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Bus drivers educating Canberra drivers on traffic light etiquette?

By Watson - 27 September 2011 33

I was driving North on Northbourne Ave yesterday towards the Dickson intersection at 2.45pm. There was a fairly long line of cars in the lane to turn right into Antil St, so I decided to go straight instead. As I approached the red lights, I noticed the bus driver getting out of his bus. I pulled up at the lights and this is what I saw:

    The bus driver went round to the driver of the first car that  was stopped about 2 metres from the white stop line.
    He gestured towards the line
    He walked off and the first car moved forward 2 metres.
    (Up until then I was guessing that the bus had a mechanical issue and was asking for space so it could park on the median strip)
    The other vehicles, including the bus, closed ranks
    The arrow went green and a split second later – a New York minute! – the second car in the line beeped. Just a short, non-aggressive beep.
    The first car moved off immediately, all the other vehicles followed very closely, including the bus, and the whole line managed to get through the intersection before the light even turned orange.

Cars being slow to take off at the lights and leaving 3 car lengths between their car and the car in front of them is definitely one of my traffic pet hates. I am too polite to beep, but I often yell “Wake up!” very loudly, which is probably much ruder if my window’s open. So a bus driver seemingly educating drivers on this was very funny. But I think what gave me the most pleasure was that NY minute beep. Never seen anything like it in Canberra!

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Bus drivers educating Canberra drivers on traffic light etiquette?
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Felix the Cat 4:06 pm 28 Sep 11

powerpuffpete said :

Coming from Sydney where drivers are often aggressive and quick, I find Canberra drivers infuriatingly over-cautious and absent-minded when driving. It’s like they forget they’re sharing the road.

It’s not like they’ve forgotten about other drivers, it’s just they don’t care. I agree that Sydney drivers are much better.

BethiePrice 2:31 pm 28 Sep 11

Solidarity said :

Can someone explain to me why some Asian drivers (always Asian) leave 5 or 6 carspaces between them and the car in front?

Can someone please tell me why you are picking on Asian drivers. You might want to note the fact that a lot of caucasians will drive 10k under the speed limit or just on it in the right hand lane. No-one is perfect and a lot of these people are still unsure about our roads. I’ve seen plenty of older female citzens, young male/female idiots on the road but who am I to point them out..

MangaGal 1:37 pm 28 Sep 11

Cantoangel said :

It’s not totally unfounded as I’ve seen some manual drivers roll back heaps… as an auto driver, I ask the question…why do some roll back more than others?

I’ve always been a manual driver and I have also driven auto cars before. Manual drivers’ cars sometimes roll back because if the timing of releasing the clutch is not sync with the accelerating, the car may roll backwards if it’s on a hilly road. 2nd reason for rolling back is the gear is not put in properly. It happens. It takes a split second to realise the gear isn’t in place and between the realisation, the car may roll backward if it’s stopped on a hilly road or something.

My driving instructor told me to double check my gear placement all the time but sometimes you wouldn’t know until it happened, especially if the car is new to you, and sometimes it just happens without any reason. Cars can also be temperamental too. 🙂

I’m telling all this because I don’t want anybody think manual drivers deliberately roll the car back. Sometimes it’s just a mistake, which is harmless if you stop a bit further back. When I was a learner, my car rolled heaps backwards because I was struggling with my timing. The car stopped sooo close behind me, had no choice but to honk at me. I panicked and stalled and almost forgot to apply brake.

I think stopping 5 to 6 cars behind is crazy but could be because the drivers are just being silly or annoying or not focussed on the road. I think it’s a matter of being considerate during peak hours. I can’t stand them but I usually just shrug my shoulders and think “Oh well, I’ll just relax and take it easy while I’m at it…” There’s no point stressing out early in the morning and ruin the entire day. 🙂

That’s my thought.

PS: Off topic, there’s this ridiculous driver honked at me this morning because I stopped behind this car, which was going straight but I wanted to turn right so I was trying to get to the turning lane. But the car in front stopped and there wasn’t enough room for me to go into the turning lane. This idiot behind me honked and wanted me to push on and possibly scratch my car in the process. I think this is the sort of driving etiquette we don’t need on the road. I just couldn’t go through without hitting the curb and bumping into the car in front. And my car isn’t a 4WD that could roll on/off the curb with ease. I think the guy needs a chill pill.

puggy 12:55 pm 28 Sep 11

Ceej1973 said :

And that goes for roundabouts too. They sit at the line in the left lane waiting for an invite or something whilst cars from the right in the centre lane, indicating to turn off to the right.

