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Car vs House – Greenfields Western Australia

OK, so this one isn’t technically in metropolitan Perth, but these poor people have had their house ploughed into TWICE. They feel like they have nowhere to turn, and have not been allowed to build the perimeter wall of their house closer to the road, presumably to preserve sight lines for motorists.

In October, a Ravenswood man crashed his utility through the front bedroom of the family home after failing to negotiate a bend.

The car landed on the couple’s bed and it was a fluke no one was killed.

A 19-year-old was charged with dangerous driving, drink-driving and driving without a valid licence. He was fined $1450.

On December 4, a car involved in a high speed police chase rolled through a fence and landed on its side. Ryan Norman Bishop (25), of Greenfields, was arrested at the scene.

He was charged with failing to stop, reckless driving, no authority to drive, driving an unlicensed vehicle and possessing a controlled weapon. He was fined $2950 and lost his licence for 18 months.

The article is here in the Community News.

From the charges it is clear that the Police have taken these seriously, but fines and license suspensions really do not seem to deter these chaps. I suppose there will always be that one percent that really shouldn’t be on the road. If we didn’t have such a car-centric city, maybe some of them wouldn’t!

Notably, the City of Mandurah say that:

“It should be noted that for the average road user, the road design is quite satisfactory. But for speed and alcohol/drug-related motorists, the City finds itself having to engineer additional traffic calming and traffic barrier safety.

“This obviously adds to the costs of the city’s road works budget, which in turn impacts upon ratepayers.”

It sounds like a bit of a moan to be honest. I don’t see them doing anything to encourage alternative transport options. There are almost no bike lanes and people are expected to ride on concrete jointed footpaths (shared paths) which follow the curve at every corner and have to give way at every junction and driveway. I have ridden down to Mandurah a few times, and drivers seem to be courteous during the very limited amount of time I spent riding there. Then, I ride on the road a fair bit and don’t have the ‘subjective safety’ issues with riding on the road that a lot of people have, so it’s pretty clear I am an outlier there.

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Car vs House

 

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Car vs House: Car smashes through a fence and into a cubby house in Kardinya

The original story is here.

This one is more of a car vs cubby house, but I thought that it was worth adding to my collection on the blog. It happened in broad daylight so the likelihood of the kids being out in the yard was pretty high! It seems a bit odd that the laneway didn’t have bollards to stop the vehicle from entering. As irritating as bollards can be sometimes, especially when towing the Bike Friday trailer, I think in those kinds of laneways they are preferable to this kind of thing happening.

TWO Kardinya families had a lucky escape this morning when a car smashed through a laneway, ploughed through their backyards and came to rest against a cubbyhouse.

Witnesses said the driver was being followed by police when the car mounted the curb and into a winding pedestrian laneway.

Kidson St resident Jacqui Mooney, 39, said her kids often played in the cubbyhouse and her 11-month-old had been near it only moments before the vehicle crashed through her fence.

“It’s just shocking. We’re not even near a main road,” she said.

“Any of us could have been out here. My husband’s always out watering the vegetable garden.

“I actually thought our neighbour was under the car for a moment because she’s normally out doing her washing.”

Neighbour Hazel Paterson said when she first saw the police she thought there was an armed robber.

 

“I looked out the window and I just couldn’t work out where the car had come from,” Ms Paterson said.

“I thought I heard someone say `gun’ and I ran two houses up to my neighbours.

“I’m usually out doing Saturday’s washing and it was only because I’d had a new lounge suite to set up that I was inside.”

Sergeant Greg Woodward said police were called about a suspicious person in a vehicle.
The chase began when the man refused to stop for police, he said.

“We followed him through the streets when he smashed through the laneway,” Sgt Woodward said.

“The car was not stolen that we know of but it did have false number plates.”

A man was arrested and was yesterday assisting police with their enquiries.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Car vs House

 

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Car vs House: Two escape serious injury as car hits house in Gosnells

I am collecting these stories to get a feel for just how often the media reports on a car vs house story in Perth. For other car vs house stories, just check out the car vs house category. The last one I posted to my blog also occurred in Gosnells. The information on this one is very sketchy – but there are no allegations of drink driving this time.

It is just a reminder of how dangerous operating a couple of tonnes of metal can be.

The original story is on Perthnow here.

A WOMAN had a lucky escape after the car she was driving crashed into a house on Corfield Street in Gosnells this afternoon.

A St John Ambulance spokesman said two people had been taken to Royal Perth Hospital, including a 61-year-old woman who was driving the car.

Ten News reports that it took 12 firefighters more than 30 minutes to cut the woman from the wreckage after she became trapped but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

It is believed that the woman failed to stop at an intersection and was lucky not to hit oncoming traffic as she travelled at speed across four lanes.

A man who was sitting outside at the front of the house was lucky to escape serious injury, only suffering a cut to his foot, while his dog was also injured.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Car vs House: Drunk Driver plows into house in Gosnells, Perth

Since the 24 August  2011, I have been collecting Car vs House in Perth stories, this is the second one, the first one being in Tapping.

