How to Solve Traffic Congestion and Traffic Pollution

TenPro 6 December 2010 54

Every work day as I drive to and from work along the Tuggeranong Expressway observing the dangerous maniacs just meters from me, I reflect upon the fact that driving a vehicle on the roads is a grave responsibility, as if it is not done legally and safely the consequences can be death, destruction and the maiming of many people.

In order to acquire and keep a license to drive a vehicle on Canberra’s roads, one should deserve to have it by earning the right to do so. In other words it should be a privilege to have a license to drive. Instead it has become a right that we all expect. This is wrong, as the consequences are death, destruction, many ruined lives and trails of misery for many Canberrans.

The great majority of drivers on Canberra’s roads do not deserve to have a license, as they regularly and deliberately drive illegally and dangerously endangering the lives and property of others. This is an indisputable fact that can be easily verified by simple observation.

In my opinion, based on 37 years of driving in Canberra, 80% to 90% of drivers of vehicles other than motorcycles fall into this category whereas for motorcyclists it is 99.9%. I was going to make this 100% of motorcyclists but I am giving a couple of motorcyclists out there the benefit of the doubt, although in 37 years I have not seen them. These estimates of mine of course are disputable but I think that I am pretty close to the mark.

So, in Canberra, 80% to 90% of drivers of vehicles other than motorcycles, and 99.9% of motorcyclists, do not deserve the right to have a license. So removing their licenses, and forcing them to earn the right to have one, would save many lives and much property, and preserve the health of those who would otherwise be maimed. On top of this many millions of dollars that is wasted as result of the actions of these dangerous maniacs could be put to much better use.

And, oh yeah, this would also solve traffic congestion and traffic pollution.

Therefore, in order to significantly reduce the carnage and misery, solve traffic congestion and traffic pollution, and save many millions of dollars, I strongly urge the ACT government to show some guts and turn the current ludicrous situation where the possession of a license to drive is a right that must be maintained regardless of the consequences, into one where it becomes a privilege that is earned.


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54 Responses to How to Solve Traffic Congestion and Traffic Pollution
balloonatic balloonatic 7:09 pm 08 Jun 11

lolz, you have the exact opposite opinion to me. I believe that most people are good riders and drivers but in canberra have got a little bit used to the good life of nice wide lanes, and not much traffic. Times are changing but we’ll adapt cause most of canberra are professionals in something so its only natural.

you poor guy, have some faith in the general populous and get off your monkey magic cloud.

WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 4:22 pm 10 Dec 10

So Tenpro, going by your statistical logic…I saw four motorcycles obeying the road rules while driving to work this morning, does that mean 100% of Canberra motorcyclists did the right thing today?

Spot on “KB1971″…spot on!

“Tenpro”, a fellow rioter once said words to the effect of “the past tense of opinion is not fact.” Which means it sure as hell isn’t “indisputable fact”

If you look for people doing the wrong thing, that’s all you see. True enough they’re easy to spot and so readily draw one’s attention. This also means you pay less attention to the people doing the right thing.

If you’ve kept records for the 37 years you’ve been driving which accurately reflect your percentages in your OP then I’ll eat my words. But until then, I call “bull$h!t”!

KB1971 KB1971 12:03 pm 08 Dec 10

So Tenpro, going by your statistical logic…I saw four motorcycles obeying the road rules while driving to work this morning, does that mean 100% of Canberra motorcyclists did the right thing today?

gasman gasman 7:42 pm 06 Dec 10

Well, the OP was provocative and I’m not sure as to the accuracy of the numbers.

However, the sentiment is right-on. A big part of my job is to the run the Canberra Hospital emergency operating theatre about 1 to 2 days per week. While I have not done a formal study, I would estimate the percentage of cases we do that are directly related to road trauma is at least 30%. That’s a huge workload for us, and am immense amount of pain and suffering for the injured patients, and distress for their families. These are the ones that didn’t die.

Each year, your chance of dying from a car accident is about one in 10,000. Your chance of serious injury about 10 times that. For most of us (depending on your age), that beats all other causes of death and serious injury. Driving a car is the most dangerous thing that most of us do.

Yet we as a society seem to think that these numbers are acceptable. I don’t. I believe we (myself included) could and should structure our society to minimise road trauma. Here are a few ideas:

* Zero alcohol acceptable – if you drink, don’t drive
* If you are caught drink-driving, you lose all driving privileges
* If you are elderly, your continued driving privileges should depend on an annual driving test
* Decrease emphasis on cars, and a much greater focus on public transport, as is the trend in other more-progessive world cities
* Greater tax on petrol to discourage driving and to more accurately pay for its social costs

Not popular ideas, but all backed by scientific evidence.

Jethro Jethro 7:23 pm 06 Dec 10

Yes.. let’s all berate the OP for getting annoyed at the high numbers of people who drive like maniacs on Canberra roads.

Har-har-har… aren’t you stupid Tenpro for thinking that people who take your life in their hands because they think they are invincible behind the wheel deserve to have their licenses taken away. How silly of you.

Oh.. you are one stupid person Mr Tenpro…. It’s fine when I tailgate, swerve between lanes, fail to merge properly, treat the speed limit with contempt… You are the stupid one for getting annoyed about it. Har-har-har. It is you who cannot drive, not me. My reckless speeding is simply a sign of my fantastic driving skills.

I love this city, but there is one thing I cannot stand is the significantly high proportion of drivers who think that aggressive driving is completely acceptable (as demonstrated by the number of apologists for illegal driving on this current thread).

