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NT Driver Training & Licensing industry - Zipper's Driving School

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Comments expressed in these columns are opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of others.

NEW ANTI-HOONING LEGISLATION

DTAL / DRIVESAFE NT TRANSFERRING TO MVR

NO MORE LEFT TURN ON RED ... ?

20 June 2009 1 July 2009 8 January 2010
The NT Government is getting tough on hooning! :)
Read about the new "anti-hooning legislation" on the NT Transport Group's website.

A government ad titled "YOU HOON, YOU LOSE" placed in the NT News lists the following activities as being targeted:
  • burnouts
  • dragging
  • doughnuts
  • time trials
  • drifting
  • fish tails
  • S-bends
  • skids

3 STRIKES - YOU'RE OUT!

Lose your car...
  >  Strike 1! - for 24 hours
  >  Strike 2! - for 3 to 6 months
  >  Strike 3! - forever

An interesting photo in the NT News (Aug 11th 2007) shows an American teenager watching in dismay as his precious car is crushed under California's "Strike 3" laws.
Many say that the same should be done here in the NT!
As of 1st July 2009, administration of the DTAL Program and its replacement DriveSafe NT will be transferred from the department of Education and Training (DET) to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) of which the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) is a part.

When DET took DTAL over from the original committee, they did not commit themselves fully to the program.

DTAL Program Managers with no experience in driver training (and usually no educational experience at all) were appointed.
These managers did not regard the post as a "career", it was just a rung on their upward climb to higher positions and a fleeting one at that.
The program suffered as a result.

MAKES SENSE

The changeover makes sense - DPI will be in a better position to provide the much-needed auditing which is virtually non-existent in the current program.
Three of the much-loved "LEFT TURN ON RED..." signs were taken down yesterday at these locations:
  • Trower Rd & Parer Drive near Casuarina Senior College
  • Vanderlin Drive & Trower Rd at Casuarina, opposite the Square.
  • Temple Tce & Maluka Drive (into the shopping centre) at Palmerston
Signs have also been taken down in Katherine last year after a serious crash.

The NT News reports that the restrictions are part of a rolling review of road safety by the NT Transport Department.
So, why remove the signs?

... PERMITTED AFTER STOPPING

And this has been the problem - motorists assume that the sign gives them permission to turn left through a red light without stopping first.

It doesn't help that the last three words are in much smaller lettering, but that is no excuse for not reading them - and obeying them.
The sign does NOT give permission to go through a red light without stopping first!.

Unfortunately the majority of NT motorists either don't read the sign properly or wilfully disobey it, causing dangerous situations especially for pedestrians.
The message to these motorists obviously is: "If you won't follow the rules we'll take our signs and go home!".

And I totally agree.
As a driving instructor I'm sick of having my students stop correctly at one of these signs, and have some impatient driver behind beep their horn at us.
Worse though, we are in danger of being rear-ended by fools who don't slow down approaching these situations because they thoughtlessly expect all vehicles turning left in front of them to turn in at high speed, just like they themselves do.

In my view another location where the sign should be removed is turning off Stuart Highway into Hook Road at Winnellie.

The problem here is the 80km/h limit and drivers who race up to the lights.
Probably the only reason we haven't had a serious rear-ender here is that almost all drivers turn left without stopping.
When taking a student past this intersection I advise them to NOT turn left there, use Bombing Rd or similar to get into Winnellie - much safer!

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