The original story is here

The roof of a carport collapsed onto a parked caravan and vehicle after another vehicle became airborne and crashed into a Gosnells home last night.

A 23-year-old man has been charged with driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08 after the Holden Commodore he was driving crashed into a house in Murchison Way in Gosnells.

At around 10.50pm, the driver allegedly failed to taken a right hand bend, causing the car to become airborne and striking the right side of the house.

The car struck the supporting brick pillars of the carport area and collapsed.

The driver attempted to run from the scene, but collapsed nearby due to minor injuries he received.

He was taken to Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital .

The female owner of the house was home at the time, but in another part of the house and was uninjured.

The estimated damage to the house is around $120,000.

The driver is expected to face further charges.

Good to see the driver is going to have to face the consequences of his actions. Not only was he injured, but he will be charged. I hope the house and caravan were insured.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Car vs House

 

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RIP Steve Jobs – cos cyclists love smartphones

I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list….That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of lomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away.

That’s what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

Steve Jobs
— Interview for the documentary “Memory and Imagination,” 1990

If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs, Apple would be dead. I only have one Apple product – a MacBook Pro, and it is probably the best laptop I’ve ever had. Without Steve Jobs, there would arguably be no Macbooks, no Ipods, no Ipads, no Iphones.

These are just ‘things’ right? Did the world really need more gadgets? Look at the Ipad – tablets had existed for a long time before the Ipad, did Apple just create a demand for them?

Consider this: without the Iphone – maybe we wouldn’t have the Android equivalents either. Google chose to compete with Apple for their own reasons, but would they have developed Android if Apple didn’t exist? Then we wouldn’t have accessible and affordable GPS that is usually in our pockets anyway which we can use to share bike routes, track our progress and average speeds, just by downloading a free app from either the Android Market or iTunes.

Before my MacBook, it took me ages to edit video, but it is a speedy little thing, and iMovie lives up to the Jobs philosophy of making things simple. I can make bike videos in about half the time it would have taken using my PC – and the software was free with the computer, instead of having to fork out extra.

Sure, there is a dark side to Apple. When the Ipod first came out you couldn’t replace the batteries and Apple was advising people to just buy a new Ipod! What a waste! Then, in 2010, it’s products were linked to a factory in China where the working conditions are so bad that 10 workers committed suicide. Despite this it was hard for critics to really get a stranglehold on the enigmatic Jobs, and the stories about suicides disappeared from the media shortly after. Was the problem fixed? Who knows!

Though we saw this coming, a lot of people are showing a lot of emotion for Steve right now, and it may not just be base consumerism that has caused people to admire him. He is seen as a great visionary, someone who enabled us to do new things, things we never thought of before, on mobile devices.  

RIP Steve Jobs, and we will see what the future holds for Apple now that Steve is gone forever.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Reasons to Ride: Car exhaust link to low baby weights in Perth

When I got in to work this morning, I was surprised to see this article across the front page of the local rag, The West Australian. In a one-paper-town (well two if you count the Sunday Times), the West usually comes from a pro-car position. It’s a shock that an article like this can make the front page, particularly because the last paragraph suggests that we should drive less.

It also makes the commonly accepted belief that Perth is a relatively clean city seem doubtful. Sure the air here is cleaner than the big industrial cities of China, but is probably isn’t any better than a lot of European cities who have curbed car usage. Any time we get an atmospheric inversion you can see the smog around the CBD – and the problem pollutant is not something that you can see, it’s Carbon Monoxide.

Car fumes in Perth suburbs are affecting the growth of unborn babies and making them smaller at birth than expected, a new study reveals.

Researchers from the University of WA and Telethon Institute of Child Health Research found that even mothers living in suburbs with low industrial activity and average traffic emissions were giving birth to babies weighing 58g less than the average expected birth weight of 3.5kg.

The decrease in birth weight was half that of babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy – a well-known cause of low birth weight.

The findings, based on the records of 1800 pregnant women and their babies, are published in today’s Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

It is the first study to look at the effect of local vehicle emissions on the growth of unborn babies.

The researchers were able to track carbon monoxide levels around the homes of the women up to the time they gave birth.

While the researchers did not name suburbs, they were reportedly in the south metropolitan area.

The suburbs had minimal exposure to industrial fumes but a mix of busy and quiet roads.

UWA epidemiologist and assistant professor Gavin Pereira, whose specialises in the effects of air pollution on child health, found in a study released last year that Perth’s traffic pollution was increasingly the risk by up to 70 per cent of young children having serious asthma attacks.

He said the results from the latest study were surprising because the pregnant women studied did not live in heavily polluted areas. “I didn’t really expect to see any effect, so it was pretty surprising, although some international studies have found some associations,” he said.

“It was more the extent of the effect, because we would have expected it to be almost negligible because Perth is not really a polluted city.”

