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Unbelievable drivers

By 4 July 2012 77

I doubt that bad driving in Canberra is news worthy but today I witnessed something that really made me wonder how people get their drivers licenses.

Middle of a lovely sunny day in very light traffic I’m heading East on Ginnenderra Drive and pull up to a red light at Kingsford Smith intersection. I notice an ambulance in the distance heading West on Ginnenderra with siren blaring and lights flashing. I think to myself how easy he will get through the interesection given how little traffic there is and I’m a bit suprised at how cautiously he approaches given how open the interesection is.

As I sit there and watch in disbelief, a car on Kingsford Smith makes a right turn across the path of the ambulance. They had been stopped waiting for the light to turn green and when it did they just made the turn as normal in spite of an ambulance just a few metres away with siren and lights on trying to cross the intersection. OK, benefit of doubt to the driver as maybe there was some reason they didn’t yield. Maybe they were busy texting or talking on the phone.

But then the car behind them continues through the light as well and then the third, fourth and fifth car as well! That’s right, five cars turned across the path of an ambulance attempting to cross the intersection as if it wasn’t even there.  The ambulance was forced to sit there and wait. Simply unbelievable.

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77 Responses to Unbelievable drivers
#1
JC5:19 pm, 04 Jul 12

Every day you see stupid things like this. Yesterday I saw a classic on Gininderra Drive at Evatt in the ‘morning peak’ yesterday. P plater in the left hand lane heading east. 4WD tunrs left out of William Webb Drive, which is ok as they have their own lane and starts to accelerate, as they are legally allowed to do. P is now in the middle lane ALONG side the 4WD and starts to indicate, then as the other vehicle wasn’t slowing (nor should they either) he decides to speed up and at the very last minute gets in front and cuts across to turn onto William Slim Drive. I reckon they would have been mm’s away from getting cleaned up in the process.

Until the very last moment the 4WD would not have had any chance what so ever to see the P platters indicators, and as mentioned above even if he did see the indicator was under no obligation to let the P platter in. All the P platter had to do was, heaven forbid take the foot off the accelerator and pull in behind. Not sure what it is they are teaching them these days, but plain stupidity is clearly one of them.

#2
bundah5:25 pm, 04 Jul 12

Now that would be a case of the blind leading the blind!

#3
Genie5:26 pm, 04 Jul 12

That intersection is terrible. I travel through there almost daily and have lost count at the amount of cars I have to give way to running the red light….

Just face the facts Canberra drivers are terrible…

#4
Spykler7:05 pm, 04 Jul 12

Genie said :

That intersection is terrible. I travel through there almost daily and have lost count at the amount of cars I have to give way to running the red light….

Just face the facts Canberra drivers are terrible…

Was almost a statistic there on Saturday afternoon- a clueless idiot in a white Commodore was doing warp speed through the intersection going towards Charnwood, he ran the red and I only just caught the white flash out of the corner of my eye..If I didn’t….Goodnight Irene.

#5
Jethro7:38 pm, 04 Jul 12

I really do think Canberra drivers are worse than those in other Aussie cities.

My theory is that the lack of traffic and good roads makes people a lot less attentive when driving. If you are driving in Sydney or Brisbane you have to be paying full attention to your surroundings simply because there is so much going on. Driving in Canberra probably lulls a lot of people into auto-pilot.

#6
A_Cog9:04 pm, 04 Jul 12

+1 jethro

Canberra drivers are ridiculous. Blind, slow, selfish, stupid. They tailgait all the time, jealously guarding the empty space in front of them. They sit on 50 in a 60 zone, or 80 in a 100 zone. They sit in the inside lane and don’t move to the outside lane. They can’t merge. They react slowly. They are confused by yellow lights. They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home. They are overly cautious to the point of actually making traffic more dangerous. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve lived in several cities both in Australia and overseas. Perhaps the harshest thing I can say is that Canberra drivers are worse than the diplomatic cars I see. I’m sorry, I know some of you will think that last comment is going a bit too far, but it’s true. You’re all that bad. I feel Mr Gillespie’s pain and frustration.

#7
Golden-Alpine9:09 pm, 04 Jul 12

I was amazed yesterday by the number of cars without headlights on in the fog. I am also noticing more and more of drivers tail gating.

I am trying to get into the habit to leave more and more room between me and the car in front, not only to give me more room to stop but also to accomodate those behind me.

