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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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kumadude 7:36 am 19 Jun 13

You are responsible for what is in front of you, not the loons behind. The more you worry about tool at the rear the more anxious you may become. I am developing an arduino program that uses gps to monitor my speed, calculate the safest distance a car should be behind me (based on the 3 second rule) using a laser and then activate a camera and/or nail gun to destroy their radiator.

TheBusDriver 7:14 am 19 Jun 13

I think you should have used some CORRECT punctuation and grammar. That was one of the hardest peices of crap I have ever read.

Pollushon 1:19 am 19 Jun 13

He's an aggravated knob, but there's plenty of knobs that are just dumb or arrogant or both, I'm undecided. GDE Friday night, I picked up a friend from Woden who drank more than planned to take them to Bonner (aren't I a good friend?).

Bugger all traffic, 11pm maybe. Left lane, a needle over 90, cruise control engaged, heading north. We were just passing Bruce as this knob slowly approaches from behind and proceeds to sit on my arse. I assumed they were heading for the Ginninderra drive exit but no, continues on my arse. So I pulled right (no other cars in sight) let him roll by and pulled back left. WTF?

BimboGeek 10:21 pm 18 Jun 13

Why all the panic about letting off the accelerator a couple hundred metres out? It's not like cars just stop because you let them coast. They barely slow down unless it's uphill. I'd do this fully expecting to need the brakes very shortly. If 4wd dude was in such a hurry maybe he should have left 20 seconds earlier.

JC 9:35 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483647"]OP was being a bit of a self-entitled arse, maybe, but at the same time that's no reason for a torrent of road/roid rage. If the 4WDer can't keep his temper in response to a fairly insignificant crime then he probably shouldn't be on the road.[/quote]

No doubt and that behaviour is not acceptable. That said the OP was not being very courteous to everyone else around either. Post 28 really sums it up in a rather direct manner.

Aeek 9:10 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483642"]

The argument about fuel consumption is such bullshit. Sitting on your accelerator for an extra 150m has such a negligible impact on fuel consumption, the whole argument is ridiculous.[/quote]

Doing it once, no it doesn't. But 10,000 times - it adds up.

troll-sniffer 8:45 pm 18 Jun 13

Yep, I always have a chuckle to myself as I see other motorists on the roads incapable of assessing the situation around them, particularly when it comes to traffic lights in the distance, near or far. I guess the one good aspect of the overall situation is that well over 90% of the drivers I see are capable of working out that easing off the loud pedal well before a red light is OK, and is actually beneficial to all road users. (Caveat: need to understand the upcoming lights' cycles so as not to be left well short when the green does appear).

The Antichrist 8:42 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483642"]Obviously you aren't doing wrong by the law. But someone called the other driver another example of a self-entitled arsehole in Canberra.

I argue that you are the self-entitled arsehole. Traffic doesn't stop because you have a red light, and where you're on a major road with a long slip lane, you're being incredible ignorant and inconsiderate to the traffic behind in thinking that it does.

The argument about fuel consumption is such bullshit. Sitting on your accelerator for an extra 150m has such a negligible impact on fuel consumption, the whole argument is ridiculous.[/quote]

Absolutely 100% correct. Any argument about *saving fuel* is just an excuse for self-indugent poor driving. Coasting to a set of lights that are 200-300m away ??? Give me and the rest of the world a break you ignoramus.

Want to save fuel ? Catch a bus or ride a pushie. But please, leave the bullshit out of your arguments.

Sounds to me like just another excuse to bash the 4WD brigade. Pathetic.

Innovation 8:34 pm 18 Jun 13

If the other car didn't indicate his intentions then he broke the law. Until he indicated you had a "reasonable excuse" to coast to the traffic lights and it would be reasonable for you to assume that he was stopping at the lights too.

However, the easiest way to decide what might have been appropriate is to ask yourself what would happen if one of the cars was a police car in a non emergency? If the police car was up your arse would you have coasted? More importantly, would the four wheel driver have been up the arse of a police car, indicated at the last moment and carried on like a pork chop?

poppy 8:24 pm 18 Jun 13

This is something I don't understand about human psychology.

I am not bothered by someone who drives 10km under the speed limit. I am not enraged even if someone drives 20-30kms under the speed limit, I would simply consider overtaking them if it is safe/convenient and/or I'm in a hurry.

It seems that the vast majority of drivers become extremely angry if me (or another driver) is driving 10km under the speed limit. Even if it is wet, hard to see, etc. Yet (presumably) the same people think it is OK to walk EXTREMELY slowly (even when they have no disability and are not elderly) in crowded public areas three abreast, whilst chatting and waving arms, so that I cannot pass them. This is what enrages me and I feel I should be able to if not punch these people in the back of their head ram my shopping trolley up their ass so I can get on with my day. I cannot understand why people are enraged with my driving slightly under the speed limit yet those same people think it is OK to impede me whilst going about my shopping. And then they get angry with ME because I bumped into them due THEM stopping suddenly in order to look at a pair of shoes in a shop window, whilst totally blocking my passage due to prams etc.

