Talk:Road transport in Australia

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Road transport in Australia:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests : info on laws and regulations about roads, vehicles, drivers
  • Expand : links to other related articles, with a paragraph or sentence to connect them
  • Verify : more references needed, much of the early framework was done without references, some parts should be referenced to match newer info
  • Other : Pictures of typical roads, traffic, vehicles, distinctive signs

Truck and dog[edit]

A lot of bulk short-haul work is done with "truck and dog", this includes a lot of coal haulage as well as road & general construction material / fill / waste. Huge use of 1-4 tonne trucks (as big as you can go on a car/1A licence) may be worth mentioning. We put everything in commercial vehicles because of our legal situation - look at use of motorcycles in Vietnam, over there a moto is a commercial vehicle. So potentially, the trucks section needs some more articles to refer to maybe? Garrie 00:16, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Must be a regional variation - truck and dog combinations are unusual around here, especially heavy ones. No coal mines nearby. The garden supplies centres seem to use them for delivering bark chips etc. I'm not sure if they're big class 1 licence or class 2A though.
You're right that smaller commercial vehicles are missing at the moment - my initial focus was trying to build a framework to draw together the other articles I'd found. For a while, the road train article sounded like they were the only things on the road larger than a bicycle anywhere in the country, and three trailers was a small one! --Scott Davis Talk 06:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm off a farm. The first time I saw "truck and dog" in a job ad in sydney I wondered why they'd want livestock operators... ;) (true story even with my brother driving B-doubles) Garrie 05:30, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
 :-) I've noticed the road construction industry using heavy truck and dog combinations this week, too. I guess that's one of the classes you mentioned above. I still notice them as unusual. --Scott Davis Talk 10:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Independent statistics[edit]

Could we use the ABS for stats on motor vehicle usage rather than AAA? (neutrality etc). Hey, the NRMA didn't object to ripping out tram lines in Sydney - what a suprise! The AAA go around telling politicians "everyone owns a car and uses it every day" - also, what a suprise! Garrie 00:16, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Good points Phaedrus86 01:14, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Although on reflection... feel free to go find the stats and add the references yourself. Also on reflection, do you seriously think car ownership in Australia is significantly less than the figures quoted? Phaedrus86 07:19, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
More than happy to go digging up stats but don't want to go looking at ABS if someone already tried and found nothing... or if there is a definate opinion that AAA is a good source of stats for this topic. My own opinion is they may well have a reason to inflate ownership somewhat. Although "nearly every family have a car and use it most days" is broad enough that I wouldn't even remove it if it was unsourced.equate one car per family to a car that two people own and use daily, even if some family members have almost no access to it. (think: siblings over 17 who commute by bus and train)(oops, that's not what the article said anyway)
Garrie 05:23, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I wrote it, and at the time it was unsourced, but I wanted something for the lead section that distinguished Australia from other places. That sentence is obvious to most Australians (maybe? not in the inner parts of the capital cities), but would sound quite strange to many English people, I think. --Scott Davis Talk 11:21, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
If you go to motorcycle, in many asian countries - motorcycle ownership well outstrips automobile ownership. So even within our region, car ownership in Australia is unusually high. But we are a very different country to Singapore or Indonesia.Garrie 20:56, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


In fact have a more colourful history than the earlier first sentence of that section suggests - anyone aware of ancillary bicycle history in separate articles that i might not otherwise pick up? SatuSuro 04:40, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

until recently, very often used by underage (or convicted drivers) to traverse large distances.
... and speaking of trams (above). Do they deserve a mention? They are in the mix still. Is public transport covered? - Fred 15:14, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

We mention Australian car manufacturers. Are there any "real" Ozzie push-bike manufacturers left, either with or worthy of an article?Garrie 20:59, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for delay - my impression is that they are all made in china or places similar to oz specs - SatuSuro 14:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I have a similar question about manufacture of heavy vehicles. I suspect there are too many small trailer and semi-trailer builders to be mentioned. I don't know how many truck manufacturers have Australian facilities that could/should be mentioned. --Scott Davis Talk 22:19, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Motoring organisations[edit]

I think it would be good to include a section on motoring organisations.

The ones I know are all listed at Australian Automobile Association and are member entities. Unfortunately the articles for these organisations are pretty poor.

I think they should be mentioned but I don't want to sound like a copywriter and I can't think of anything to mention that doesn't come accross as an advertisement. I don't know how normal membership of similar organisations is in the US/UK?Garrie 21:24, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone confirm:

  1. a motorcycle licence is needed to ride any motorised two wheel vehicle in any state in Australia (other countries, a car licence will cover you up to a certain capacity)
  2. Learners in any state are restricted to 250cc (in other countries the limit, if there is one, tends to be 125cc)

Garrie 01:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

In Qld you can ride up to 50cc with a car licence and there are different levels of motor bike licences, RE (up to 250cc) and R (up to 700cc) WikiTownsvillian 01:38, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
In Victoria you need to have a specific motorcycle licence for motorcycles or motortrikes. You cannot ride a motorcycle exceeding 260cc while riding on your learner's permit and for the first 12 months after the motorcycle license is issued--Melburnian 03:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Well so much for the standardised road rules! If they vary from state to state it is best to leave it out I guess.Garrie 03:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

It is my experience that all road rules vary from state to state except in the rare occasion where standardisation is necessary. The State Governments do look at each other's laws when formulating rules and thus broadly similar systems are in place, but they are all completely independent from each other and are at different levels/stages for different types of road rules. Thanks, WikiTownsvillian 04:02, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


