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Dual lane round abouts are NOT overtaking lanes.

By TheBusDriver 13 August 2013 35

After another shift of hauling people around Canberra and dodging suicidal drivers I would like to remind people about the “do not overtake turning vehicle” signs on the back of most large vehicles. Just so that people know, these apply on round abouts too. Today I had some idiot in a blue sedan try to overtake the bus I was driving in the morning and I suspect it was the same idiot who tried the same thing in the afternoon, both along Isabella Drive.

I make a point of slowing down before round abouts to give people a chance to overtake BEFORE the round about. I still get idiots overtaking in the round about, then there are the suicidal ones who try to overtake as we enter the merge into one lane. For crying out loud, when I am indicating to merge, when there is less than 100 metres to the merge and your car is just level with the buses rear bumper, that is NOT the time to try overtake. I have lost count of the number of suicidal people who try it though.

Think about it, I am also accelerating as fast as I can to ensure I am on time. There is just not enough room for you to overtake. Do you really want to take on a bus? Do you really want to run out of road and end up going head on into oncoming traffic? Because those are your choices.

Now because I am not an idiot, and I pride myself in professionalism I will slam on the brakes and let idiots pass, despite complaints from my passengers and the poor drivers who almost go up the ass end of the bus. I know of a few drivers though that could not give a stuff. They’re driving a big bus, it is a company vehicle so it is n o skin of their nose if it takes a few dints as they squash your car off the side of the road.

I think I’m going to have to start using both lanes at round abouts now because I’ve just had enough of stupid drivers playing Russian Roulette as they try to overtake on round abouts.

Speaking of Russians and drivers, consider yourself you’re lucky you are not there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMWQqAM-LM8

What’s Your opinion?


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35 Responses to
Dual lane round abouts are NOT overtaking lanes.
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beardedclam 3:35 pm 14 Aug 13

TheBusDriver said :

Consider re-writing this response with the image of the bus being the FRONT vehicle approaching a merge and a car coming from behind the bus into the merge. Some car drivers seem to expect the BUS which has right of way because it is in front, to slow down and let them pass. Or they don’t take into account the acceration of the bus and the distance they need to overtake the bus which again has right of way if it is in front.

Or do you expect the bus driver to not accelerate and let the car to come from behind, accelerate eeven faster than the bus and overtake from behind?

beardedclam said :

It’s easy to use the “I am accelerating as hard as i can to be on time”. I doubt the police would think that acceptable as an excuse for irresponsible driving. Especially when you factor in that buses are carrying a higher number of human lives.

Also, I understand and do give way to a bus if it is pulling out into the traffic. What I think is stupid is when a bus driver will sit and wait, I have witnessed this on countless times, and will take off into the traffic when the cars approaching are right there. As I said, I understand cars have to give way to buses when re-entering traffic and I follow this rule. This is a great rule for peak hour when traffic is difficult to enter, but if there is only one or two cars coming that are pretty much on you already, why pull out in front of them? Its not to save time, the amount of intersections and stops at traffic lights take away any one or two second delay that waiting patiently and safely would have incurred.

And the method of re-entering traffic “safely”, yes I understand the rule, but if any driver of any vehicle chucks on an indicator and proceeds without looking or exercising caution just because they indicated and the rule says so, it could be fair to deem that is irresponsible driving.

Yes I can admit there are a number of drivers out there that dont follow the road rules or apply common sense. The point of my argument is that it goes both ways, I have seen some stupid driving on the part of bus drivers too. Can you admit that?

p1 1:54 pm 14 Aug 13

SHAG said :

The inside lane is the left lane, the outside lane is the right lane.

I think you might be going around round-a-bouts the wrong way.

IrishPete 1:17 pm 14 Aug 13

If the headline had been more specific to not overtaking buses, I’d have agreed. Buses and trucks have difficulty staying in one lane on many roundabouts, so I don’t slip in alongside them. Cars are another matter. The two lanes are there for a reason – if we won’t use one, for fear we are “overtaking” then why have two-lane roundabouts?

SHAG 1:10 pm 14 Aug 13

The inside lane is the left lane, the outside lane is the right lane.

Holden Caulfield 11:34 am 14 Aug 13

Blathnat said :

…Then there are those slow down to a stop in the outside lane. Obviously if there’s a car coming you need to stop, but so so often I have seen people in the outside lane completely stop when the only car is turning right in the inside lane. If your lane is free, there is no need to stop. It slows traffic, and encourages people to recklessly overtake…

The worst example of this is at the lower end of ANZAC Parade where the outside lane (we’re talking westbound, with no entry to the left because there’s a big lake in the way) has been clearly separated with road markings (ie. traffic turning right from ANZAC Pde onto Parkes Way cannot enter the outside lane), yet drivers going straight ahead along Parkes Way still come to a stop before entering the roundabout. Never mind the massive sign on the approach that says you do not need to give way.