Another annoyance, indicate then brake people!

#8
Spykler9:17 pm, 04 Jul 12

Jethro…That’s not a theory, that’s a long standing fact.

#9
Jethro9:27 pm, 04 Jul 12

Spykler said :

Jethro…That’s not a theory, that’s a long standing fact.

This is where HenryBG will explain to you the scientific meaning of the word theory.

#10
Spykler9:49 pm, 04 Jul 12

Can’t wait..

#11
parle9:53 pm, 04 Jul 12

A_Cog said :


They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home…

er no, you don’t exceed the speed on the signs, even when the ‘workers have gone home’.

While a road is under repair it can no longer handle traffic safely at its normal speed so the limit applies full time, please don’t tailgate someone in a roadworks zone to ‘educate’ them otherwise!

#12
Dork10:22 pm, 04 Jul 12

I’ve seen this so many times, mostly on Canberra ave heading to Queanbeyan. How do people justify risking someones life to get home 2 minutes earlier. Because that’s what they are doing not letting an ambulance through it could mean the difference between saving someone or not. I had someone try to over take me in the turning lane for the Woden cemetery the other day, but that was more risky for them than me, so I wasn’t too bothered.

#13
Jethro10:39 pm, 04 Jul 12

parle said :

A_Cog said :


They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home…

er no, you don’t exceed the speed on the signs, even when the ‘workers have gone home’.

While a road is under repair it can no longer handle traffic safely at its normal speed so the limit applies full time, please don’t tailgate someone in a roadworks zone to ‘educate’ them otherwise!

It’s funny (or scary.. I’m not sure which)… At most roadworks they leave the reduced speed limit signs up 24 hours a day for this very reason.

Yet on Southern Cross Drive at the Florey Drive intersection where the current roadworks are they cover the reduced speed limit signs up every day and put the place back to regular speed limits.

This despite the fact there was a fatality at these roadworks a few weeks back. Furthermore, the changed road conditions (closed slip lane, reduced visibility caused by roadworks barriers) remain after the workers have gone home. It is a dangerous intersection at the best of times and the presence of closed lanes and sight-obstructing barriers makes it even more so.

If there was ever a roadworks area that needed the reduced speed limit to remain even after the workers have gone home, it’s this one.

Yet other roadworks which don’t seem to have the same hazards in place keep their reduced speed limits 24 hours a day. (I’m thinking places like Parkes Way/William Hovell outbound at the Glenloch Interchange when there were roadworks on the off-ramp to the GDE but not on the main stretch, but the main stretch had reduced speeds 24/7).

It’s almost like there isn’t a proper policy regarding roadworks speed limits.

#14
PatMan10:52 pm, 04 Jul 12

Jethro said :

Spykler said :

Jethro…That’s not a theory, that’s a long standing fact.

This is where HenryBG will explain to you the scientific meaning of the word theory.

Wrong…HenryBG is too busy researching every single possible negative aspect about Muslims to waste time with such basic stuff. Now, if Canberra roads were being flooded with Muslims I think we’d see Henry at his articulate best!

#15
Innovation11:17 pm, 04 Jul 12

Innovation said :

Driving a little under the speed limit is not an offence. Driving slowly at construction sites is not an offence. I’m not sure what you mean by someone getting “confused by yellow lights” but is it perhaps because they stop when you don’t want them to? And a little more patience on your part might help you cope with those drivers you perceive to react too slowly or who are overly cautious for your liking.

#16
Jethro11:49 pm, 04 Jul 12

PatMan said :

Jethro said :

Spykler said :

Jethro…That’s not a theory, that’s a long standing fact.

This is where HenryBG will explain to you the scientific meaning of the word theory.

Wrong…HenryBG is too busy researching every single possible negative aspect about Muslims to waste time with such basic stuff. Now, if Canberra roads were being flooded with Muslims I think we’d see Henry at his articulate best!

Climate change denying Muslims on bikes who send their kids to public schools.

#17
AussieRodney6:22 am, 05 Jul 12

Golden-Alpine said :

I was amazed yesterday by the number of cars without headlights on in the fog. I am also noticing more and more of drivers tail gating.

I am trying to get into the habit to leave more and more room between me and the car in front, not only to give me more room to stop but also to accommodate those behind me.