Garrie and I have been working on the words of the "Highways" section, and perhaps need someone else to take a look, particularly with respect to definitions and road surfaces. I took exception to the Connie Sue Highway photo as an example of an Australian highway so described it and similar roads (thinking of Anne Beadell Highway and Gunbarrel Highway) as named ironically. Garrie has quite reasonably pointed out that the Cobb Highway is a highway and is also not sealed. He also pointed out that even these roads are there as the shortest path to somewhere. We have a reference on National Highway (Australia), but not on any of the other highways lists to show authoritatively what is considered a "highway" I note that the Cobb Highway has a route number, but Connie Sue Highway does not. Rather than us banging heads on our different POVs, could someone else check it over please? The current text may well be OK, but needs a different photo (or none). Maybe swap that photo and the next? --Scott Davis Talk 03:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Scott. I don't want an edit war - but in areas away from the coast there are real dirt highways. They don't get enough traffic to warrant the upgrade when for the same money the government can prevent deaths at blackspots. I honestly thought Connie Sue was the same class of road as Cobb Highway, just in a more remote area.Garrie 04:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Secondly - I agree about the image of Connie Sue "highway" needing to be moved down. But I'm the only person to have put images in so I'll step back on that one... Garrie 04:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
No worries. I expect to be able to drive up the Cobb Highway (weather permitting) at or near the speed limit in my standard road car without much more preparation than any country road trip requires. Fuel supplies and other road users are less than a fuel tank apart, and the NRMA have a clue how to get there if I do have unforseen problems. The Connie Sue Highway is a multi-day adventure for a group of high-clearance four wheel drives. One example I can find is Bomb roads. Even the Birdsville Track isn't such an adventure any more (I have not done any of them except the southern part of the Cobb, so this is all conjecture and hearsay). Is the Cobb Highway really more remote and less used (as the article claims) than the Silver City Highway? --Scott Davis Talk 06:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Having driven to Tibooburra, the road from the Hill to corner country is pretty sparse. But it is well used, I would not be suprised if it is more used than Cobb Highway because there's nothing really big at either end of Cobb Highway, AND there are other ways of getting to both ends. But to get from Broken Hill to western Queensland you either use the Silver City Highway, or you go via a very wide detour....Garrie 10:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

Current lead does not refer the article in any way back to Transport in Australia - which I feel it should.

How about Road transport is an essential element of transport in Australia infrastructure due to the large land area of the country and ....

It doesn't sound quite right but there should be an equivalent link from Road transport in Australia to Transport in Australia, as there is already going the other way. Garrie 05:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Trams, smart[edit]

I have worn out that palindromes welcome. But can some one answer my query? Inclusion, yea or nay? - Fred 13:49, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

They run on rails and are mentioned in Rail transport in Australia. Their impact on this article should only be as they affect or are affected by road transport (driving rules, construction standards, licencing etc). Does a tram driver have a bus license, a train licence, or a specific tram licence? Who issues it? --Scott Davis Talk 13:42, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I would be interested to hear the opinion of someone from Melbourne. I suspect that drivers there are more than aware of 'road' users sharing that space with trams. This is where their rails are, as opposed to railways. What has mention in another article to do with this one? I'm not sure what the relevance of licencing is to the discussion, but I imagine they are issued by the same mob that issues others, the government. On the same point, are cyclists and their vehicles also going to be omitted. But I am answering, what I infer from your tone to be, rhetorical questions. I would have thought your ferries would be more contentious an inclusion, Scott. - Fred 14:25, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I thought that the traffic rules such as treating the entrances to a tram the same as a pedestrian crossing, and hook turns, would be the main reason for mentioning trams in this article. They pretty much own their own roads in Sydney and apart from Melbourne (where they are a signature item) I haven't heard of them existing anywhere else.
I think they would belong more in a Road transport in Victoria article though.Garrie 10:16, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Garrie. Should we park our trams here until that article exists? - Fred 11:42, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
My intended point of licencing was that it is a question I don't know the answer to. If tram licences are issued by the motor vehicles department, then they're effectively like busses and belong in the road transport article. If licences are issued by whoever licences train drivers (yes, the government, but which department/agency?), then trams are like trains and belong in the rail transport article.
I included a paragraph on vehicle ferries as they are essentially part of the road network, just like a toll bridge. Should I try to expand on it by finding references to road rules on ferries, or do we think it's too much of a red herring? I think that in South Australia, the Murray River ferry operators are accredited as road transport inspectors, and can issue fines to overweight trucks, for example.
Fred, I'm not sure what your comment about cyclists means. Bicycles are already mentioned. I think that Victoria is part of Australia, and doubt there is a need for {{Road transport in <state>]] articles until we decide this article needs to be split up by state. At the moment it's split by vehicle size/use, but any state variation is mentioned in each section. --Scott Davis Talk 11:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Sincere apologies if I have generated any confusion with my examples - if. I don't think licences define road or rail transport. Bicycles are fine for inclusion, but unlicenced. Sorry, I don't know who licences trams or their drivers. Again, not sure that is relevant. Where they are is, on the roads. Historically, all states had trams. Some still do and these are highly effective form of road transport. Should we include trams? - Fred 15:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I guess my high-level view is that trams run on rails and therefore are part of rail transport in Australia. Road transport is about transport using vehicles that drive on flat(ish) surfaces. Obviously if the rails run along (or cross) a road, there is some intersection with road transport in Australia. This applies to both trams and would apply to any heavy rail lines running on streets, like part of the Henley Beach line in Adelaide used to. If you have something to write, then write it and see where it fits best. --Scott Davis Talk 13:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

bikes again[edit]

there is already some mention of the historic use of bicyles in outback Australia. I think this could be linked to the use of bicycles as mounts/mobility by some regiments during WWI. Anyone got any thoughts on this? (eg: anyone have a reliable reference for which units did use bicycles in an official capacity (other than for messengers ) during WWI?)Garrie 05:08, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

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