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ACT drivers

UrbanAdventure.org 23 October 2009 120

Speed camera van I was driving around Canberra earlier this day, showing a friend from Victoria around the city. After about an hour of driving, he turned to me and said “Where are all the speed cameras?”

I had to think for a while because I only knew the location of five, two on The Monaro Highway, One on Lanyon Drive, one in manuka and one in Civic. Then he asked me where the mobile ones were. His interest being that as a Victorian traffic cop, he had not spotted a single speed camera in the time we were driving around. I replied that in the ten years I’ve lived in the region, I would have seen less than ten speed cameras in the ACT, and less than five in Queanbeyan. He was astounded, and asked if we had any unmarked mobile speed cameras.

I replied that I didn’t think so, but as I didn’t speed, I wouldn’t know. (okay, I may go a few kilometres over the speed limit for very short periods due to keeping an eye on traffic between routine checks of the speedo, but I never intentionally speed). I did point out that the only mobile speed cameras I’d seen in the ACT were big white Tarago like vans with signs saying “your speed
has been checked” on top of them and “speed camera ahead” displayed in front of them in most cases.

My friend was quite appalled. He said he had heard that speed enforcement was a bit slack up here, but had not realised just how slack it was. I did point out though that the road statistics seemed to indicate that there were relatively few fatalities in the ACT. He argued back that for the population size the number of deaths per ten thousand people was probably higher in the ACT that most places except for the Northern Territory which, according to him, consistently has the highest number of deaths per capita of any state. Then he pointed out that technically NT is now a state, which I knew anyway, but figured I’d mention it anyway.

As we drove he pointed out a multitude of traffic infringements of drivers over a one hour period. These included:

  • 64 cases of drivers not indicating left when leaving a round about. (yes, we went around lots of round abouts)
  • 13 drivers who did not indicate when changing lanes
  • 4 drivers who did not indicate when turning.
  • 7 drivers not indicating when merging.
  • 4 drivers using their mobile phone when driving.
  • 1 driver turning against a do not enter sign.
  • 2 drivers who failed to give way to pedestrians at traffic lights while turning.
  • 3 drivers who did not wait for pedestrians to clear a zebra crossing before moving on.
  • 6 probable cases of drivers exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.
  • 2 probable cases of drivers probably exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h, both on Hindmarsh Road hill.
  • 1 cyclist not stopping for red lights. (but for two lights)
  • 3 cyclists including 2 chidren not dismounting at lights.
  • Countless pedestrians walking through “do not walk” signs / symbols.
  • 2 seperate traffic accidents in almost the same sppot just under an hour apart.

Of course, in legal speak those are all “alleged”.

  • Now I’m not saying any drivers from any particular geographic are of Australia
    are any better or worse than any others. But I am interested in people’s opinions
    on this.
  • Do you think ACT region drivers are better or worse than drivers from other
    parts of Australia?
  • Do you think there is anything that ACT region drivers do better or worse
    than drivers from other parts of Australia?
  • Do you think we already have enough speed cameras? Or that we need more?
  • And what do you think about unmarked mobile speed cameras? Good for us,
    or a pain?
  • Finally, do you think penalties for driving while using a non hands free
    mobile phone are harsh enough, or too harsh?

And please, unless you have definitive proof from reputable sources that you do provide a link to, please keep your answers racism and sexism free. I don’t have an opinion on much of those questions myself, but I am interested in what other people’s opinions are.


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UrbanAdventure.org UrbanAdventure.org 9:48 am 23 Oct 09

Here’s some of the video we shot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6olC6wZQEL4

UrbanAdventure.org UrbanAdventure.org 9:50 am 23 Oct 09

Vonbare said :

Well, I guess for all those infringements you didn’t see any accidents, so we can’t be all that bad at driving 😉

In relation to unmarked speed cameras, they do nothing except fill the coffers: clearly marked speed cameras in accident zones slow traffic down effectively – which is surely the aim.

As stated in the first posting we saw two accidents almost in the same spot. The second one occoured almost an hour after the first. It was a three car and one motorcycle pile up. 🙁

deezagood deezagood 10:02 am 23 Oct 09

I’m sorry, but where do you guys live in Canberra? Tuggeranong is seemingly over-run by speeding bogans in their noisy bogan-mobiles. Isabella drive is particularly bad – rare is the day when I don’t witness very high-speed activity on that piece of road; people fly past me, and I sit on the speed limit of 80. The aforementioned bogans never seem to indicate, swerve in and out of lanes, tail-gate and generally create havoc on the roads. I would LOVE there to be some unmarked police cars along this strip of road.

BenjaminL BenjaminL 10:04 am 23 Oct 09

Not that i’m advocating speeding and what not, but:
http://www.roadsense.com.au/facts.html

Now i’m sure plenty of people can link rebuttals and counter arguments, but do speed cameras do anything other than raise revenue anyhow?

Also how many jaywalkers did you video?

Can’t disagree with you on the cyclist, if RA discussions are anything to go by, then cycling in Canberra is basically a free ticket to commit daily crimes against humanity.