Perhaps because you are required to give way to traffic already on the roundabout and if they accidentally clip you as they are turning (like a bus with front overhang), it’d be your fault. Also because the person turning right doesn’t know if you’ve seen them or just some nut job barrelling through the roundabout.

milkman 12:50 pm 28 Sep 11

No-one would care about people who wanted to drive a bit slower if they would only do so in the appropriate lane.

powerpuffpete 12:27 pm 28 Sep 11

Coming from Sydney where drivers are often aggressive and quick, I find Canberra drivers infuriatingly over-cautious and absent-minded when driving. It’s like they forget they’re sharing the road.

One pet peeve is definitely the ridiculous gap between cars (are you worried that the car in front is going to roll back 5 metres? Cause they’re not). My other pet peeve is how much drivers slow down when it rains. I’m all for slowing more when turning sharp corners etc, and obviously some additional caution is needed when it’s raining. But when you’re doing 10 below the limit on a motorway it’s bloody annoying! This is when you see people speeding (frustrated with the slow drivers in the right lane). They’re either ten below the limit or ten over the limit.

buzz819 10:59 am 28 Sep 11

Sgt.Bungers said :

Solidarity said :

Can someone explain to me why some Asian drivers (always Asian) leave 5 or 6 carspaces between them and the car in front?

Illusory superiority.

The other day I pulled up at some lights, waiting for them to turn green, looked back saw a very long line of cars, looked forward and realised that the Cotter Dam extension could have been built in the gap that I left, moved forward a little bit embarrassed with my actions….

Ohh… I’m not Asian….

Sgt.Bungers 10:49 am 28 Sep 11

Solidarity said :

Can someone explain to me why some Asian drivers (always Asian) leave 5 or 6 carspaces between them and the car in front?

Illusory superiority.

Erg0 9:49 am 28 Sep 11

Felix the Cat said :

You can’t trust that traffic in a roundabout is actually going where their indicators indicate they are going. So many drivers have no clue about using the left indicator when exiting a roundabout and often for some unknown reason turn the right one on when going straight and then leave them off when turning.

Indeed. Generally I’ll make an assessment based on a combination of indicator use, speed (fast = going straight, slow = turning right) and type of vehicle (taxi = best to just wait).

krats 9:23 am 28 Sep 11

Yes bus drivers are polite and helpful in their first week on the job.

Aeek 9:56 pm 27 Sep 11

Bussie said :

I’ve seen people not get over the sensors a few times. One night driving the bus back to the depot 6 motorbike cops were not activating the senseor so they rolled forward and motioned for me to get over it. Not sure why they didn’t just put the lights on and run the red.

That’s unacceptable, how are civilian motorcyclists supposed to handle it?
Given my carbon bicycle has tripped every light that I’ve met visiting Adelaide, the idea that a pack of motorcycles can’t here is ludicrous.Another example of the sub-standard infrastructure we inherited from the Fed’s?

chilli 8:42 pm 27 Sep 11

OMG, so glad this topic has come up. I loathe these drivers!!

When drivers leave 2-3 car lengths in front of them during peak hour on Northbourne, they prevent other cars from joining the traffic when the lights go green. It is SO inconsiderate, and so unnecessary – do some drivers never look in their rear vision mirror to see what’s happening, or believe they don’t need to have some awareness of others on the road??

Likewise those who are going straight ahead but hog left turning lanes and prevent drivers behind them using the ‘turn left at any time with care’ option – please! think about other people who need to get places.

And don’t get me started on the complete uselessness of having red arrows for right turns on EVERY traffic light in Canberra! It may be a worthwhile safety measure on Northbourne at peak hour, but the rest of the time, in most other intersections, you can spend alot of your life looking at a road with NO oncoming traffic, but you can’t cross it because of the nanny red arrows. Don’t all drivers have sufficient visual faculties to make a judgement call here?? (Sorry, but I said don’t get me started)

Felix the Cat 8:41 pm 27 Sep 11

Ceej1973 said :

And that goes for roundabouts too. They sit at the line in the left lane waiting for an invite or something whilst cars from the right in the centre lane, indicating to turn off to the right. There is a reason for 2 lanes, to promote smooth flow of traffic through roundabouts. Needless to say, the ones who sit there and ignore the other cars indicating (whilst all the cars to the right go around the roundabout),usually end up travelling at 20+ km/hr over the speed limit once they finally move off. I did a polite quick “beep beep”, not “hoooooooooonk” , to one of these procrastinators the other morning, and got the finger, death stares plus the works. I am starting to wonder if its worth my while being polite, maybe instead I should be like everyone else and abuse the crap out of day dreamers.

You can’t trust that traffic in a roundabout is actually going where their indicators indicate they are going. So many drivers have no clue about using the left indicator when exiting a roundabout and often for some unknown reason turn the right one on when going straight and then leave them off when turning.

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