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Keep Left – Unless Overtaking

By Hamilton - 30 April 2008 78

Hi All,

 Not sure if this had been done to death on RioACT or not – I am new to the site.

 Is it illegal to stay in the right hand lane on a freeway in the ACT if you are not overtaking?  I am sick of getting stuck behind pin-heads on the parkway who choose to stay in the right lane doing 90 km/h next to the guy in the left hand lane also doing 90km/h with a thousand cars banked up behind them!!!

I think its time for some kind of police blitz.

What’s Your opinion?

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78 Responses to
Keep Left – Unless Overtaking
fnaah 11:50 am 30 Apr 08

Sorry V8_berlina, just re-read your post. Point taken – perhaps my driving lights are fog lights.

fnaah 11:49 am 30 Apr 08

V8_berlina, what would be the sense of fog lights that only work when your high beams are on? In fog, high beams reflect back into your eyes, which is why you need fog lights pointed *downwards*.

My subaru (which has an australian compliance plate, last time I looked) has factory fitted driving lights, and I can use them when the high beams are off.

fnaah 11:45 am 30 Apr 08

I used to live in Kambah, but since moving further south, I’ve actually started to enjoy my commute to the airport via Queanbeyan. As much as we RiotACTers love to bash our neighbours, you have to give them credit for having much better road manners – by and large, the dickhead drivers in Quangers have ACT plates.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:38 am 30 Apr 08

In a rare moment of agreement with WMC, I also believe that driving lights are inappropriate in town, as they dazzle and blind other drivers. Technically, I believe driving lights must, by law, be installed such that they can only be turned on when the headlight high beam is on. Fog lights can be installed so they are able to be turned on any time. So… if you’re using driving lights with other traffic around, you are either high-beaming other cars (illegal), or you have your driving lights wired incorrectly (illegal).

Plus, you look like a wanker.

S4anta 11:35 am 30 Apr 08

skaboy12 said :

54-11 said :

On that note, ATTENTION ALL EXCEL OWNERS, turn off that stupid red ‘adverse condition’ light on the back of your car. It is bright and annoying and unnecessary.

If you drive a freaking Hyundai, you have forfeited your right to live. Please reort to Charnwood immediately.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:31 am 30 Apr 08

According to the Australian Road Rules (218kb PDF, the ‘keep left’ rule applies to drivers on multi-lane roads where:

(a) the speed-limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving is over 80 kilometres per hour;


(b) a keep left unless overtaking sign applies to the length of road where the driver is driving.

Of course, the Rules also provide exceptions. One of them is that you’re allowed to drive on the right if “the traffic in each other lane is congested; or the traffic in every lane is congested.”

If, as the OP claims, there were ‘thousands’ of cars banked up behind them, it would sound as though the parkway was congested. If so, drivers can use both lanes, and they’re not under any obligation to do over the speed limit in the right lane just because somebody thinks it’s their Jeebus-given right to have that lane kept free so they can do whatever speed they like. If the parkway was congested, then a speed of 90km/h seems reasonable for the conditions – sometimes it gets down to 80, or even 70. Suck it up, or go another way.

And for those of you who need “driving lights” – stop tugging your tiny d1cks so hard and your eyesight might improve. Two headlights are enough for us non-ricers – they should be enough for you too.

BenMac 11:17 am 30 Apr 08

In any speed zone above 80km/h it is law to keep left unless overtaking

Are you sure it’s not 80km/h and above, because on some 80 roads (Ginninderra Dr south of Kingsford) there are signs which tell you to keep left.

The problem is, Canberra drivers feel they need to be in the lane that they will turn from straight away. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1km away or 50. Best example is Northbourne. If someone gets on Northbourne at Barton Hwy and needs to turn right at London Circuit, they feel they have to be in the right hand lane as soon a possible.

ant 11:16 am 30 Apr 08

An awful lot of car headlights these days seem to be incredibly bright, and adjusted wrongly. Very annoying. Skaboy, if the cops are actually pinging you about your lights, maybe it’s a hint that there’s something wrong? It’s a shame to read that ACT and NSW cops have tried to do their jobs, and you’ve used a technicality to get out of it.

