I recently read with interest an article in a local Queensland paper relating to speed cameras and the fact that the local council/government will be able to retain
As I’m sure many motorists will agree, the issue of speed cameras and their contribution to road safety as opposed a revenue generator is certainly questionable. Of course, I agree that certain role to play proven accident school locations. doubt that these where they are the question must they all being used speed cameras have a ce on our roads, such as in p black spots as well as at However, I very much are the only areas w utilized and then t be asked, ‘are the for road safety?’
If safety on ou our roads is really high on the agenda, then rather than deploying speed cameras everywhere, how about looking at the actual safety of the vehicles on the road in the first place? My understanding is that a road worthiness certificate is not necessary here in Queensland unless selling a vehicle, transferring to a Queensland registration or when re-registering an expired vehicle.
This means that a vehicle can be used on the road in an unroadworthy condition. A car could be 10 or 20 years old, having never had a maintenance check, the brakes could be faulty, the tyres could be worn, the seat belts may be unsafe; the list goes on.
The rules are different across the country; in some States, vehicles have to be tested regularly (similar to most other Western countries). Why not in Queensland? Shouldn’t this be more of a concern to the ‘powers that be’, not to mention other drivers who share the road with these unmaintained vehicles?
If road safety really is a genuine concern, then surely this is an area which should be looked at with the highest of priorities, certainly above the deployment of speed cameras?
Steve Manley, via email
We completely agree, Steve. However, Queensland is not alone in having no requirement for older vehicles to undergo an annual safety inspection. Victoria is another state that doesn’t seem to think it’s important for vehicles to meet basic safety standards, preferring instead to take a draconian, zero-tolerance enforcement of speed limits, and camera proliferation. – Ed
NOSE HIS STUFF?
There is always a fine line between contemporary cuttingedge design and plain ugly design. In their obsessive need to infuse the Lexus brand with a fresh style, Yasuo Kajino’s so-called ‘spindle grille’ design has given the Lexus range the most plain ugly, grossly overstyled front-end treatment that is totally out of proportion with the rest of the car. It looks as if it was intended to fit a truck or large ute.
Fact is, style is one of the three most critical aspects that influences the car-buying public. It took BMW a decade to recover from the ‘Banglebutt’ design disasters, and to see the new UX continue this polarising design style, history will show it will take Lexus even longer to recover out of this design mess. It’s clear this polarising styling has turned away more potential customers than it has attracted, as Lexus sales continue to slide, with August seeing Lexus drop out of the list of top 20 selling brands in Australia.
Robert Ius, Haberfield, NSW
Regarding Stephen Corby’s profile piece on Tomas Mezera (Wheels, October): Finally, someone with the intestinal fortitude to tell it like it was about ‘Peter Perfect’.
Yes, Brock could really drive, but above all else he was an arrogant show pony who, in my opinion, only really won seven Bathurst crowns legitimately.
Some very good articles and writing continues to appear in Wheels; keep it coming.
Ray Murphy, Bowral, NSW
Ray, like any sporting champion, Brock had his share of detractors.
We were comfortable publishing
Merzera’s view, given Tomas’s close relationship with Brock. Beyond that, however, Brock’s incredible record stands and personal opinions of him remain exactly that. Thanks for sharing yours. – Ed
Thank you, Steve, for highlighting the gross inconsistencies between states and territories when it comes to keeping dangerously undermaintained cars off the road.
Enjoy 12 issues of Wheels on us.
So the Chevrolet Camaro in converted RHD form is ‘the spiritual successor to the Monaro? (Wheels, November.) Umm, no. The Camaro is an excellent representation of bad-ass Americana. The Monaro was (and still is) ice-cool in the Australian outback or just cruising Chapel Street, or along the M40 out of London.
Australia lost much when home-grown manufacturing ended. Yet the loss of intellectual design will be the real soul-losing legacy for future generations.
Today Australians can buy a car with American, Italian, French, German and various Asian flavours to name but some. Yet there’s nothing that is Australian other than a bit of tweaking, or throwing on a Holden nameplate. How sad.
Simon Inglis, Ararat, Vic
Let’s define ‘spiritual successor’, Simon. We applied that term in the sense that Camaro and Monaro have a few fundamentals in common: both are/were sold from Holden dealers, drive their rear wheels via a V8 engine, have a two-door body, and target the enthusiast market. That’s about the extent of the connection we were trying to highlight. – Ed
Corby, as ever, is on the money with his musings over the race to strip seemingly all cars of great pipes, even the icons such as Porsches (Corby Column, Wheels, October). One of the great things about motorsport and road-going sports cars in general is the personality of the car delivered by the engine/ exhaust note.
A few of us were watching a stage of Targa West recently. The scream of a lightly muffled M3 or GT3 was offset nicely by the howl of a well worked L-series donk in a 240Z or a supercharged Toyota V6 in an Exige.
But then the Tesla roadster comes past, a car sharing its chassis with the aforementioned Exige. Sure, it pushes along quite quickly, but with no sound; well, it’s like watching a dramatic scene in your favourite movie with the sound on mute. Go on, try to watch any film with the sound off for a couple of minutes and you realise just how important the soundtrack is. And it’s the same with cars, I believe, to no lesser an extent.
I guess some of us are just wired to be attracted to noise, smell and speed … but the noise is part of that holy trinity which cannot be separated.
Julian, via email
I was both honoured and humbled to be awarded ‘letter of the month’ for October. As a response to the Ed’s comment at the end on my LotM… Although we’re all filled with excitement and trepidation about the future of what will be motivating our motoring, I feel big props should be given to those still investing in development of the venerable internal combustion engine. It will indeed be around for a while (thank goodness).
Recent notables are Mazda and Infiniti/Nissan. The former for the compressionignition SkyActiv-X tech, and the latter for its variable compression engine. Both of which are claiming up to 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption (which would be astounding, if true, after nearly 150 years of ICE development).
The Mazda I can get my head around (especially with the back-up spark plugs overcoming the low/high load issues) but the Infiniti is mindbending. I built my first engine in 1968 (an A-Series Mini) and marvelled that the agricultural thing wouldn’t destroy itself when cycling at up to 100 times per second!
However, go find the video animation of the Infiniti variable compression arrangement and ponder the complexity all that happening 100 times per second … and your local mechanic fixing it.
Brian Wood, via email