Follow this site by email:

RACQ's Steve Spalding in a tither as Tom Tate refuses to dither

RACQ warns against left turn on red light

QUEENSLAND'S peak motoring body and Gold Coast car hire operators warn a new road rule trial to allow left turns at red lights could increase fatalities and confuse tourists.

RACQ's Steve Spalding
- not happy with the State
Government or the Gold
Coast City Council
RACQ safety policy executive manager Steve Spalding yesterday said the new rules, to be trialled at southern Gold Coast intersections early next year and then potentially rolled out statewide, would not reduce congestion.

He said international studies showed collisions increased where motorists could turn left on red.

"We welcome initiatives to reduce congestion but not at the expense of road user safety," said Mr Spalding.

"While we recognise this is only a trial, studies conducted overseas have shown that crashes increase at intersections that allow motorists to turn left on red.

"Advice to us from SA and NSW is that their existing left turn on red sites are gradually being removed."

Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson yesterday announced vehicles would be allowed to turn left on a red signal after giving way to other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists at selected intersections.

He said the system had been successfully rolled out in NSW, the Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT and was believed to save drivers time and reduce congestion.

Some local car hire operators raised concerns the new rules would be foreign to domestic and international tourists who already had to grapple with different Queensland road laws.

"I think it will be a little bit tricky to explain when we already have people asking about local road rules," said Vendulka Hastings of Red Back Car Rentals.

Your Say:

"are we that bad of drivers ! having just spent 3 months on the U.S. what a great idea."
Robert Rose

"It's a very strange rule, I think unless you have a slip lane, it could be really dangerous.

"It would take a lot of explaining and goes a little bit against the grain of what your used to but I guess they'll put signs up."

Other car hire operators expected tourists would already be familiar with the rule from elsewhere in the worldwide and described it as a ``no brainer''.

The changes will mirror a US rule that has been in place for decades.

Gold Coast City Council mayor Tom Tate, who made the rule change an election promise, said the $200,000 trial would be funded by the council
COMMENT: Poor Steve Spalding.  He seems completely out of his depth in relation to the rest of the world.  He says international studies showed collisions increased where motorists could turn left on red.   But given that most of the world drives on the right hand side of the road, it would be RIGHT hand turns NOT LEFT hand turns which would be permitted in most countries on red lights.  So what data are the intelligentsia of the RACQ relying on to make these apparently outrageous claims.  The RACQ should come clean immediately and release this data, including the countries it emanates from.