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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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120 Responses to ACT drivers
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georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 6:38 pm 26 Oct 09

Jim Jones said :

Perhaps everyone could calm down for a second and stop making pointless generalisations.

C’mon man, what fun would that be?

Rawhide Kid No 2 Rawhide Kid No 2 6:24 pm 26 Oct 09

I should read ALL the posts before I comment. Point already made. Sorry..

Rawhide Kid No 2 Rawhide Kid No 2 6:06 pm 26 Oct 09

UrbanAdventure.org said :

Primal said :

“Then he pointed out that technically NT is now a state, which I knew anyway, but figured I’d mention it anyway.”

Nooooo. No it isn’t. In no way at all is that accurate. Can we safely presume that the rest of this article is equally wrong?

The NT is self governing, just like the ACT is. A territory is one administered by the Federal government. A state is one that is self governed by an elected government of that that state. So technically the ACT and NT are both states, despite their names. But in practice, they are still called territories.

I’m quite amazed at the number of people who prove to argue the person instead of arguing the point. And others who forget about the disscussion at all and just pile insults on a person. Really demonstrates what a low level they want to sink to. I have a sneaky feeling I could have said my mate was from any state and people would be making up all sorts of crap about that state in an effort to argue or troll. Bit sad really. 🙁

Even though the ACT and NT are self governed, we are still Territories of the Commonwealth of Australia. And the Commonwealth of Australia can veto or overturn any laws or decision made by either Legislative Assemblies.

schmeah schmeah 3:06 pm 26 Oct 09

The worst traffic infringement is drivers who are too lazy or incompetent to indicate that they are exiting (or remaining on) a round-a-bout. The number of times (as a pedestrian or cyclist) that I’ve been near swiped, or left standing unnecessarily in the rain waiting for a driver to exit, by one of these douches is inconceivable (INCONCEIVABLE)! Indicate PLEASE! It’s easy and painless!

Oh and all the yobbos in Commodore Utes screaming up the Monaro Hwy, swerving in and out of traffic haphazardly! Slow down, take a chill pill and grow the fuck up. I don’t want to be killed or maimed, and I don’t want anyone I love to be killed or maimed, just so you can prove to your small brained friends how fucking inconsiderate you are.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:00 am 26 Oct 09

cleo said :

Canberra have the best roads in any other state here in Australia, and the worst drivers, especially when raining, as they just don’t slow down in the wet, also don’t put their lights on when it’s raining.

I was driving in the rain yesterday: many cars had their lights on, and some were driving more slowly than normal.

Perhaps everyone could calm down for a second and stop making pointless generalisations.

astrosapien astrosapien 8:40 am 26 Oct 09

hax said :

usually everyone just goes with the flow which is fine.. there’s enough cameras to catch the standout idiots not paying enough attention.

Are you serious!?! What kind of MORON thinks that just “going with the flow” is acceptable!?! Have you not noticed how much faster above the limit people normally drive when they “go with the flow”!?!

Case in point: Limestone Ave
The speed limit is 60!! And with good reason! That road has houses right on it! How would you feel if people insisted on driving right past your house at 80km/h!?! It’s NOT safe…

Then you’ve got the problem of escalation. One idiot drives past another idiot. Idiot No. 1 is clearly speeding. Idiot No. 2 sees idiot No. 1 and thinks “if that guy gets to drive that fast then so can I”. Idiot No. 2 starts going faster too, and before you know it idiots No. 3-6 all get the same ideas…

I know speed limits are no fun, and there are definitely some that I think are signposted with inappropriate speeds, but the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day it’s the LAW, and the law isn’t going to give a flying f&*k if some moron/idiot is just “going with the flow”.

It’s still dangerous, it’s still irresponsible and wreckless… The only people that think that it’s ok to speed for ANY reason are people with an over-inflated sense of their on-road capabilities.

So maybe you’re wondering why I’m coming down this hard? I, like a lot of people, have friends and family either seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle incidents. The incidents didn’t necessarily involve speeding, but the thing that so many people forget is that these cars are dangerous machines. They DO kill people, and the speed limits are there to regulate the use of these vehicles so that the chances of serious injury or worse are reduced. Noone should consider themselves above this. And normally the people who DO think that they are above it are the ones with the fewest skills to back it up.

Morons/idiots…? YES… If you can’t match a number on a sign at the side of the road to the number on your speedometer, then chances are you shouldn’t have a licence…

As for the original point of the email:

Canberra drivers are pretty bad… Saw a number of near misses on the weekend just gone alone, not to mention speeding drivers down the Parkway despite it raining (see points above on how I feel about that).

But it’s not surprising things have gotten this bad. There is almost a zero police presence on the roads. The local council seems to think that a bunch of speed cameras placed through the city is an effective way to combat speeding. But with the lack of ACTUAL cops on the roads drivers don’t ever get a chance to feel that they’re in danger of getting in trouble with the law. And if there is noone to stop them from doing what they like then they are just going to continue doing it. Noone is telling them not to…

The unfortunate thing in this city is that all too often people don’t stop to think about their driving habits (this includes speeding, texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol etc) until it’s too late… That doesn’t make us look like a very bright bunch at all, does it?

cleo cleo 9:48 pm 25 Oct 09

Canberra have the best roads in any other state here in Australia, and the worst drivers, especially when raining, as they just don’t slow down in the wet, also don’t put their lights on when it’s raining.

George D George D 8:05 pm 25 Oct 09

I just love the approach taken by the coppers here in the north west. This afternoon driving south along the Great Northern Hwy. I had a copper give me a polite flash of his high beam, just to let me know that I was pushing my luck – which at 140 I most certainly was

Not just your luck, but the luck of every person on the road. A crash at 140kph causes a great deal more damage than one at 110. The copper should’ve booked you (if he wasn’t busy doing other things).

