy nilly on graves and pathways is easier.

I took to picking them up as I went and binning them myself.

Another thing I noticed was in a newer part of the Cemetery was that there was only one rubbish bin there and it was always overflowing

A similar size bin

Common sense would be to add a new one, or remove a rarely used bin from an older area and relocate it there.

You would think the bin man having to pick up the overflow all the time, would suggest to the management for an extra bin to be put there himself.

There are extra green wheelie bins in other busy ethnic sections.

One morning I collected a "birds nest" of whipper snipper ends and approached the Cemetery office reception desk (a little sheepishly) as this all was a little trivial and should not be necessary.

I explained that maybe the person in charge of the staff could ask the men not to litter the place, and because (I said jokingly) eventually the cemetery would just be a pile of lengths of nylon cord.

"Could I have your name sir?"

Jokingly (once again) I said, "If I give you my name someone might throw nylon ends on my grave (later) because I've dared to point out staff shortcomings."

Did I give my name and did the lawn mowing staff clean up their act?

Did grieving relatives have somewhere to dispose of old floral tributes in the Jacaranda section, or did they continue to have to have to pile them around the one overflowing bin?

To be continued.


A bit of common sense and there would be no nylon litter and that bin overflowing not once or twice, but every week for months and months would've be looked at earlier.

Weeks went by and the nylon litter continued and Jacaranda lawn still had one overflowing bin.

I collected another bundle of nylon ends and handed them with a letter to the office receptionist.

Dear sir

So that I wouldn't be regarded as someone who just looks for something to whinge about, I found in a very short time, this collection of trimmer ends in an area I don't normally go to.

Your letter (thank you) tells me that the workers will be spoken to but I have found more where there has been recent work.

Of course you can tell the men to dispose of this litter properly but it's up to them to do it. but I note also that there is still only one overflowing bin at Jacaranda Lawn, so much so that people are now putting rubbish (against regulations) in the plastic vase-only bin.

To get workers to do the right thing about disposing of cord ends is one thing, but how difficult is it for you to organize to slap in an extra bin

Thank you
Hans Stephens.


This note obviously struck a cord, as I received a polite letter back (which I can't find at the moment) nicely telling me to mind my own business.


It is now very rarely that I see a whipper snipper cord end anywhere in the acres of Cemetery, and there are two enclosed wheelie bins, painted in very bright red (which blends in well with all the greenery) as well as TWO extra wheelie bins at the Jacaranda Lawn section,

to replace that ONE overflowing bin I dared mention, we now have these FOUR large bins.

Why was is all so difficult?


There seems to have been a re-think about the red bins and now the preferred colour is a more demure one


Sometimes a suggestion or obvervation is noted, and acted upon

Near Sutherland Station there is a commutor carpark from where poor Janine Balding was abducted by lowlife and murdered.


The Council resealed the car park and planted shurbs along the road frontage.

These shrubs over the years grew into a hedge that hid most of the carpark from the passing traffic,and lowlife like those that murdered Janine like to hide to do their dirty work.

I wrote to the Council pointing out that someone from a nearby business had the front seats stolen from his car in broad daylight with the thieves doing their work hidden by the hedge.

I asked if something could be done to make it safer for commuters returning to their vehicles.

The following week every 2nd shrub was gone and the rest pruned to "improve sight lines"

Two years on and to show my suggestion was valid, I took this photo today 21/7/09

now you can more clearly see what's going on in the carpark.

At long Last

October 30th, 2006

The 100 lights are to cost $7.2 million,obviously they aren't using Peter Olsen style lights.

Nothing is mentioned in the story about installing flashing lights at Kogarah.
This area is so dangerous for children that there are 2 sets of speed cameras there.
As it is so bad with speeding drivers ignoring the signs and cameras, maybe flashing lights could be of help.
Mind you the money collected in fines $6.5 million (2003/2004)wouldn't be a consideration.

In the meantime police are on the job at school zones

I must admit drivers are getting better, but even I forget what and when it's school zone time, and it only takes one speeding driver and one child that darts onto the road.

