Dangerous Canberra driving caught on camera could have had ‘tragic outcome’

Glynis Quinlan 1 November 2018 42

A still from a video of dangerous driving on William Hovell Drive which was posted on the Canberra Drivers Facebook site.

Extreme tailgating on William Hovell Drive which has been caught on camera has been labelled ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible’ while also highlighting an ongoing issue on Canberra roads.

Dash-cam footage of the risky driving has been posted on the Canberra Drivers Facebook site with the heading ‘What a tool’ and shows a man in a black car crossing double lines to overtake two cars in the face of oncoming traffic.

He then tailgates the car with the dash-cam, swerving from side to side multiple times in a clear attempt to get past despite the busy traffic. However, the intimidating behaviour proves ineffective in terms of the driver in front who can be heard saying “What are you going to do?” and “You’re on camera … smile”. The video below is shared from the Canberra Drivers site.

ACT Policing called the driving “dangerous” and said it posed risks to other drivers.

“Using a vehicle to harass or intimidate other road users in this manner poses a risk of serious injury to all involved,” an ACT Policing spokesperson told Region Media.

“Drivers need to be mindful that they are sharing the roads with other road users, and that the safety of all road users is paramount.”

NRMA NSW/ACT spokesman Peter Khoury was appalled at the driving shown on the video.

“It’s dangerous, irresponsible and shows a lack of driver courtesy. It’s all of the things we don’t want people to do,” said Mr Khoury.

“It’s a safety issue – he crossed double lines into oncoming traffic. And it’s a form of road rage.

“If they’d mistimed that crossing into oncoming traffic it could have had a tragic outcome.”

Mr Khoury said that past NRMA surveys of members have shown that tailgating is the “biggest aggravator” on ACT and NSW roads.

A still from the video showing the extreme tailgating.

It is a bigger concern for drivers than ‘not letting drivers merge into lanes’ (second biggest) and ‘slow drivers hogging the right-hand lane’ (in third place).

A survey of over 1,500 motorists in the ACT and NSW which was carried out in 2012 found that 69 per cent of respondents had been tailgated and over half (51 per cent) had another driver intentionally cut in front of them.

Mr Khoury said that members consistently tell the NRMA that tailgating is both frustrating and dangerous.

Speaking to Region Media about road rage in June, ACT Officer-in-charge of Traffic Operations, Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman, said that Canberra drivers have problems with patience and a sense of entitlement.

“We have a very good road network around the ACT and we don’t have the volume of traffic that other big capital cities do and so our gridlocks aren’t like Sydney and Melbourne,” Station Sergeant Boorman said.

“I think Canberrans are used to getting everywhere fairly quickly, they don’t have to travel great distances and I think sometimes they get a little bit frustrated when they’re slightly inconvenienced.

“I think another issue in the ACT which can cause road rage incidents is people who want to travel so closely behind the car in front. I’ll just push this person along, push this person along – they tailgate. So that person slows down, so they get frustrated and they make poor decisions.”

According to the ACT Policing spokesperson, 50 traffic infringement notices have been issued for tailgating so far this year.

The ACT Policing website says that a traffic infringement notice of $367 and one demerit point may apply if a driver is stopped by police for tailgating. If the incident is referred to court, drivers can incur fines of up to $3000 plus court costs.

Drivers can also be charged by police for ‘menacing driving’ with penalties of up to $15,000 and 12 months imprisonment.

The ACT Road Rules Handbook says that motorists should keep a gap of at least three seconds or more between their vehicle and the one ahead.

“Police would like to remind road users to always give yourself time to react to sudden changes in driving conditions by leaving a safe distance to the vehicle in front of you,” the spokesperson said.

Are you concerned about the amount of tailgating on Canberra roads? Let us know about your concerns and experiences in the comments below.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
42 Responses to Dangerous Canberra driving caught on camera could have had ‘tragic outcome’
Buster Buster 5:38 pm 10 Nov 18

I’m a fairly new driver on Canberras roads. I use Gunghalin/tuggeranong parkway each day. The constant extreme flouting of the rules amazes me. Drivers going 10km over is so common I barely notice now, but it’s the 20-30km an hour over ones that leave me shaking my head. I find the worst time is of an evening after 10pm. I always get overtaken by at least two or three cars doing 20-30km over the limit.
Every time I pray there’s a mobile speed van up the road, waiting to wipe the inconsiderate smile off their faces, but there never is … except occasionally on weekends when the overtime is so much better than daytime patrols.

Queanbeyanite Queanbeyanite 11:39 pm 08 Nov 18

I think Canberra drivers tailgate otherwise they will be ‘leapfrogged’. If you leave a 4 second gap with the car in front that space is fair game for the impatient driver behind to overtake and cut in very close. If you learnt to drive here you wouldn’t know any better. As many other commenters have said; if they’ve only booked 50 drivers this year then there’s your problem right there

Janette Spring Janette Spring 4:49 pm 08 Nov 18

Heard a hint that you can turn on your back windscreen washing and the spray makes them back off - or would the tailgater get even more angry?

Bigdv8 Bigdv8 9:55 pm 05 Nov 18

Ive seen that black subaru forester before too, drives like a tool pretty much every day… but since Canberra has NO POLICE TRAFFIC PATROLS… like EVER, then this tool can drive like this forever, and ever, and ever…..

