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Posts from the ‘Safety’ Category

Perth airport tunnel construction grinds to a halt after water leak causes sinkhole

ABC News, 25 September 2018
A water leak, which has led to the creation of a sinkhole, is continuing to delay the construction of Perth’s new $1.8 billion airport tunnel.Tunnelling for the new Forrestfield-Airport Link project was brought to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon. The sinkhole appeared on Sunday morning, forcing the closure of Dundas Road.

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Airlines tackle Dreamliner nightmare

The West, 15 September 2018
Since late last year, airlines around the world have been dealing with problems with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Package C engines aboard some Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The engines have been affected by a “durability issue” in which compressor blades have been wearing prematurely. In June, it was reported that some older Package B engines were also affected.

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Driverless car hype gives way to e-scooter mania among technorati

NBC News, 13 October 2018
When Michael Ramsey, an analyst for technology research firm Gartner, started in February to put together his 2018 “hype cycle” report for the future of transportation, he had plenty of topics to choose from: electric vehicles, flying cars, 5G, blockchain, and, of course, autonomous vehicles. But one type of transportation is conspicuously absent from the results of the report: electric scooters.

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Rising cyclist death toll is mainly due to drivers, so change the road laws and culture

The Conversation, 18 September 2018
Recent reporting paints a picture of surging road deaths and failing safety strategies for cyclists. The Australian Automobile Association’s Benchmarking report records 1,222 road deaths in the year ending June 2018. And cyclist deaths in particular remain stubbornly high, even as average speeds, which affect road deaths, continue to decline. If cars are much safer than 25 years ago, why are cyclist deaths increasing, from 25 the previous year to 45 this past year?
Of the untimely road deaths the AAA reports, 1,100 are due to how drivers were driving. In Australia, drivers are to blame for at least 79% of accidents with cyclists. And roughly 85% of reported cyclist casualty crashes involve another vehicle, not a bike or a pedestrian. Driver distraction accounts for roughly 25% of accidents.
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Why driverless vehicles should not be given unchecked access to our cities

The Conversation 13 September 2018
Autonomous, or driverless, vehicles can support and promote active travel, such as walking and cycling, when two basic conditions are met:
1. their access to cities is restricted
2. their use is pooled.
In the absence of these two conditions, autonomous vehicles could lead to a decline in active travel in cities and an increase in economic, social and environmental costs. Potential costs are rarely mentioned in the rhetoric about autonomous vehicles, much of which is highly optimistic.

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Are Australian bridges safe, and can we do better?

The Conversation, 22 August 2018
After the tragedy in the Italian city Genoa, where a highway bridge collapsed killing more than 40 people, nations seem to be taking stock of the maintenance levels of their bridges. There are reports thousands of UK bridges are at risk of collapse, and there are hundreds of similarly damaged bridges in France, Germany and Italy itself. Australia is no different to other developed countries in this regard, where a lot of bridges are old and deteriorating, and we would be foolish to think we are immune. That said, bridges are generally safe structures, with the risk of fatality from a bridge collapse being around one in 100 million per year. This is roughly 100 times less likely than being killed by lightning.

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Australian cyclist deaths surge and road safety strategy ‘failing’

The Guardian, 8 August 2018
Australia’s road safety strategy is failing, according to the nation’s peak motoring body, with cyclists recording the biggest increase in the number of road fatalities. A report by the Australian Automobile Association shows there were 1,222 deaths on the road in 2017-18 and, for the first time, all states are on track to miss the national road safety targets they signed up to in 2011.
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Nuclear power takes a hit as European heatwave rolls on

Renew Economy, 6 August 2018
A scorching European summer has been doing its best to prove that renewables are not the only energy sources at the mercy of the elements – and that climate change is a thing – with nuclear reactors from France to Finland being shut down or their output restricted due to record heat. Over the weekend, French energy company EDF said it was forced to temporarily halt four nuclear reactors in soaring temperatures, including a reactor at the country’s oldest plant, Fessenheim, to stop it from overheating the water in the nearby river

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Can the share bike business survive in Australia?

ABC News, 12 July 2018
After months of damaged and discarded bikes on city streets, it now looks like three of the four major firms who launched app-based bike sharing schemes last year have pulled up stumps.
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Driverless cars really do have health and safety benefits, if only people knew

The Conversation, 5 July 2018
Driverless cars promise many benefits, including an improvement in safety, but new research shows many people are still not aware of this. A paper, co-authored by me and published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, reports that almost two thirds (63%) of the 1,624 people surveyed had neutral or negative attitudes towards driverless cars.
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