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Another driver [dis]courtesy story. Am I wrong?

astrojax 18 June 2013 81

[no cyclists were harmed or even invoked in the development of this article]

so, what do rioters think?  i am approaching among other traffic at or just under the posted speed limit, on a major arterial road in the nearside (left) lane, a major thoroughfare (let’s call it ‘northbourne avenue’) when about two-three hundred metres ahead the lights go red – so i know i’m going to have to stop, and likely for a little while.

instinctively, i ease off the accelerator and coast up towards the red light.  bloke in a 4wd (always seems to be a bloke – young-ish usually, too) behind me continues at his speed until he is right up my clacker (ie, dangerously tailgating) and, as we’re about there pops on his left indicator as it transpires he is wanting to use the slip lane and turn left at his [safe] will…

as i pull far enough ahead and almost stop at said red traffic signal he zooms underneath me, sounds the horn fitted to his vehicle, glares grimly at me while flipping a bird; as if i should have known he wanted to get ahead of me and i was delaying him for some important fire or something…  the hide of me.

similar scenario has played out a few times the past week or so; i’m not crawling at three k’s an hour, but fu***ed if i’m going to keep accelerating, using more of my fuel and then use more of my brake pads simply to facilitate his progress past me.  especially when he didn’t give me notice of his intent [it’s called an ‘indicator, goose.  you might find its control on the steering column].

what should i have done? (for the record, i smiled at him – think it pissed him off more…) am i at any fault?  is this flagrant display of discourtesy more prevalent of late or am i having a bad run?

thoughts please.


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81 Responses to Another driver [dis]courtesy story. Am I wrong?
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buzz819 buzz819 2:01 pm 18 Jun 13

By the road rules your not at fault.

Depends on how far down the road you were when you started to “slow” down. If it was the Wentworth Avenue and Northbourne Avenue intersection and you started slowing before the slip lane, then maybe you did leave it a far up the road to start slowing down.

2-300 meters is a long time to coast, I can see why someone behind you might have got the shits, specially if it means they are caught up at another lights, or because of your driving manner has impeded them further, ie now they have to wait at the end of the slip lane as well as having to wait behind you, it is one of those things that can just keep building up thus causing the “road rage.”

Again, by law you haven’t done anything wrong, the person behind you probably shouldn’t have been such a douche.

arescarti42 arescarti42 2:07 pm 18 Jun 13

You must be having a bad run, I do what you’ve described all the time, particularly if I think the lights are about to go green and I can avoid bringing my car to a stop.

Contrary to some people’s belief, the crime is going above the posted speed limit, not below it.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 2:19 pm 18 Jun 13

Was it a white 4wd? There I was in the middle lane on Cth Av headed north. I had a gap to my right and eased into it. The white 4wd behind me reacted as if I had called his mother fat. Long loud honk with follow up honking as he attempted to undertake over the bridge.

Still no idea what his problem was.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 2:37 pm 18 Jun 13

Self entitled assholes. Canberra is full of them.

I find blowing kisses to road ragers the most effective form of acknowledgement.

fernandof fernandof 2:40 pm 18 Jun 13

arescarti42 said :

You must be having a bad run, I do what you’ve described all the time, particularly if I think the lights are about to go green and I can avoid bringing my car to a stop.

Contrary to some people’s belief, the crime is going above the posted speed limit, not below it.

+1.
I too do that pretty much all the time. I like smooth ride with as few accelerations and decelerations as possible.

That being said, it really depends on traffic conditions, i.e., if there are lots of cars I’ll probably coast for shorter distances to keep the flow going. But yeah, nothing wrong with gaining fuel efficiency by maintaining momentum. 🙂

Watson Watson 3:00 pm 18 Jun 13

I slow down really early to anticipate the lights, if I can. But if there’s lots of cars behind me who seem to prefer the “drive up to the light at full speed and then brake hard” strategy, I’ll allow myself to get influenced by peer pressure. And I will check for cars wanting to turn left and abandon my long braking distance plan to allow them to go past if I can. It depends a bit on how long the slip lane is too.

I’m always very pleased when I notice the car behind me slowing down even more than me at the same distance from the lights or roundabout/intersection. It always makes me want to give them a “kindred spirit” nod.

chewy14 chewy14 3:14 pm 18 Jun 13

I drive the same as you. Easier on my car and less stop-starting.

I’m not accelerating up to a red light just so some d***head saves two seconds.

poetix poetix 3:19 pm 18 Jun 13

One incident like this can usually be laughed off, but a few different ones start to become depressing, I find. I can totally understand someone giving up driving, or riding a bike, because of lots of little examples of anger.

Sounds like you encountered an angry man in a big car. Your life is probably more happier than his; so try not to let him drag you down.

trevar trevar 3:21 pm 18 Jun 13

LOL I have an image on the cartoon screen in my head of this white 4WD warping to squeeze underneath your Kia (“MyKia”)… I guess I watch The Simpsons too much!