The phenomenon is so bad it is more often than not actually more efficient to go straight ahead using the inside lane, where you do actually have to give away to cars from the right. It’s so infuriating!

Anyway, all that said, my memory of the road rules concerning roundabouts was that you had to give way to *any* vehicle already on the roundabout. So while practically I agree with you, that if your lane is clear, then move on, but technically I’ve always thought this wasn’t totally correct according to the road rules???

Blathnat said :

…And of course you have the scum who use both lanes. I don’t think I have ever seen a dual-lane round-about that requires a passenger car to take up both lanes (Gungahlin resident, spent a lot of time in Dunlop and South Canberra, round-abouts aplenty)…

Isn’t it obvious bro? You need to use both lanes to get the best racing line.

MrBigEars 11:23 am 14 Aug 13

justin heywood said :

IMO what is lacking most on Canberra’s roads is not driver skills, it’s patience and tolerance.

My current pet theory, based on and supported by the most convincing of evidence (anecdotes and supposition), is that the ability to accurately judge distance has decreased in all drivers. This means drivers are making decisions later and with less options, and with less awareness of their surroundings.

Very Busy 11:16 am 14 Aug 13

Sure, I don’t see a real issue in going past a bus in a roundabout if, prior to that roundabout, the bus was travelling under the speed limit and was not being held up by any vehicles infront of it. BUT, unfortunately in Canberra we are highly represented by rude, obnoxious, arrogant and self centred arseholes that still see the need to get infront of a bus even if it is in a line of traffic and can’t go any faster even if it wanted to.

Do these same people just go and push infront of people lined up at the checkout in a supermarket. There is no difference.

justin heywood 10:32 am 14 Aug 13

magiccar9 said :

How about you (bus driver} do the speed limit in your bus instead of sitting 15-20km/h under the limit. If you did this people wouldn’t have such a burning desire to pass you.

When bus drivers pull their fingers out and drive respectfully, I shall do the same.

Ha! I would hazard that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to operate a heavy vehicle Magicar, let alone drive one in Canberra’s traffic.
Generally speaking, I find professional drivers considerably more skilled than the average driver.

It often seems on these threads that people think anyone who doesn’t drive or interpret the rules exactly the way they do have no right to be on the road.

IMO what is lacking most on Canberra’s roads is not driver skills, it’s patience and tolerance.

Aeek 10:15 am 14 Aug 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

Humans are the worst influence on safety as everybody is different and human nature can’t be regulated. Design the roads to minimise risks and I’m sure we’d reduce the number of accidents.quote]

Maybe. Minimising risk can also minimise engagement, encouraging loss of attention.
Also, individuals have ther own comfortable level of risk. Reduce the percieved risk of the roads, and some will compensate with their driving.

I think we’d to better to make our roads appear terrifying, but actually be quite safe.

puggy 8:14 am 14 Aug 13

Blathnat said :

…but so so often I have seen people in the outside lane completely stop when the only car is turning right in the inside lane. If your lane is free, there is no need to stop.

I’m pretty sure that’s called giving way to traffic already on the roundabout. I’d like to hear the outcome if anyone has been hit by the car turning right. My interpretation is that if I’m going straight in the left lane, the outside lane on the roundabout isn’t “my lane”, it belongs to the roundabout. If there’s a car on the roundabout, in either lane, I give way. I’m always wary of the right turning car’s ability to smoothly negotiate the bend. Plus, I imagine seeing a car go whooshing out in front of you would be unnerving. I’m really not trying to be a smart arse here, but I’m yet to see definitive proof of whose side the law is on if the two cars bingle.