It’s sloblike too for people to sit in the right lane on a fast road unless they’re about to turn right.And yes, whoever pointed out that it’s keep left unless overtaking on roads listed as 80 kms/hr or above. On roads below 80 kms/hr, it’s not.

But you won’t see any traffic problems enforced, except of course speeding. I get tailgated every day for the crime of doing 40 kms/hr in a school zone.

skaboy12 11:09 am 30 Apr 08

54-11 said :

Forget about any Police blitz. In Canberra, you can do anything you want – hog the right-hand lane, use the mobile, drive with driving lights blazing, never use your indicators, et al.

I have already won the argument regarding driving lights with both AFP and NSW police. I was told I could be fined for having them on unless it was in adverse weather. I argued that in the handbook for my car they are called ‘driving’ lights not ‘fog’ or ‘adverse’ weather lights. The cop so referred to them as ‘driving’ lights.

My argument was if the they are called ‘driving’ lights, then I can use them while ‘driving’. The AFP cop let me leave them on and go, because technically I was right. The NSW cop fined me, I took it to court and won. The law states the you cannot use ‘fog’ or ‘adverse condition’ lights unless it is adverse conditions.

On that note, ATTENTION ALL EXCEL OWNERS, turn off that stupid red ‘adverse condition’ light on the back of your car. It is bright and annoying and unnecessary.

Also, if you plan to leave your driving lights on, make sure they are aligned properly. It is annoying when they shine in other drivers eyes and most are not set up properly in the factory. VE commodores and most BMWs are particularly bad for it.

deye 11:03 am 30 Apr 08

“I think its time for some kind of police blitz.”

but it’s taking care of their no speeding policy for them. Heaven forbid that someone actually speeds. Doesn’t matter if you aren’t paying attention, driving dangerously, have your car or home broken into. Just. Don’t. Speed. Speeding Kills.

Growling Ferret 10:59 am 30 Apr 08

At least you get two lanes on the Parkway. GDE’s single lane is already rooted. 30 minutes from the Barton Hwy to Glenloch this morning. The Ainslie rat run is looking good again…

I am now seeing desperado’s undertake on the on/off ramps, and people heading towards Glenloch going up the Aranda ramp and heding back down the other side to end up 20 cars further up the road.

Perhaps if the AFP sat someone there to monitor if anyone actually stops at the stop sign they could pay a days waged to a couple of people, and perhaps slow a couple of drivers down.

54-11 10:58 am 30 Apr 08

Forget about any Police blitz. In Canberra, you can do anything you want – hog the right-hand lane, use the mobile, drive with driving lights blazing, never use your indicators, et al.

Just never speed.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:56 am 30 Apr 08

Lane hogging is fairly standard behaviour in Canberra, certainly more so than you see in other major cities around Australia. This topic was done recently on RiotACT, and even included comments from a person who admitted to taking delight in holding others up. Yet these type are the first to complain about tailgating, which, frankly, occurs primarily in the right hand lane.

When I learnt to drive it was ‘keep left unless overtaking’ out of courtesy for other road users, and in the interest of keeping the traffic moving.

bugmenot 10:52 am 30 Apr 08

In any speed zone above 80km/h it is law to keep left unless overtaking.

That’s common across all states in .au

If you are in an 80 zone, or below, it does not apply.

justbands 10:50 am 30 Apr 08

It’s a common problem. A few weeks back I was stuck behind a woman doing 80 down the Tuggeranong Parkway (100 speed limit) in the right hand lane. She wouldn’t move, so I gave a quick blast of my horn & she went OFF. Screamed & yelled at me, waved her arms about, stuck her fingers up out her window….what a freak. She did move over though.

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