Rules for driving in Canberra:

1. Never EVER go in the right lane unless you intend on doing at least 30 over the speed limit.
2. If you are in the left land expect to be tailgated if you drive at the speed limit
3. If you are turning onto a side street, do not slow down to take the corner. If you slow down you can expect to be hit from behind by the person behind you who refuses to slow down for 3 seconds for you.
4. If someone is merging or changing lanes, make sure you speed up so that they cannot get into the space.
5. Suburban streets are great for practising your rally car skills. Those tight turns and long curves are brilliant to get your drift going.
6. A safe distance between you and the car in front of you is no more than 0.5 of a second. By keeping this distance between cars we allow more cars on the road and traffic flows more freely.

JC JC 6:27 pm 06 Dec 10

BTW if you actually look at that bit of plastic in your wallet, it is called a “Driver Licence”. We ain’t in yank land.

goose goose 6:26 pm 06 Dec 10

joeyjojojuniorshabadoo said :

Where’s this Tuggeranong Expressway? I’ve never heard of such a road.

Bit like Woolworths expresslane 🙂

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 5:45 pm 06 Dec 10

Last time I looked, most people did EARN their licenses. Not 6 years ago, at the decrepid age of 34 I took to the road for the first time in order to just ‘be handed’ my license (as was my right).

I went to night school, was utterly humilated sitting with 15 year olds who thought I was their Nanna, watched videos about accident victims and their friends/families, stumbled about in goggles meant to impair your vision as though you were munted and about to drive your friends home, we went through all the road rules, we did workshops and had discussions, talked about the law and a great deal else to do with driving, then did a computerised test.

That was to get a learner’s license, which then entitled you to spend a couple of thousand dollars on driving lessons and to have things checked off in your log book, and get your learning hours up. All before you could be tested for a provisional license.

THEN, when you passed your driving test, you got your P plates! Of which I had to display for one year (on account of old age – apparently that counts for something in my case, not sure about the OP’s though).

Yet – after all this ‘earning’, a number of people will still do what the hell they please on the road – these are the people that are not going to give a shit either way, and who obviously are capable of doing whatever they need to get their plastic card. However, MOST people do give a shit about how they drive and impact on others on the road.

So you see, Mr Magoo, we already have a system that requires you to ‘earn’ the ‘privelege’. Just because you got your license by driving the local constable down to the Mercury Cafe to get a chocolate milkshake and a handburger, you knew what a set of traffic lights was (even though your town didn’t have any) and he knew your dad so he just signed the paperwork, doesn’t mean that is how we ALL are allowed to drive on the roads.

The Axe Man The Axe Man 4:43 pm 06 Dec 10

Anyone would think it’s pure carnage out there.

Last time I drove on the roads, including the ‘expressway’, (this morning) it wasn’t like Mad Max II.

You people must live and drive in a different world than me

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 3:11 pm 06 Dec 10

It’s metres, not meters if you are talking about units of measure.

Limp Jimmy Limp Jimmy 2:19 pm 06 Dec 10

I think you should have to have a license to be able to post on this site. 100%.

Anyone know any good bubble suit repairers around town…

D2 D2 1:41 pm 06 Dec 10

trevar said :

pierce said :

I feel the same way about Internet access.

+1 more!

I think that getting an internet licence should also require one to be tested on the difference between the verb ‘license’ and the noun ‘licence’.


And get off my lawn!

bd84 bd84 1:32 pm 06 Dec 10

Congratulations, you just wrote a post which is 500? words long that says absolutely nothing. It rambles on and on and yet by the end still doesn’t have a point that can be used in a debate. You could have just said “ban roads because all humans are idiots” instead of soiling my eyes with a page of utter rubbish.

KB1971 KB1971 1:11 pm 06 Dec 10

Captain RAAF said :

I agree that there should be an occasional ‘refresher’ on road rules, based on issues that are recorded as causing accidents, like failing to give way, merging and keeping left unless overtaking. Doing it annually is over the top but every 5 years would do me.

This would be the only positive thing to come from the OP but people are people & they would only have to the the right thing for 1 hour every 5 years.

mr_spoon mr_spoon 1:09 pm 06 Dec 10

It’s my opinion we should eat the poor. However, this is based on only 24 years’ experience driving in Canberra. Paltry by comparison I know.

erv erv 1:03 pm 06 Dec 10

Btw… To ease congestion you could car pool, the majority of cars on our roads have one person in them. Imagine sharing your car with 4 other people, tenpro. If everyone did that you’d have hardly any cars on the road.
That is… If you could find 4 people that didn’t offend you in any way.

erv erv 12:55 pm 06 Dec 10

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

And how are you going to stop already Un-licenced drivers, driving un-regersted and un-insured vehicles who dont care a hoot about any one else execpt them selves??

That’s the exact kind I encountered and the reason I no longer have a car or want one. Licenced or not, a dickhead driver is still a dickhead.

johnboy johnboy 12:51 pm 06 Dec 10

The whole thing’s going to be moot soon enough, self-driving cars will soon be here and soon after we can require people who want to drive themselves to have very, very special training.

lobster lobster 12:47 pm 06 Dec 10

I look forward to next months essay.
I hope it contains cyclists!

xperfect_darkx xperfect_darkx 12:44 pm 06 Dec 10

The OP seems to think that from the moment they got behind the wheel of a car for the first time, they were amazing, they did nothing wrong, they were already in this 10-20% of drivers that are perfectly safe. This is just ridiculous, sure, there are a lot of bad drivers out there, and sure, most of them are young. This is because they, unlike the OP, have not had 37 YEARS of driving practice, they’ve probably had less than 10.

I don’t get what the OP is suggesting, don’t let anyone learn because P platers are all terrible drivers?

I see this as just another attack on P platers by someone who was once in their shoes. Give it up, I’m sure you sucked when you first started driving too.

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