Mr Pereira said the growth of some babies in the study exposed to vehicle emissions was even more impaired than the 58g average.

He said while it was not a reason for pregnant women to panic, there was a message to planners not to build houses close to major roads.

“We need to do a lot more work on this because as researchers we can’t say the exact distance we should be building away from these roads,” he said.

“But it tells us we need to be looking a lot closer at this issue, particularly when we saw a not insignificant effect on birth weight in the relatively low polluted areas that we studied.

“Air pollution is ubiquitous but I guess everyone is contributing to it so the general message might be to drive less.”

It makes me wonder, if we acknowledge that cars are a source of health problems for our children, causing asthma attacks and lower birth weights, as well as endangering them so that they are not allowed out onto the street on their bicycles any more, will politicians really start to do something about the problem? Do we care about our children more than we love our cars? Has it become clear yet that all of the new technologies, like low emission engines and hybrid cars aren’t going to make this problem go away in a hurry?

I fully support spending WA’s mainly mining related budget surplus on rail infrastructure, and accompanying off road bicycle infrastructure. As well as the new infrastructure we need to continually expand the capacity of the current infrastructure, because the old addage of ‘if you build it, they will come’ has certainly been demonstrated with train services. Overcrowding has become a disincentive to use the trains. In a city where people are used to their wide open spaces, people who live at stations close to the city (e.g. Stirling and Maylands), sometimes have to miss trains because they cannot physically fit into the space left when the trains stop at their platforms.

There is a lot of room for improvement, and a lot that can be done to get the people of Perth out of their cars. All that is needed is the political will to do that. I have a question for Colin Barnett – is the health of the next generation enough motivation for you?

As for me, next time a motorist close shaves me, abuses me, throws stuff out of the window at me, or pulls out in front of me – I might just yell back “I’m riding because I care about your kids!”

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Reasons to Ride

 

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Car vs House: Drunk driver plows into a house in Tapping, WA – injures man

These stories seem to happen at least once a month in WA, so I have decided to keep track of them on this blog. I wonder, does this kind of thing happen in other countries? What can be done to stop it? 

I myself have witnessed an out of control car plow into my neighbour’s fence and knock out their water main when I was living in Perth’s South Eastern suburbs. In my current house, a driver who blew a positive BAC reading at the scene lost control of his car at high speed and hit the power pole, and my car, which was parked on the grass verge in front of the house. Both cars were written off and Western Power had to replace the power pole, which was cracked and only being held up by some metal bracing. The passenger was injured and was taken from the scene in an ambulance. The driver’s airbag was deployed and the car looked like a crumpled ball of tinfoil.

I sure hope they charge the guy, the police have said ‘no charges have been laid’.

This story is from perthnow – Young mum tells of horror as ‘drunk’ smashes car through house

The woman, Victoria Keep, said her husband Ian was lucky to be alive after a car, driven by an alleged drunk-driver, smashed through their house in Ashley Road, Tapping about 7pm last night.

Sergeant Gerry Cassidy said the grey Nissan Maxima hit a small tree at the front of the home before smashing through a front window and a wall into the kitchen and then out through the rear sliding doors to the patio area.

Mr Keep was sitting at the kitchen table at the time and was thrown outside the house by the impact of the car, along with household furniture.

His wife, who had just left the table to put their two-year-old son to bed, was uninjured.

A distressed Mrs Keep told ABC radio this morning the couple had come to Australia four months ago from Britain, “for a better life.”

She said they had returned from a weekend camping trip and she was putting their son to bed, while her husband sat at the dining table downloading photographs taken at the weekend onto a computer.

 “As I kissed my son goodnight and walked out of the bedroom there was an almighty explosion happened before my eyes,” she said.

“I thought it was a gas explosion, I couldn’t see, there was so much smoke.

“It wasn’t till I turned around and saw tail-lights that I realised a car had come through our house.

“I was screaming for my husband because I couldn’t see anything.

“The driver got out of the car and said ‘I am so sorry’.

“I was screaming for my husband. He had been wiped out of the house. I just dug as quickly as I could because he was buried.

“He was covered in blood.

“My husband is OK, he is very badly bruised, he has got a lot of cuts on his face, but he is lucky to be alive.”

The woman said the couple had just arrived in Perth from the UK and she was now hunting for a rental property while neighbours cared for her young son.

“We have only been in the country for four months, we came here from the UK for a better life.

“We are alive and that is the main thing.”

She said the driver of the car was “driving at great speed” and was “completely drunk.”

“The guy was absolutely drunk as anything, he could hardly stand up,” she said.

“He was going extremely fast, and the guy was clearly absolutely drunk.

“He said ‘I’m so sorry, I’m drunk.”

The woman’s husband was taken to Joondalup Health Campus with lacerations and fractures, but his injuries are not life-threatening.

Sergeant Gerry Cassidy told PerthNow the 24-year-old driver of the car was taken into police custody and breath-tested last night but has been released. No charges have yet been laid.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Car vs House

 

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