Canberra Drivers. I mean,,,WTF !!!!

By 20 June 2008 59

I know this subject has been done to death on this forum many times so I guess once more won’t hurt. But honestly, what is it with Canberra drivers ??

Last night at around 1745 I drove from City to Chisholm. Trying to think of what would be the quickest way there I elected to cruise the Parkway, shoot across Sulwood and then cut through Gowrie then into Chisholm.

All was going well until I hit the area around the speed cameras near Cotter Road. Heres some friendly helpful advice from someone who is on the road 12 hours a day for work, 100kph zone means you can STILL drive at 100kph and not get caught by a camera. There is absolutely NO NEED to slow down to 80 or 90kph “just to be sure”. Rightly or wrongly I drive past those ones at 105kph and haven’t been photographed yet. They do have a tolerance slightly (as do they all in ACT) over the speed limit so slowing down is not necessary and just pisses off your fellow road users.

Then I get to Hindmarsh Dr overpass and the traffic has come to a screaming halt. Traffic backed up from Sulwood Dr lights to Hindmarsh Dr. Why ?? A simple rear ender down about 1k north of Sulwood lights. They were off to the side of the road, not hampering anyones progress and just having a casual chat with the local plod who had turned up.

Its a rear ender for goodness sakes. It happens everyday in Canberra somewhere and quite frankly its not worth having a good long geek at. Slowing right down to walking pace so you don’t have a nose to tail all of your own so you have have a good look at the damage and go “ooohhh ahhhh” FFS!, Just keep driving.

And while I am on my rant. Canberra drivers would do very well to check their rear lights now and again. I know its a case of out of sight out of mind, or ‘my front lights are working so every other light must be too’, get out and check them occasionally. I lose count of how many cars are bashing around Canberra every night with no rear lights.

Whinge over,,enjoy your ride home.

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59 Responses to
Canberra Drivers. I mean,,,WTF !!!!
caf 2:22 pm
20 Jun 08

We totally need a “Whinges” post category.

flying doormat 2:28 pm
20 Jun 08

Yawn Yawn – whinging bitches here we go again. Agree with Caf that there needs to be a Whinges category. Whilst your at it can you also include a “Mrs Mangles” category so all those nosey people out there are covered.

Kramer 2:29 pm
20 Jun 08

I do 95-98 on cruise through the speed cameras. I’m not going to risk a fine just to check whether my speedo is calibrated the same as the cameras. Oh no it’s going to delay you by 5 seconds!

Leave for your destination 5 minutes earlier, and have a beer when you get there. Chill.

ihatepublicservants 2:37 pm
20 Jun 08

I also find the speed-camera-slow-down annoying but I’ll live – there are bigger problems out there. As for the tail-lights: you’re dead right. I’ve seen hundreds of cars with a least one light out.

One of my friends has a brake light out. I told her and she agreed that she needed to fix it. Has she done anything? Nope! Four weeks later, still out. People don’t care, they don’t know where to buy the replacement, and they don’t know how to install it. It all adds up to give craptacular cars driving around.

tylersmayhem 2:53 pm
20 Jun 08

I agree with Devil_n_Disquiz. It’s ridiculous how so many drivers will be going 100ish down the parkway, then hit the breaks to go past the cameras around 85. Not to mention dangerous! People are not going to get fined for going on the speed limit!

Canberra drivers – for those of you who don’t, please learn to merge at speed rather than hitting the brakes instead of coming to a complete stop at a round about, look, hesitate, look, hesitate, then go just as a car is coming!

I could rant about Canberra driving for about 8 pages, but I won’t bore you all this afternoon. But in the meantime, I hope the idiot who blasted out in front of me yesterday and cut me off starts to consider one day that there are other drivers on the road.

Clown Killer 3:14 pm
20 Jun 08

Canberra drivers – for those of you who don’t, please learn to merge…

And if you’re the guy who was driving the current model white Commodore east bound along Adelaide Ave at 7.00am this morning that means you!