+1

One of the valuable lessons I learned while riding a motor scooter was that the only space I could control is the space in front of me. If you’re tailgating me, I’ll just allow your space as well as mine. The rule of thumb my father taught me was 1 car length per 10mph.

#18
JC7:28 am, 05 Jul 12

Jethro said :

It’s funny (or scary.. I’m not sure which)… At most roadworks they leave the reduced speed limit signs up 24 hours a day for this very reason.

Yet on Southern Cross Drive at the Florey Drive intersection where the current roadworks are they cover the reduced speed limit signs up every day and put the place back to regular speed limits.

This despite the fact there was a fatality at these roadworks a few weeks back. Furthermore, the changed road conditions (closed slip lane, reduced visibility caused by roadworks barriers) remain after the workers have gone home. It is a dangerous intersection at the best of times and the presence of closed lanes and sight-obstructing barriers makes it even more so.

If there was ever a roadworks area that needed the reduced speed limit to remain even after the workers have gone home, it’s this one.

Yet other roadworks which don’t seem to have the same hazards in place keep their reduced speed limits 24 hours a day. (I’m thinking places like Parkes Way/William Hovell outbound at the Glenloch Interchange when there were roadworks on the off-ramp to the GDE but not on the main stretch, but the main stretch had reduced speeds 24/7).

It’s almost like there isn’t a proper policy regarding roadworks speed limits.

I sent an email to Canberra connect about this very subject not long after the roadworks started. If ever there was a roadworks that needed reduced limit 24×7 this is one. The other example I gave them was at the same time they were re-doing a bus stop pad on Kingsford Smith Drive near Belconnen Way. Despite all the work at the pad being off the road and the workers clearly gone for the day the limit was 40km/h, yet Florey Dr it was 60 as the workers had gone.

Just this week they have started removing the traffic islands at the Florey Dr roadworks so now there are a couple of holes, so the need for 40km/h 24×7 is even more urgent.

Of course Canberra connect didn’t reply.

#19
ScienceRules8:23 am, 05 Jul 12

It’s the wankers who refuse to move to the left in front of an ambulance because their turnoff is just 500 metres up the road that poop me off. Also well meaning folks who stop and mount the centre median instead of pulling over to the left forcing the emergency vehicle to stop completely. Just move to the left please!

Oh and never, never, NEVER move through a red light to make way for an emergency vehicle, you’ll give the crew palpitations! Just stay there, they’ll find a way around you.

And a million thanks to almost every driver who does the right thing anyway!

#20
ScienceRules8:25 am, 05 Jul 12

Jethro said :

I really do think Canberra drivers are worse than those in other Aussie cities.

My theory is that the lack of traffic and good roads makes people a lot less attentive when driving. If you are driving in Sydney or Brisbane you have to be paying full attention to your surroundings simply because there is so much going on. Driving in Canberra probably lulls a lot of people into auto-pilot.

Does anyone have any actual evidence for this notion other than “it’s what I reckon”? I mean it IS the common wisdom but are we really worse than Sydney drivers for example. And how do you define “worse”?

#21
bikhet9:05 am, 05 Jul 12

ScienceRules said :

Does anyone have any actual evidence for this notion other than “it’s what I reckon”? I mean it IS the common wisdom but are we really worse than Sydney drivers for example. And how do you define “worse”?

Depends what you mean by “actual evidence.” I doubt you’ll ever get objective evidence as to do so you’d need an objective definition of bad driving, which would seem to be difficult given the varying subjective definitions bandied about on RA, followed by a survey to see how drivers measured up to that definition.

If you’ll accept subjective evidence, I was recently down in Melbourne driving on a major road (Sydney Road for those who know it) just before sunrise on a week day, in misting rain that was making the roads slippery and visibility difficult. Everyone, except for one Richard Head, was driving at the speed limit, leaving space between them and the preceding vehicle, opening a gap to allow people to change lanes when they indicated they wanted to, and generally driving to the conditions. Would this happen in Canberra? Not from my observations.

And you know what? I got to my destination faster than I usually do when driving the same route at the same time on a dry road and in good visibility.

