GIVEN the commonality of intercity train commuters and the pain of the industrial actions, I thought I should share my concerns with the Maryiung new intercity fleet. It seems to me that many train commuters don't understand the safety concerns with the new trains. Put simply, how many of you would rely solely on your car's reversing camera to reverse your car, and not use your mirrors or look out the windows? Try to see any problems on 20 images, with half the cameras facing the sun and the others blurred due to grime. These images are no bigger than half a postcard.
Add to this the curved platforms at some intercity stations. These make for a gap big enough for an adult to slip down and not be noticed. Then you have the lack of station staff outside the peak times. Nobody is there to provide a second look, or to help people with wheelchairs.
This is what the government wants train drivers to do repeatedly and not miss someone falling down the gap. If you wouldn't reverse your car without multiple means of making sure it was safe to do so, why expect someone to move a train when this is how the government wants to operate them, driver only? There are many more safety concerns with the new trains. This is the main one. Safety regulators have said the train is safe to operate with a driver and guard, not driver only.
NIGHT driving seems to mean blinding white lights in the rear vision or coming at you from in front. You can't see a thing, and end up looking for the gutter or left road markings in the hope nothing is coming from left or right as well. It easily explains why, on badly lit or marked roads, people drive into the bush at night.
The Australian Design Rules prescribe photometric requirements for headlamps to provide adequate illumination for the driver without producing undue glare for other road users. To comply, vehicle manufacturers must supply cars for left or right-hand driving with the headlights tested to reduce light intensity into oncoming vehicles. The current standard, a compilation of Australian and United Nations regulations, is based on filament lights and outdated by today's technology.
The standard nominates Appendix F section for filament lamps as a guide to LED lighting but does not address the LED issues of increased light outputs up to 10 times and after-market fitting of LEDs without proving the photometric pattern remains correct for left/right driving; an issue most prevalent with four-wheel drives and on-road trucks.
In 2022 General Motors was considering the recall of 740,000 small four-wheel drives in the US because the headlight beams can be too bright and cause glare for oncoming drivers. The UN Economic Commission for Europe is looking into regulation changes and I believe our Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and local councils need to do likewise.
DONALD Trump, Scott Morrison and now Boris Johnson are all gone from leadership. All three were, in my opinion, exposed and described as self-serving, habitual liars by people on their own side of politics.
How do such human beings obtain such power? How could so many voters, particularly those doing it tough, be convinced men who, in my view, display such vanity would have the best interests of their societies at heart? I believe the common factor in each country was that all three received the ferocious and constant support of the Murdoch media empire, and each man only needed just enough people to vote against their own best interests to get elected. Hopefully the people of each country are now recognising how they've been manipulated by the Murdoch empire and we won't see such self-absorbed leaders in charge ever again.
A RADICALISED US Supreme Court recently overruled a precedent set 50 years ago in Roe v Wade, and held there is no right to abortion to be found in the US Constitution.
The majority of justices portrayed their decision as merely acting "neutrally" on the issue by "returning it to the people" and their state representatives.
Strange neutrality, given they would have been aware up to half the states stood ready to enact sweeping anti-abortion legislation, while the court is at the same time upholding attempts by Republican-controlled states to essentially swing elections. I believe it's also a neutrality they rejected just days before when they decided the state of New York couldn't be permitted to regulate the carrying of handguns in public.
That aside, it's interesting that those in the US cheering the decision loudest because, as they say, it protects the "sanctity of life", are also overwhelmingly in favour of capital punishment, a privatised health system lethal to the poor, and an assault weapon in every home and classroom. Not to mention complete inaction on climate change, which threatens life itself. They're also generally the ones who have railed for years against "activist" judges.
Interesting, but not surprising. Rank hypocrisy is the hallmark of today's right wing warriors, for whom principle is just something to be scorned as "woke", and manipulated to get their own way.
HEALTH Minister Mark Butler says experts believe Australia has moved beyond the realm of lockdowns and mask mandates. "The message is 'take responsibility, make your own choice'," he told the ABC recently. "We're deep into the third year of the pandemic and we need to make sure that people feel they're able to take control of their own circumstances. That's why I encourage people to consider wearing a mask if they're indoors and they're not able to socially distance." Can someone point out who these so-called experts are?
I believe Mr Butler knows exactly what he is doing; avoiding controversy without sacrificing the political image of freedom at all costs. I doubt he has a calendar on his wall reminding him of the huge number of deaths that have occurred recently. Any minister who thinks that people should take full control of their circumstances is, in my opinion, obviously blissfully ignorant of the need for governance. So what do we say? What a waste of time and money, not to mention the bodies.
WE are all often reminded by Coalition politicians and supporters that Labor received only 32 per cent of the primary vote at the May federal election. What they do not mention is that the Liberal Party and the National Party each received a substantial amount less than 32 per cent of the vote for their respective parties.
The other figure those so critical of Labor holding office fail to mention is that more than 50 per cent of the voters preferred Labor ahead of either the National Party or the Liberal Party, enough to govern in their own right without forming coalitions, or doing deals with other parties.
IS there any way to stop my regular influx of spam calls? Nearly every day I get around three calls telling me that my Amazon Prime account is due to take $99.99 out of my bank account. Please spammers, try a real person not a recording, that way I can tell you politely what I think of you. Can't block the number as it is a different one every time.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet takes himself on a trade mission to Tokyo. Meanwhile, back home they buy our trains and ferries offshore. Would not taxpayer money be better spent with the premier promoting trade in his own jurisdiction?
IF nothing else Peter Devey ('Equal time isn't equal treatment', Letters, 20/7) is persistent. He has now begun his latest negative 'theory' attack about retired journalist Margaret Farrell from the ABC. I expect he will retreat from his past authority as an expert about whether or not "climate change" is real, since the publication of a five-year study of the problem was released yesterday. Thank goodness for small mercies.
REGARDING the Elton John concert ('Rock it, man', Newcastle Herald, 20/7), there were several concerts at the stadium in the 1970s. I saw Tina Turner there.
REGARDING last week's piece ('Why is birth control women's business?', Topics, 20/7): the article mentions women, or "people with uteruses", and men, or "people with penises". I'm so glad the writers went to the effort of pointing out the complex differences between males and females. But, please explain where has all this inane garbage about men and women come from?
TRUE Dennis Crampton ('Stop throwing our money around', Letters, 18/7), grocery and petrol prices are up, but Albo's only been PM for about five minutes and the Libs were in charge of the economy for the last nine years. Grocery prices are up due to the floods. Are they Albo's fault?
A TRILLION-dollar deficit and the possibility of more debt due to continuance of the job COVID payment, but who shall pay? Whatever happened to the WHO investigation and the request by our former prime minister to follow up on how and who were responsible for the release of COVID to the world? Realistically, if China is to blame compensation should be forthcoming to every country affected by COVID. Don't be blaming the previous government for Australia's financial woes, look to the instigators and the reasons behind this pandemic. Those without the security of sick pay should receive this payment or make them permanent employees.
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