Avy 3:18 pm
20 Jun 08

>Rightly or wrongly I drive past those ones at 105kph

…according to your speedo…

tylersmayhem 3:30 pm
20 Jun 08

>>”I’m not going to risk a fine just to check whether my speedo is calibrated the same as the cameras”<<

I’m sure your speedo isn’t 15K/m per hour out! Do you find yourself cruising past other cars way faster by about 10 or 15 km’s when you drive? If not, you’re probably safe!

working Australians 4:07 pm
20 Jun 08

poor little whinging pains have to slow down for a second, get over yourself its a maximun speed limit and as long as you are in the left lane 85 is fine

tylersmayhem 4:27 pm
20 Jun 08

Yeah, good plan to hit the break during peak hours and make all other cars slow down too. Fast lane or slow lane…bad idea! It’s dangerous, not a matter of getting somewhere 5 seconds quicker!

p996911turbo 4:29 pm
20 Jun 08

Merging! How damn hard is it for people to merge? It’s like a zipper, people! One car from the right lane, then one from the left lane. But no! Some people seem to freak out and drive at 6km/h during the merge, forcing many cars to go past and holding up an entire lane of traffic.

I propose re-testing of drivers every ten years and a road rules knowledge test every five (when renewing licences).

working Australians 4:39 pm
20 Jun 08

tylersmayhem said :

Yeah, good plan to hit the break during peak hours and make all other cars slow down too. Fast lane or slow lane…bad idea! It’s dangerous, not a matter of getting somewhere 5 seconds quicker!

There is no fast or slow lane, there is however a left lane and a overtaking lane on dual carrigeways with speed limits over 90 ks ansd if you have aproblem with people slowing a bit you have a serious road rage problem, better get some profesional help with your problem

Clown Killer 4:43 pm
20 Jun 08

It’s the ones that go all the way to the end of the feeder lane on the parkway and then STOP! What are they doing? Waiting for a break in the traffic? Likewise those already on the parkway that stay in the left hand lane gawping at the cars coming up the feeder lane.

Clown Killer 4:47 pm
20 Jun 08

Working Aussies, I don’t think its the people who tootle along at 95 to sake a few bucks, play it safe or whatever that are causing this problem – its the people who happily zip along the parkwat at 110 and then go “OH crap! The speed camera” and break hard, that are causing the grief.

Clown Killer 4:47 pm
20 Jun 08

Working Aussies, I don’t think its the people who tootle along at 95 to save a few bucks on fuel, play it safe or whatever that are causing this problem – its the people who happily zip along the parkwat at 110 and then go “OH crap! The speed camera” and break hard, that are causing the grief.

Clown Killer 4:49 pm
20 Jun 08

At the risk of joing the four post nut-bag club, please accept my apologies for that – not really sure what happened there…

p996911turbo 4:51 pm
20 Jun 08

Actually the keep left unless overtaking (unless otherwise specified) is for roads over 80km/h (rather than the 90km/h working Australians specifies). In other words, for roads 90km/h or more.

Forgive me, I’m a Canberran: I can’t help my pedantry…

Vic Bitterman 4:56 pm
20 Jun 08

You can’t be on the road for 12 hours a day, if you’ve just figured out that most motorists slow down below the limit when passing a camera.

aronde 5:01 pm
20 Jun 08

I always find the comments about people slowing down before accident sites a bit strange. I mean I think it is human nature / common sense to slow down when you see emergency vehicles with flashing lights up ahead as you have no idea what is actually going on until you get there. The road could be partially or fully blocked, there could be hysterical people running around, there could be tow trucks trying to pull out or the road could be clear and it is just a fender bender. Slowing to walking pace is a bit ridiculous though!

Devil_n_Disquiz 5:11 pm
20 Jun 08

lol..interesting comments. I knew I’d get the ‘deal with it’, ‘chill’, ‘leave earlier’ thanks for keeping the riotact dream alive and well :)

As for my speedo, I know this is accurate as rather than running off the dial I run off a metered pulse. As such I know that when I am doing 108kph on the speedo, I am in actual fact only doing 100kph.

