14 March 2017

Ask RiotACT: What's so interesting down there?

| TrevaQ
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I have noticed a recent bout of strange behaviour by my fellow motorists. When stopping at a set of traffic lights, I take the opportunity to look around and get to know my road-going community by flashing a smile. Unfortunately, this is almost always impossible as when I look to my left or right, I see so many staring down into their laps. At first, I assumed, as I often travel at drive-time to and from work, that people have realised that they have forgotten to secure their fly in their rush to get ready. An understandable thing, it happens, but after I took the time to keep a mental tally, I realised that around a third of my commuting neighbours were displaying this strange behaviour. This could not possibly be from all of you forgetting to batten the hatch!

So what is so interesting down there?

Please be aware of rule 300 from the Australian Road Rules: “The driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked.” Keep in mind that while you are in control of your vehicle (even if stopped at the lights) you need to stay alert and be ready to react to unexpected situations that may arise.

driver looking at phone

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Believe it or not (and I expect not), I have recently taken up doing origami when stuck at traffic lights.

And this is why robot cars will become popular. Everyone aboard can remain connected while driving.

Even now, there are people who ride the free city loop buses just to play PoGo or similar games.

I have seen someone injecting while at the lights.

It is not only at traffic lights you see the ‘eyes down’.
I ride a motorcycle and also drive a Toyota Troopy. From the high vantage point of both these vehicles I can see down into the cabin of most cars. I am amazed at the times I see people texting on their laps while driving along – with both hands off the wheel and steering with the knees! What is so important that they must text immediately while endangering everyone else on the road.
I give a bit of a ‘withering stare’ to the driver when on my bike and the phone is often thrown onto the passenger seat straight away.

I’ll admit to being pulled over for looking at a text message while stopped at the lights. But yes, it is astonishing to see the number of drivers engrossed in texts or emails while driving to work. My personal favourite was following a driver home who was clearly playing Pokemon Go…

They’re avoiding your creepy smile by looking down and away?

I have seen apolice motorcycle winding its way down a line of cars waiting at the lights, peering into each window to check on this behaviour; it is being enforced.

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