CBR 7:45 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483642"]Obviously you aren't doing wrong by the law. But someone called the other driver another example of a self-entitled arsehole in Canberra.

I argue that you are the self-entitled arsehole. Traffic doesn't stop because you have a red light, and where you're on a major road with a long slip lane, you're being incredible ignorant and inconsiderate to the traffic behind in thinking that it does.

The argument about fuel consumption is such bullshit. Sitting on your accelerator for an extra 150m has such a negligible impact on fuel consumption, the whole argument is ridiculous.[/quote]

OP was being a bit of a self-entitled arse, maybe, but at the same time that's no reason for a torrent of road/roid rage. If the 4WDer can't keep his temper in response to a fairly insignificant crime then he probably shouldn't be on the road.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:42 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483607"]you're not alone. the other day on fairbairn i was being tailgated for (gasp!) going the speed limit. the car (a compact car driven by an excitable middle-aged woman) was within a meter of me, honking and gesturing. this... despite the fact that there were two lanes and she could've just gone around. so i eased my foot onto the brakes and gradually slowed down to 20 km/hour at which point she apparently woke up to the fact that another lane existed and went around.

seriously, back the **** up. if i had been travelling alone instead of with my family and driving the solid steel american gas guzzling piece of crap i drove in my younger days i would've been sorely tempted to slam my foot on the brakes (a dog ran in front of me!) and let her car crumple to bits... ah the nostalgia.[/quote]

This is called winning

gungsuperstar 7:21 pm 18 Jun 13

Obviously you aren't doing wrong by the law. But someone called the other driver another example of a self-entitled arsehole in Canberra.

I argue that you are the self-entitled arsehole. Traffic doesn't stop because you have a red light, and where you're on a major road with a long slip lane, you're being incredible ignorant and inconsiderate to the traffic behind in thinking that it does.

The argument about fuel consumption is such bullshit. Sitting on your accelerator for an extra 150m has such a negligible impact on fuel consumption, the whole argument is ridiculous.

Pork Hunt 7:08 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483633"]My target consumption is in the range of 5-6 l/100 km. To do that involves gentle acceleration and minimal braking. See white 4WDrivers behaving like this all the time. Also annoys middle aged women no end (I guess because someone else pays for their fuel). Oh yes, a hint for those using angel gear to roll to a halt - better off staying in gear and letting the fuel shutoff do its job.[/quote]

Only took 25 posts before it became a racial debate...

bigred 6:47 pm 18 Jun 13

My target consumption is in the range of 5-6 l/100 km. To do that involves gentle acceleration and minimal braking. See white 4WDrivers behaving like this all the time. Also annoys middle aged women no end (I guess because someone else pays for their fuel). Oh yes, a hint for those using angel gear to roll to a halt - better off staying in gear and letting the fuel shutoff do its job.

astrojax 6:35 pm 18 Jun 13

[quote comment="483606"]No excuse for what the 4WD did, but slowing down too early and coasting to the lights on a major road (presumably in peak hour) is also very discourteous. The reason being it effects all the traffic flow behind you, such as the 4WD for example. I see it every day on Northborne Ave in particular.

The question though is what is too early. To me if your just coasting it is too early, but if you leave it later and have to slow with a gentle, and I repeat a gentle application of the brake then it is the right time.[/quote]

no, wasn't peak hour...

milkman 6:33 pm 18 Jun 13

Speed cameras will fix it!

Masquara 5:32 pm 18 Jun 13

Solution: live in the inner burbs and you won't need to use those major thoroughfares during commute/roadrage time ....

urchin 5:22 pm 18 Jun 13

you're not alone. the other day on fairbairn i was being tailgated for (gasp!) going the speed limit. the car (a compact car driven by an excitable middle-aged woman) was within a meter of me, honking and gesturing. this... despite the fact that there were two lanes and she could've just gone around. so i eased my foot onto the brakes and gradually slowed down to 20 km/hour at which point she apparently woke up to the fact that another lane existed and went around.

seriously, back the **** up. if i had been travelling alone instead of with my family and driving the solid steel american gas guzzling piece of crap i drove in my younger days i would've been sorely tempted to slam my foot on the brakes (a dog ran in front of me!) and let her car crumple to bits... ah the nostalgia.

JC 5:22 pm 18 Jun 13

No excuse for what the 4WD did, but slowing down too early and coasting to the lights on a major road (presumably in peak hour) is also very discourteous. The reason being it effects all the traffic flow behind you, such as the 4WD for example. I see it every day on Northborne Ave in particular.

The question though is what is too early. To me if your just coasting it is too early, but if you leave it later and have to slow with a gentle, and I repeat a gentle application of the brake then it is the right time.

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