But a few people have touched on what I should have said that being the hassle is not those who just wanna tootle along at 85kph in a 100kph (which if it impedes the flow of traffic is a traffic offence) it is those who cruise along at 110kph and then “holy crap I forgot about that speed camera” and stand on their brakes.

oh,,and I can be on the road 12 hours a day. I figured this out long ago, just really couldn’t be arsed making a comment about it till now.

I’m not touching the merging and roundabout issues.

Overheard 5:11 pm
20 Jun 08

Canberra drivers whingeing about the reprehensible actions of ‘Canberra drivers’.


freddie281 5:26 pm
20 Jun 08

People whine about how dangerous it is when others slam their brakes on for what ever reason…speed cameras or otherwise.
Do you realize that in the eyes of Police and insurance companies the safest distance you should be traveling behind a another vehicle is such that if he does apply the brakes hard you can still safely stop behind him.

Do we all travel at that distance…probably not. Technically we are breaking the law [drive behind other vehicle too closely to stop safely - Section 167 ARR $197 fine 1 demerit point ] but it your decision to do so. Maybe we should consider taking responsibility for ourselves and judging our own actions before we start ranting about the actions of others.

Devil_n_Disquiz 5:33 pm
20 Jun 08


You are right about the safe distance thing. And we all know what happens when you leave a safe distance,,another driver says “Oh cool,,a gap for me” and before you know it your safe distance has been eroded, so you slow down a little to make a new safe traveling distance and the same thing happens again.
So,,,responsibility for own actions still occurs, but the actions of others ..yeah..nuff said.

Skip 5:56 pm
20 Jun 08

Hey Devil_n_Disquiz, WTF?

Special G 6:47 pm
20 Jun 08

Apparently Mandarins at the Belco markets are going cheap this week.

Lenient 8:13 pm
20 Jun 08

I’ll see your “Canberra drivers whingeing about the reprehensible actions of ‘Canberra drivers’” and raise you “Riotacters complaining about the banality of posts”

bighead 8:18 pm
20 Jun 08

Sometimes… Facebook comes in handy.

Basic rules for driving in Canberra.

1. Indicators will give away your next move. A real Canberra driver never uses them.

2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or somebody else will fill in that space, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is considered “going with the flow.”.

4. The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.

5. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive repairs. The other guy doesn’t have anything to lose.

6. Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it’s a chance to stretch your legs.

7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.

8. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic in Canberra.

9. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or evensomeone changing a tyre.

10. Everybody thinks their vehicle is better than yours, especially 4WD drivers.

11. Learn to swerve abruptly. Canberra is the home of High-Speed Slalom Driving thanks to the Urban services, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers’ reflexes and keep them on their toes, not forgetting the ‘Test your skill’ chicanes in suburbs.

12. It is traditional in Canberra to honk your horn at cars that don’t move the instant the light changes.

13. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.

14. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.

15. Remember that the goal of every Canberra driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.

16. Real Canberra women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup at 75 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

17. Real Canberra men drivers can remove pantyhose and a bra at 95 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

18. Heavy fog and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God’s way ensuring a natural selection process for panel beaters, junkyards, and new vehicle sales. It is an acceptable practice to increase your speed in comparison to the rate of rain fall, i.e.: the harder it rains, the faster you go.

19. There is a commonly held belief in Canberra that high-speed tailgating in heavy traffic reduces petrol consumption as you get sucked along in the slipstream of the car in front.

20. It’s OK to cut off fully loaded semi-trailers, road trains and buses because, hell – they have brakes.

21. It is an essential duty of the driver to preserve the life of his passengers. Hence no matter how much of an inconvenience it may be, always find a detour around The Causeway, Lower Kambah, Lower Wanniassa, Scullin, Areas of Ainslie, and Oaks Estate.