#22
VYBerlinaV8_is_back9:24 am, 05 Jul 12

A_Cog said :

+1 jethro

Canberra drivers are ridiculous. Blind, slow, selfish, stupid. They tailgait all the time, jealously guarding the empty space in front of them. They sit on 50 in a 60 zone, or 80 in a 100 zone. They sit in the inside lane and don’t move to the outside lane. They can’t merge. They react slowly. They are confused by yellow lights. They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home. They are overly cautious to the point of actually making traffic more dangerous. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve lived in several cities both in Australia and overseas. Perhaps the harshest thing I can say is that Canberra drivers are worse than the diplomatic cars I see. I’m sorry, I know some of you will think that last comment is going a bit too far, but it’s true. You’re all that bad. I feel Mr Gillespie’s pain and frustration.

+1 from me.

#23
EvanJames10:19 am, 05 Jul 12

A bunch of us watched in disbelief a few weeks back, when the army or police blew something up along Majura Road. Quite a number of assorted emergency vehicles were rushing to get to the explosion, and the number of cars that did the correct thing were few and very far between. We witnessed cops in particular pulling some pretty dangerous manouvres in frustration we assumed. Drivers just seemed to have NO concept of pulling over to the left and stopping.

Just another example though, that if something’s not enforced, scumbags will do what they can get away with.

#24
KB197110:35 am, 05 Jul 12

& I thought only cyclists did the wrong thing on our roads………….or is it the car drivers right because they pay rego? :P

#25
Slumlord11:41 am, 05 Jul 12

Notice all the incidents posted here are on the northside. Nuf said.

#26
Slumlord11:45 am, 05 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

A_Cog said :

+1 jethro

Canberra drivers are ridiculous. Blind, slow, selfish, stupid. They tailgait all the time, jealously guarding the empty space in front of them. They sit on 50 in a 60 zone, or 80 in a 100 zone. They sit in the inside lane and don’t move to the outside lane. They can’t merge. They react slowly. They are confused by yellow lights. They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home. They are overly cautious to the point of actually making traffic more dangerous. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve lived in several cities both in Australia and overseas. Perhaps the harshest thing I can say is that Canberra drivers are worse than the diplomatic cars I see. I’m sorry, I know some of you will think that last comment is going a bit too far, but it’s true. You’re all that bad. I feel Mr Gillespie’s pain and frustration.

Dont you have to slow down at construction (aka roadworks) if the limit is signposted – even if the workers have gone home and not bothered to cover up the speed limit signs?

The rest of what you’ve said seems about right though.

#27
GBT12:27 pm, 05 Jul 12

Innovation said :

Driving a little under the speed limit is not an offence. Driving slowly at construction sites is not an offence. I’m not sure what you mean by someone getting “confused by yellow lights” but is it perhaps because they stop when you don’t want them to? And a little more patience on your part might help you cope with those drivers you perceive to react too slowly or who are overly cautious for your liking.

Driving a little under is not an offence, no, but driving at a speed that obstructs other road users and impedes the flow of traffic is, which many people are guilty of.

I assume the yellow light comment was about panic breaking where you are behind someone and as soon as the light goes yellow they hit the brakes even though they have plenty of time to go through and are quite close to the lights.

#28
Onceler1:15 pm, 05 Jul 12

This morning at about 9:45, I noticed a whitish Nissan Navara ute with a pushed in rear bumper, heading east on Belconnen way between the Bindubi St intersection and Gungahlin Drive. Just tootling along in the left lane, doing about 60 km/h (not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s an 80 zone). 60 on that stretch is a bit slow for me, so I go past him but stop for a red light at the Gungahlin Drive overpass. Suddenly Mr Navara’s drugs kick in, and coming from behind he puts on an impressive burst of speed, roaring through the lights at least a full second after they’d changed to red. Strangest driving I’ve seen in a while, but I have noticed that running red lights is getting quite popular.

#29
p11:20 pm, 05 Jul 12

KB1971 said :

& I thought only cyclists did the wrong thing on our roads………….or is it the car drivers right because they pay rego?

:P

Cyclists drive cars too. Maybe it was a cyclist in a car?

#30
KB19711:34 pm, 05 Jul 12

p1 said :

KB1971 said :

& I thought only cyclists did the wrong thing on our roads………….or is it the car drivers right because they pay rego?

:P

Cyclists drive cars too. Maybe it was a cyclist in a car?

Or the bus. I took the bus this morning , am I guilty by association for the red light the bus driver ran this morning? Maybe I sat funny in my seat or looked too long at someone……..I am evil!

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