Beth Wood Beth Wood 9:16 pm 04 Nov 18

Agree Steph

Christof Christof 9:05 pm 04 Nov 18

Absolutely, I get tailgated quite often because I sit bang on the speed limit. When I was a new driver, it was quite intimitating but now I stay my course and if my tailgating tormentor gets too close, I start to gradually slow right down until they get the message and back off.

    mjsf mjsf 11:41 pm 08 Nov 18

    This can be quite a good ploy, Christof. But you need to watch out for the road-rage types like that black Forester driver who, when they DO get past, will cut in and brake right in front of you just to show you they’re the boss….

    Maya123 Maya123 12:41 am 09 Nov 18

    The trouble with many speedometers; they actually record a higher speed than the car is going, so sitting on its marked speed, might actually be below the speed limit. Varies with car.

Stephanie Ciempka Stephanie Ciempka 7:45 pm 04 Nov 18

Yes, all the time. Canberra use to be a great city to drive in but now it's a nightmare. Four wheel drives are the worst.

Slow down Canberra. Have some manners on the road. Then we will all get to our destinations safe and sound.

Bronwyn Meredith Bronwyn Meredith 7:22 pm 04 Nov 18

If I am not tailgated while driving in Canberra, it is the exception. I drive at the speed limit and stay in the left lane whenever possible. Despite this, I am constantly being tailgated. At times, it is so bad that I can't see the tailgater's headlights. I've had SUVs behind me at night tailgating me with their lights on high beam. I just wish the cops would conduct a campaign to stop this. When my niece attended a defensive driving course near Canberra, the instructor commented that Canberra was the tailgating capital of Australia. Is Canberra full of bullies or thrillseekers?

bigred bigred 8:51 am 04 Nov 18

Below is a link to another recent example on the Canberra Drivers Page. I am sure we all have our theories about the why. https://www.facebook.com/880903861938933/posts/2434266929935944/

Toni Radevski Toni Radevski 3:20 am 04 Nov 18

Annaliese Fennis, Katrina Rhian Fennis crazy

Paul Evans Paul Evans 11:17 pm 03 Nov 18

First position- speeding through roundabouts. Second position-Tailgating Third position-mobile phones and that's just Canberra.

Tracy Gorman Tracy Gorman 2:49 pm 03 Nov 18

This is the bottom back door/ ramp on my car. It’s maybe 3cms thick folded up like this, made of 2 thin metal sheets and a bit of carpet stuff.

My daughters wheelchair sits DIRECTLY behind this door, with her in it. If someone hits the rear of my car, in no uncertain terms, my daughter will die, or be extremely hurt.

I have people tailgating me all the time. When she’s not in the car, I slow right down so to make them back off. I’m too scared to do that with her in the car, because someone might collide into her.

Sharon Barnes Sharon Barnes 11:39 am 03 Nov 18

Had an idiot just passed this spot on Tuesday, came flying up the inside lane, I had plenty of time to merge into one lane and he persisted in sitting on my tail, once back into two lane he came along side me and swerved to hit me, making my front sensor go off. Scary crazy fool......

Pat Moran Pat Moran 8:56 am 03 Nov 18

Put a speed camera there!!! That’ll fix it!!!!!!


Maya123 Maya123 8:36 am 03 Nov 18

The person is not mentally suitable for driving. Do they still have a licence, and if so, why?

    Ian Ian 9:44 am 04 Nov 18

    I reckon the best way to reduce problems on the road would be to psych test people when they apply for and renew licenses. Screen out people with bad attitudes like aggression, excessive risk taking etc.

Nick Bennett Nick Bennett 8:17 am 03 Nov 18

All the time in the car and on the bike, always get tailgated.. coming from a road user who never tailgates anybody.

Elaine Srejic Elaine Srejic 7:46 am 03 Nov 18

Hahaha. ..they’re not tailgating, they’ve come to a stand still coz no one knows how to merge at that point on William Hovell 😂😂😂😂😂

Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 7:22 am 03 Nov 18

Want to tailgate me, fine, I'll just slow down a bit so you can really check my cars rear out

Rhonda Maree Rhonda Maree 6:40 am 03 Nov 18

This car keeps appearing in dash cams vids in Canberra .. 'serial dumbass driver'

    Fiona Caskie Fiona Caskie 10:59 am 04 Nov 18

    I have seen him around Holt before. He needs his licence cancelled.

Ransome Cath Ransome Cath 6:22 am 03 Nov 18

Tailgating in Canberra I would describe as normal behaviour. Everywhere you go. Unless you are doing 20km over the speed limit you are sure to have someone right on your tail. Most remarkable I've seen is tailgating on Tuggeranong Parkswsy on rare rainy days. 100km+, 100cm behind another car. Crazy.

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 7:23 am 03 Nov 18

    And sometimes you see 5 cars lined up like that. It's insane. I shake my head so much driving on that road every day.

    Mark Valerius Mark Valerius 8:00 pm 03 Nov 18

    I call the Tugg Expressway “NASCAR Alley” because of the high speed tailgating. So glad I don’t have to use it any more.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site