Headmaster control

October 11th, 2006

This idea was mentioned on talk back radio yesterday but no one mentioned that to be able to switch on the lights at other times on school days would be beneficial.

EG. When buses load children for excursions,switch on the lights.

When the lights are flashing it's 40.

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 promises and doesn't come into "the circumstances have changed " bracket, with the disclaimer that school zones are all Labors fault anyway.

How to reduce deaths of young drivers.

October 3rd, 2006

This was the heading of a letter to the editor, Sunday Telegraph Oct 1/ 06
I am writing to you about the increasing numbers of deaths of young drivers on our roads.

I am 24 and have a brother 22 who has lost three friends over the past 12 months in three separate motor vehicle accidents.

I believe it is clear the present licensing system (as well as the lack of highway patrols on the roads)is failing and the situation is out of control.

My suggestion comes from a recent experience of my own that significantly changed the way I drive.

Last December I was pulled over by Police for exceeding the speed limit by 30km/h and had my licence suspended for three months.

Because I need my license for work and had a reasonably good driving record,I chose to appeal against the

I was required to attend a traffic offenders course over eight weeks.

Various members of the Police force,the RTA and central Coast Area Health as well as several members of the community, provided education drugs and alcohol, spinal injuries,defensive driving,acquired brain injuries and the legal system as well as showing graphic footage of real accident scenes.

Faced with these scenes , along with volunteers who had suffered brain injuries and spinal injuriesit was impossible not to feel guilty and regretful.
At presnt there is nothing toeducate young drivers on the effects of alcohol on driving skills, stopping distances at various speeds and how to avoid accidents.

Restictions on certain engines and modified cars is one way to reduce the toll.
Most cars can reach 160k/mh, so it doesen't necessarily take a high performance car to produce a high speed accident.

As for the hazard perception test young drivers face in order to gain their green P plates , it's highly unrealistic., very easy to passoffers very little feedback and fails to equip young drivers with skills that can be transferred to a real driving situation.

If young drivers are made to attend the traffic offenders course or a similar one designed specially for them, I believe it will provide the necessary education required to prepare them for the road.

It took only twelve hours of my time to potentially save my life and the lives of others.

Sarah King
Green Point.


Both letter writers make good sense.

Sarah notes the lack of Highway patol, and the need for proper targeted education.

David in his letter in the same paper has echoed my sentiments.

There needs to be more Highway patrol (in unmarked cars) and anyone caught driving while disqualified, take away their car or as I say, wheel clamp the vehicle till after the suspension and extra penalty is finished.

P Platers and promises

September 25th, 2006

There has been more in the papers about the behavior of P plate drivers and the increasing numbers killed and injured in accidents.

Unless there are more Police on the road in unmarked cars to catch those that flout the law and confiscate or wheel clamp the cars of those that don't get the message it won't get better.

MR Debnam was reported in today's Telegraph as saying that he is going to dock the pay of ministers who don't perform.
In the TV show "Yes Minister" that would be classed as a "courageous decision"
If a minister nowadays is shown to be wrong, he blames the person who has advised him, so how can he be blamed for under performing let alone taking salary


September 6th, 2006

Peter Olsen's cheap home made School Zone warning lights at Lurgano are still flashing away.

I drove past this morning at 5 past 8 and there they were, plain to see for all and sundry that it was school zone time and the legal speed limit was 40 kmh.

Peter's lights are on "trial".
What does that mean?
What makes a successful trial and what would be needed to have these lights accepted, over the other systems?

It's who you know and who you are.

August 30th, 2006

In the "P" plate driver category and many other pages I said that we need more highway patol cars to catch bad drivers as drivers who now go through speed cameras and traffic light cameras can blame someone else.

A highway patol officer can book the right person.

The ex federal court judge also was set to contest a parking fine in court today, but he has decided not to fight the charge and will pay the fine. I wonder what the excuse was, that he had intended to use.

They Work

August 29th, 2006

I e-mailed this letter into a letters page but it was not printed.

It was a shame that the letter didn't make the cut, as I wanted to help highlight the fact that these lights are doing the job.