But yes, you’re right and he’s wrong. You’re good and he’s bad. You’re angelic and he’s devilish. You’re from somewhere else and he’s from Canberra… characterise it however you wish, just get used to it, you’re not likely to stop it, no matter how good you are. I’m just glad you’re good-humoured enough to smile at them; that’s what I do too!

cranky cranky 3:25 pm 18 Jun 13

Travelling down Murranji St, Hawker yesterday, a road I am totally unfamiliar with.There are a couple of school zones, so did the right thing and stuck to the 40 limit. Some goose decided that the rules dont apply to him, and overtook me, to then hang a left maybe 100 metres further on.

Should have it on dashboard camera.

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 3:55 pm 18 Jun 13

Depends. If we’re talking Northbourne and Mouat then it sounds like you’ve slowed way too early.

However, if I suddenly notice someone going bananas at me when I’ve done nothing wrong, then I do enjoy annoying them further on purpose, especially if they’re in a 4WD.

Zeital Zeital 3:59 pm 18 Jun 13

I get very similar things as well. I find I get it more with people trying to ram up my back or race me into form one lanes when I am the car in front. I try to give people in front of me going into F1L enough room so I can slip in behind them without too much problems but people think I am leaving them their own personal gap that they can barge into and create a bottle neck that would have been avoidable if you just went in behind me like you would normally do.

gentoopenguin gentoopenguin 4:05 pm 18 Jun 13

He was probably in a hurry to get to his penis enlargement appointment….

bundah bundah 4:07 pm 18 Jun 13

buzz819 said :

By the road rules your not at fault.

Depends on how far down the road you were when you started to “slow” down. If it was the Wentworth Avenue and Northbourne Avenue intersection and you started slowing before the slip lane, then maybe you did leave it a far up the road to start slowing down.

2-300 meters is a long time to coast, I can see why someone behind you might have got the shits, specially if it means they are caught up at another lights, or because of your driving manner has impeded them further, ie now they have to wait at the end of the slip lane as well as having to wait behind you, it is one of those things that can just keep building up thus causing the “road rage.”

Again, by law you haven’t done anything wrong, the person behind you probably shouldn’t have been such a douche.

Wentworth Avenue doesn’t intersect anywhere near Northbourne i’m afraid.

Erg0 Erg0 4:24 pm 18 Jun 13

I feel like I’m missing out on some kind of club here, because after seven years of driving around Canberra I’ve never been subject to this kind of behaviour (with one minor exception that I put down to embarrassment by the other party at their incredibly poor judgement when merging).

Then again, I remain aware of my surroundings, anticipate the actions of others, and practice active douchebag avoidance when I’m on the road. Is it possible that the “this is how I like to drive and I’m not changing for nobody” attitude is a contributing factor? In a sense, you’re gaining a generally more relaxed driving experience in exchange for copping the occasional outburst.

Weaselburger Weaselburger 4:43 pm 18 Jun 13

I’m in my car a lot during the day all over the north side. believe me this kinda thing isn’t just restricted to peak hour and 4wd’s

buzz819 buzz819 4:55 pm 18 Jun 13

bundah said :

buzz819 said :

By the road rules your not at fault.

Depends on how far down the road you were when you started to “slow” down. If it was the Wentworth Avenue and Northbourne Avenue intersection and you started slowing before the slip lane, then maybe you did leave it a far up the road to start slowing down.

2-300 meters is a long time to coast, I can see why someone behind you might have got the shits, specially if it means they are caught up at another lights, or because of your driving manner has impeded them further, ie now they have to wait at the end of the slip lane as well as having to wait behind you, it is one of those things that can just keep building up thus causing the “road rage.”

Again, by law you haven’t done anything wrong, the person behind you probably shouldn’t have been such a douche.

Wentworth Avenue doesn’t intersect anywhere near Northbourne i’m afraid.

Oops Macarthur Ave!

Alderney Alderney 5:12 pm 18 Jun 13

Seems to me the other bloke has the problem. He’s obviously more important than you and needs to get where he is going.

I whack it in neutral and coast in such situations. As the old man used to say, ‘son, brake pads are cheaper than gear boxes’.

Hosinator Hosinator 5:15 pm 18 Jun 13

I do the same thing and often find people ride my ass the whole way. Don’t worry about it astrojax, it’s simply a fact that Canberran’s are simply a bunch of a$$ monkeys. In a thousand years when sociologists do a study of Canberra in this century, they’ll ask the question how could it be that there was such a huge concentration of w@!kers in such a small area and why the rest of Australia didn’t nuke us from orbit.

Madam Cholet Madam Cholet 5:22 pm 18 Jun 13

Talking of dumb things on the road near traffic lights, did anyone see the accident at the big intersection near the airport….Monaro highway and the road that goes across it, can’t remember what it’s called.

Happened on Saturday just as we had decided to visit Costco. Traffic banked up, not moving, police on point duty. Looked like a car turning to the airport from the Monaro had been taken out. I wondered out loud to Monsieur Cholet if it wasn’t someone running a red light which is so very common at this intersection. No police reports that I have come across yet. I was thinking of enquiring with them and then suggesting red light cameras – I think this intersection is very dangerous.

As for coasting to the lights…no problem with that if its clearly red, although if someone is trying to get to a slip road that isnt serviced by the lights the. I can see the point of the annoyance maybe. But yes, too many angry people on the roads.

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