22. Always anticipate oncoming traffic while driving down a one-way street.

23. It’s O.K when driving in Belconnen’s suburbs to air your grievances at bad drivers by giving the “one finger salute” while screaming out “#%*#”. However, it is imperative you are driving at least a 5-litre V8 with a crow bar in your lap.

24. Canberra drivers are experts at merging. When in two or more lanes travelling in the same direction, ensure that if you see someone politely indicating, waiting slowly trying to merge into your lane, show them that they must ‘Wait their turn’ to use your lane. Speed up, try to cut them off, should they succeed and get into your lane never mind that it was actually legal for them to do that, ensure that your flash your lights, honk your horn, use extreme hand gestures, even tailgate them. Just let them know, IT WAS YOUR LANE.

25. When changing lanes, head checks show a lack of confidence, and there’s a good chance that your rear vision mirror is being used by the Wife for putting on mascara anyway. Change lanes *immediately* regardless. Remember: delay ruins more operations than carelessness!

26. Ensure that when merging into traffic travelling at more than 40kph that you stop in the merging lane, backing up traffic for miles behind you, ensuring that you have given yourself or no-one else that opportunity to merge. Again, forget that the traffic handbook states that you should speed up to meet traffic speed then merge. If you are travelling in a lane near a merge lane, don’t change lanes to make it easy for them, instead see rule 24, after all they deserve it

27. While using Canberra roundabouts, particularly two lane roundabouts, ENSURE that you are in the left lane to turn right, or the right to turn left, hell lets keep those people in those other lanes on their toes.

28. Suburban Roundabouts are for the Canberra driver what snowed over rocks are for the skier at Perisher. Test your skill by seeing how fast you can go *over* a roundabout. For every wheel that leaves the ground you get an extra 10 points.

29. If you are an Action bus driver, you must win at all costs. Getting to your destination prior to any other driver is life and death. Never worry about your passengers bouncing round in the back like tennis balls. Hell, it’s a cheap form of theme park, in fact it’s Canberra’s very own.

30. Canberra Cabs, see rule 29, except you are now qualifying for the GMC 400

31. Pedestrian crossings – What are they? If you are a pedestrian, it is your solemn duty to leap out in front of cars to test both their ABS as well as your hurdling skills. You forfeit all bragging rights if this operation is conducted from more than 10m from the front of the targeted car. Good places to attempt this are the Dickson shops, anywhere near the Canberra Centre, and anywhere in Manuka.

32. If you are a cyclist, remember YOU ARE INVINCIBLE, and you are stronger than ANY vehicle travelling at speed. MAKE SURE you take the whole lane for yourself, and at night NEVER use lights. Remember: They Will See You!

bd84 8:40 pm
20 Jun 08

Half the problem is the people who slow down to 80kph 2kms before the cotter road turn off when there’s no need, but then again the traffic at that time is normally only moving about 90kph anyway. Everyone slows down before the cameras, you drive expecting that, one day people will learn that you don’t actually have to jam on the breaks to slow your car, taking your foot off the accelerator is enough.

I’ve actually had a decent run on the roads for almost a week until yesterday morning when I came across Casey Stoner on his motorcycle on the parkway, who was weaving in and out of traffic at high speed – over 110kph, used a merging lane and emergency lane to overtake about 4 cars on the left and sat behind cars and weaved across the lane whe he couldn’t get past. While i’m sure there will be people who think that’s acceptable “because motorbikes are agile”, I won’t be sad for this guy when someone knocks him off and kills him.

ant 9:35 pm
20 Jun 08

The original post was about, essentially, people going too slowly. Whenever I read such posts, I am sorry to say that I think “there’s another tailgater”.

Holden Caulfield 9:57 pm
20 Jun 08

ant said :

The original post was about, essentially, people going too slowly…

No. It was essentially about people unnecessarily impeding with the flow of traffic out of general incompetence and ignorance.

Two completely different things.

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