wildturkeycanoe 7:18 am 14 Aug 13

harvyk1, wish I had a flame suit like yours. I’ll risk it anyway, hope I don’t burn.
I for one do use the inside lane of roundabouts [sometimes the outside one] to get past those vehicles who deem it absolutely necessary to do 20km/h below the limit, thus building up a pile of traffic behind them. The worst roads I’ve found for this are those in Gungahlin that have single lanes with dual lane roundabouts every couple of hundred metres. If the dual lane isn’t for passing another car, why make them at all? Granted, some larger vehicles like semis require both lanes in order to navigate the roundabout, but most buses can get through in their own lane so I can’t see an issue with the overtaking manoeuvre, especially when there is a hundred metres or so of dual lane prior to the roundabout for faster vehicles to get slightly ahead or level with the slow one. Unfortunately, the lanes merge into one rather suddenly after the roundabout, perhaps a design flaw that could be better engineered.
I will say it again, that roadside bus stops are the worst idea ever invented. Northbourne Ave in the left hand lane is nigh on dangerous for the uninitiated. You take off from the lights and within a few hundred metres, just as you get up to the speed limit, the traffic comes to a complete stop. Depending on number of passengers embarking/disembarking, you may be held up for possibly half a minute or more with no chance of merging back to the middle lane due to the amount of traffic coming from behind. I’ve seen the dozen or so cars caught up behind a stopped bus with blinkers on all trying to get out of this stop-start lane, pulling dangerously out into whatever gap is available. Yes, the onus is for individual drivers to do their tasks safely, but on the flipside, anything that impedes the smooth flow of traffic is just as responsible for causing drivers to take risks that they wouldn’t normally have to take. It is rarely that cars crash into each other when the flow is just smoothly going along. Add a red light, merge one lane, stopped bus, green cyclist lane or anything that causes disruption to the flow and you increase the chances of an accident from an inattentive or distracted driver. Minimising risk is the best practise for preventing accidents. Humans are the worst influence on safety as everybody is different and human nature can’t be regulated. Design the roads to minimise risks and I’m sure we’d reduce the number of accidents. Anyone in A.C.T roads reading? Do I get a job?
Starting to feel a bit warm now, the flames are licking my toes…..

Blathnat 10:19 pm 13 Aug 13

Too many factors in this argument.

I don’t agree with drivers who wait until the last moment to ‘zing’ past just before (or on) the Form One Lane, generally they’ve had plenty of opportunity to get past before this point. These tend to be drivers who will sit 1m behind you while you do 85 in and 80 zone. I like to annoy these drivers by sticking right on the speed limit but taking round-abouts quickly.

There are those who use the inside lane properly. They go straight, don’t slow down excessively, and, if there is room, they will pass slower vehicles. They tend to have a lot more patience, and are generally decent drivers. Sometimes you will get a douche who tailgates them in the hopes of also passing the slow vehicle.

Then there are those slow down to a stop in the outside lane. Obviously if there’s a car coming you need to stop, but so so often I have seen people in the outside lane completely stop when the only car is turning right in the inside lane. If your lane is free, there is no need to stop. It slows traffic, and encourages people to recklessly overtake.

And of course you have the scum who use both lanes. I don’t think I have ever seen a dual-lane round-about that requires a passenger car to take up both lanes (Gungahlin resident, spent a lot of time in Dunlop and South Canberra, round-abouts aplenty). Must just be a lot of lazy drivers who cannot be bothered to turn a wheel. I can understand if a LARGE vehicle (a truck carrying a load, with a large turning circle) has to use both lanes, and I will allow room for that. But given the turning on buses, they have no need to use both lanes. Nothing more terrifying than thinking “oh good, a big round-about, I can finally get past this bus” only to have it come straight into your lane halfway across.

Essentially Canberrans need to be re-educated in how to use round-abouts (if used properly, traffic flows slowly rather than stopping completely for 5 minutes) and ‘form one lane’. Perhaps having to resit a driving test every 5 years might not be such a bad thing.

magiccar9 7:31 pm 13 Aug 13

Let me start by saying, OP I’m not attacking you.

Let’s begin. I admit I’m one of these people who passes buses at dual lane roundabouts. My reason? Simple. How about you do the speed limit in your bus instead of sitting 15-20km/h under the limit. If you did this people wouldn’t have such a burning desire to pass you.
While I’m on this topic, when approaching a dual lane roundabout would it kill a bus driver to move to the left, instead of hanging on the right-hand side until the last minute?

When bus drivers pull their fingers out and drive respectfully, I shall do the same.

kumadude 6:05 pm 13 Aug 13

Based on busdrivers previous posts: he is a responsible driver. Thowe who have generalised as to why they allegedly pull out randomly should maybe consider slowing down when they see a bus pulled over. It is well known that children may run out of these tight spots. It is best, for the whole community, if u slow down to 40 or less….but that would be thinking about others and require hedging foresight.

Evil_Kitten 5:52 pm 13 Aug 13

taninaus said :

Actually the round abouts along Isabella Drive (and other single line roads) are the perfect opportunity to overtake overly cautious folk – or folk who shouldn’t be driving – who refuse to travel at any where near the speed limit (way too many think it is a 60km/h zone). That said – a bus always wins and I wouldn’t be one of those trying to overtake you on the curve unless I got to the front of the line before we went in.

+1

I will “overtake” (but it’s really just passing) slower drivers, but am always courteous to bus drivers. I realise they need a bit more room and are also a lot bigger than me!

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