Clown Killer Clown Killer 5:58 pm 25 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.

I just love the approach taken by the coppers here in the north west. This afternoon driving south along the Great Northern Hwy. I had a copper give me a polite flash of his high beam, just to let me know that I was pushing my luck – which at 140 I most certainly was. No fuss.

Tooks Tooks 2:36 pm 25 Oct 09

p1 said :

I was overtaken by a police vehicle yesterday, while doing the limit.

Shock! Horror! See Section 305 of the Australian Road Rules.

Deckard Deckard 1:14 pm 25 Oct 09

Clown Killer said :

I think that we need to get some perspective. We’re dealing with a guy whose idea of a fun afternoon is driving around Queanbeyan and Fyshwick videoing the odd driver failing to indicate.

Hahah, true. I’m surprised he didn’t mention fog lights either – like all the Rate the Plate contributors.

Go and search on you tube for traffic footage from India or Dubai if you want to see some real traffic infringements. Really, Canberra drivers, Australian drivers or drivers from Clift Cres, Richardson are saints compared to other countries.

It’s also perfectly legal for you to merge in a Form One Lane situation without indicating.

Cameron Cameron 12:31 pm 25 Oct 09

I completely stuffed that above post with regards to quotes. It should read:

UrbanAdventure.org said :

The NT is self governing, just like the ACT is. A territory is one administered by the Federal government. A state is one that is self governed by an elected government of that that state. So technically the ACT and NT are both states, despite their names. But in practice, they are still called territories.

Actually, no, the NT and the ACT are not self governing. They operate under DELEGATED powers from the Federal Government. That’s why when either of them makes laws the Federal Government doesn’t like, they can be overridden. States, on the other hand, have the RIGHT to self governance.

If that’s not enough for you, try reading the Constitution of Australia, which for the purposes of our Commonwealth, defines what a state is, which parts of Australia are states, and what must happen to admit a new state to the Commonwealth. Given no new states have been admitted to the Commonwealth since federation, I think you’ll find that technically, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 12:31 am 25 Oct 09

I think that we need to get some perspective. We’re dealing with a guy whose idea of a fun afternoon is driving around Queanbeyan and Fyshwick videoing the odd driver failing to indicate. I wonder why the Canberra Times hadn’t thought of doing this earlier?

No really. Its pure gold! Seriously. I was flabbergasted to see proof positive that there’s people out and about on our roads that don’t indicate! Don’t indicate FFS! Let’s not even start on the cyclist that crossed against the lights!

Boy I would have liked to have been there when they got home to edit that lot – I bet his missus even pulled the plastic covers off the sofa to celebrate!

jase! jase! 8:30 pm 24 Oct 09

so it isn’t fair to play the man at least a little when they have been shown to be wrong on several counts?

It seems the theory that the ACT is a hotbed of fatalities was wrong.
As was the assumption made about indicating left at roundabouts being mandatory.
and
What he “thought” was the rule about waiting for pedestrians at crossings.

I will also take this opportunity to ask if the ACT and NT are “states” why do we still only get 2 senators. I would suggest we are still Territories that have had self government bestowed on them

TP 3000 TP 3000 7:57 pm 24 Oct 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I just thought pulling over would have been a smarter and safer thing to do. That said, getting warned for 5km/h over isn’t unreasonable.

I just remembered why you weren’t pulled over. There is a leniency of 5k’s for drivers in the ACT. If you do 5k’s over you won’t get booked, but you you do 6k’s over you will be booked for doing 6k’s over. This leniency is in effect for the fact some different tyre size can give a different speed limit.

Anna Key Anna Key 7:37 pm 24 Oct 09
el el 5:08 pm 24 Oct 09

UrbanAdventure.org said :

I’m quite amazed at the number of people who prove to argue the person instead of arguing the point. And others who forget about the disscussion at all and just pile insults on a person. Really demonstrates what a low level they want to sink to. I have a sneaky feeling I could have said my mate was from any state and people would be making up all sorts of crap about that state in an effort to argue or troll. Bit sad really. 🙁

Indeed. They’re almost as bad as those who threaten legal action for some perceived slight on a text based discussion forum.

p1 p1 5:08 pm 24 Oct 09

I was overtaken by a police vehicle yesterday, while doing the limit.

bileduct bileduct 2:31 pm 24 Oct 09

If Canberra is the hotspot of traffic lawlessness, then why do we enjoy having the least number of road accident fatalities as well as the lowest average of road accident fatalities per 100,000 people?

I failed to observe even one life threatening or potentially dangerous incident in your video.

I suspect that job preservation has impacted your friend’s common sense.

UrbanAdventure.org UrbanAdventure.org 10:20 am 24 Oct 09

Primal said :

“Then he pointed out that technically NT is now a state, which I knew anyway, but figured I’d mention it anyway.”

Nooooo. No it isn’t. In no way at all is that accurate. Can we safely presume that the rest of this article is equally wrong?

The NT is self governing, just like the ACT is. A territory is one administered by the Federal government. A state is one that is self governed by an elected government of that that state. So technically the ACT and NT are both states, despite their names. But in practice, they are still called territories.

I’m quite amazed at the number of people who prove to argue the person instead of arguing the point. And others who forget about the disscussion at all and just pile insults on a person. Really demonstrates what a low level they want to sink to. I have a sneaky feeling I could have said my mate was from any state and people would be making up all sorts of crap about that state in an effort to argue or troll. Bit sad really. 🙁

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