Cletus 2 Cletus 2 10:15 am 23 Oct 09

A victorian complaining about lack of indicating? That’s a joke. And actually in the ACT I don’t think it is a requirement to indicate left when leaving a roundabout.

And pedestrians walking on red? No you never see that in Melbourne. Or speeding, or people going wrong way in 1 way streets, or talking on their phones. Your mate is doing a bang up job down there.

indigoid indigoid 10:27 am 23 Oct 09

Vonbare said :

In relation to unmarked speed cameras, they do nothing except fill the coffers: clearly marked speed cameras in accident zones slow traffic down effectively – which is surely the aim.

Unmarked cars are fine by me. Think of it as an idiot tax

Postalgeek Postalgeek 10:36 am 23 Oct 09

Woo! This list will be great to throw into the motorist vs cyclist vs pedestrian mosh pit!

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 10:38 am 23 Oct 09

and the reason why victoria has the most horrific road toll every xmas is because??????

i find all cops (bar one, who is female) to be a boring bunch of uptight prats. they are never ‘off’ or not wanting to bust someone for something.

H1NG0 H1NG0 10:45 am 23 Oct 09

OMG a video! This really is getting pathetic.

Granny Granny 11:09 am 23 Oct 09

My only experience of Victorian police was when one of them terrorised my eighty year old granny. I thought, “Gee, I’m glad ours aren’t like that!”

There are plenty of rude, selfish, inconsiderate drivers in Canberra, and plenty of drivers who are kind and thoughtful people even behind a wheel.

Did your friend count those who were indicating correctly? Sometimes you get what you go looking for.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:13 am 23 Oct 09

I had a cop drive next to me at 90km/h on Canberra Ave between Fyshwick and Queanbeyan, open his window, and then through the window tells me to drive at the speed limit, nit 5km/h above. This happened about a month ago, on a Sunday.

If we were serious about cleaning up road safety we’d have higher quality training and testing, and we would be more pragmatic about rules violations.

Dome Dome 11:23 am 23 Oct 09

UrbanAdventure.org said :

Here’s some of the video we shot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6olC6wZQEL4

At least one video is in Queanbeyan . . .

Postalgeek Postalgeek 11:37 am 23 Oct 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I had a cop drive next to me at 90km/h on Canberra Ave between Fyshwick and Queanbeyan, open his window, and then through the window tells me to drive at the speed limit, nit 5km/h above. This happened about a month ago, on a Sunday.

If we were serious about cleaning up road safety we’d have higher quality training and testing, and we would be more pragmatic about rules violations.

I don’t know, VY. While a relatively minor infraction, you were still technically speeding (assuming you doing 90 in an 80 zone section), and sounds like you copped a simple ‘don’t speed’ finger wagging without even being pulled over. Doesn’t sound like a huge over-reaction to me.
Or are you disappointed in the quality because you weren’t pulled over? 🙂

Thumper Thumper 12:06 pm 23 Oct 09

112 alleged offences in an hour? That’s roughly one every 30 seconds.

Somehow I find this a little exaggerated.

Thumper Thumper 12:08 pm 23 Oct 09

had a cop drive next to me at 90km/h on Canberra Ave between Fyshwick and Queanbeyan, open his window, and then through the window tells me to drive at the speed limit, not 5km/h above.

I reckon I know this copper, a good bloke 😉

Genie Genie 12:15 pm 23 Oct 09

Wow… Why don’t all of you get off your high horses and give this guy a break…

He pointed out his mate is a police officer – so its kinda his job to take note of people breaking the law.

I most likely break the law every day when I get into my car – but I would still appreciate our police making a better effort to book people, perhaps pass this onto the AFP see if they care or not.

Belconnen is horrible at the moment with lots of new traffic lights, and people running the red lights – because either A – they haven’t seen there is now a traffic light there, or B – well they are idiots for not stopping for a red light. (and yes I mean RED light, not amber lights… but clearly a red light) Sadly the worse set of lights Ive noticed is only 100-200m down the road from the Police Station.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 12:17 pm 23 Oct 09

Cletus 2 said :

And actually in the ACT I don’t think it is a requirement to indicate left when leaving a roundabout.

It’s easy enough to check these things you know.
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=ACT+road+rules
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=australian+road+rules

Granny Granny 12:17 pm 23 Oct 09

No wonder there were so many accidents! What were they thinking putting an officer who looked like that in the middle of the road??!

TP 3000 TP 3000 1:19 pm 23 Oct 09

I see this thing all the time, I sometimes give a “Are you that stupid” (sometimes said with other words).

But you missed a big one at 04:38 (into the Youtube video) the Police officer signalled for a white Ford Falcon to stop, but he kept on going. I would of thought this would be among one of the serious offences.

But I was disappointed I wasn’t in the video

bd84 bd84 1:47 pm 23 Oct 09

I’d be lucky to see one of of the vans once a month, I have seen a slight increase in the number of police cars making traffic stops in the last month or so. It’s easy enough to drive over the speed limit and have enough time to take your foot off the accelerator to slow the car before coming into range.

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