I must respond to the article by Des Boyce on October 11 about free camping and set the record straight.
The residents of Port Lincoln would know full well that this city is a popular tourist destination and therefore provides accommodation for various needs.
Most people would know about motels, hotels, B&Bs, holiday units and caravan parks.
Over recent years a new category has arisen and they are called RV Parks. This type of park provides for the self-contained motorhome or caravan that has most of the facilities of a modern home unit, but on wheels.
Yes, in many places these folk are able to stop-over for a low fee or even at no cost but what some people don't realise is that the average amount of money spent by these tourists is around $570 per week.
In fact a survey conducted by Balfour Consulting of about 400 people in Queensland in 2010, showed details of the breakdown of this expenditure and about half of that money was on fuel.
The rest is used on food, services and all the normal weekly household spend.
Even the caravan parks benefit because every two to three days these folk will use a caravan park as they are often closer to many of the facilities, sometimes connect to power or use washing machines, etc. It is surprising how many caravan parks do not allow pets and 23 per cent of RV owners have a little dog.
You may like to know that at any given time there are about 70 to 80,000 vans on the road and this number has increased a good deal now that baby boomers have retired and hit the road.
Residents of Port Lincoln should be pleased to see every caravan and motorhome come into town and stay for a week or two because they create jobs and wealth for your town, regardless of where they stay. By not staying at a caravan park every night, these tourists have even more money to spend in other places.
Beach road rules amaze
A number of recent incidents at Louth Bay have residents wondering where they stand in relation to the law.
For example, a friend of mine was fishing on the beach over the weekend when people arrived and began riding their unregistered motorbikes at speed along the beach, frequently passing where he was standing and coming as close to him, he estimated, as close as 2 metres.
A prominent sign at the entrance to the beach, endorsed by Transport SA, the Lower Eyre Road Safety Committee, and the SA government, declares: "THIS BEACH IS A ROAD, ALL ROAD RULES APPLY."
Motor vehicles are therefore allowed to travel at the default speed limit of 100km per hour (Australian Road Rules, Part 3, Sec. 25, paragraph (3)(b)) anywhere on the beach.
Undeniably there are serious safety issues involved here when vehicles travelling up to 100km per hour are in close proximity to people fishing, or walking, or playing with their kids.
The thing is, according to the law (Australian Road Rules, Part 14, Division 1, Section 236, paragraph (1)) it is an offence for pedestrians to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction on a road.
So it isn't the bike riders who are at fault (notwithstanding their offences against the Motor Vehicles Act 1959, Part 2, Division 1, Section 9, paragraphs (1) and (3) for driving unregistered vehicles on a road), it's the pedestrians who are responsible for creating the hazard by being silly enough to stand/sit/lie/sunbake/play/walk/etc on a road.
In addition to this, it is against the law for me to walk along Louth Bay beach with my son and his mother, holding hands and walking three abreast because this constitutes an offence under the same rules (Section 238, paragraph 2(b)).
And if you're thinking of bringing your toddler's tricycle to Louth Bay beach for him or her to ride on (and you're not worried about the dangerous traffic) think again: it's against the law!
According to the Rules (Section 240, paragraph (1)(b)), it is an offence for a pedestrian to travel on a wheeled toy on a road where the speed limit exceeds 50km per hour.
Even if the speed limit is reduced to allow toddlers to ride their wheeled toys on Louth Bay beach, the Road Traffic Act 1961 (Division 9, Section 162C) stipulates they must be wearing a safety helmet, not just a sun-hat.
But wait - it gets even more ridiculous. According to the law (Road Traffic Act 1961, Division 9, Section 108, paragraph (1)(a)) a person cannot deposit sand on a road without the written permission of the Commissioner of Highways.
Sorry, kids - sand-castles may very well be illegal on Louth Bay beach. Is it just me, or does anyone else find this situation ludicrous and completely unacceptable?
Beaches are, in my opinion, no place for vehicular traffic, especially when they're in a populated area and are popular destinations.