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Kings Highway Holiday Safety for a young driver?

By mcmc 22 December 2011 36

Wanted to know what other rioters thought of the Kings Highway safety.

My 17 year old daughter wants to drive to Pambula mid-January, but I have said no – it’s too dangerous for a new P-Plater.

I am going to drive her instead… at that time of the year it is busy and with little mountain experience and impatient drivers on the road it’s only going to end in disaster.

However, I haven’t driven on it in about 10 years, so I was wondering what it is like in terms of safety and traffic in the summer holidays.

Would you let your 17 year old drive on it? Interested to hear what you think!

What’s Your opinion?


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Kings Highway Holiday Safety for a young driver?
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thatsnotme 2:15 pm 22 Dec 11

Jethro said :

This question has probably been answered on here before, but what would the rules be for this driver, seeing as she is an ACT P Plater driving in NSW, where P Platers are not allowed to drive at 100? Is she allowed to drive at 100 since she’s an ACT P Plater or does she have to drive at the speed set for NSW P Platers?

Learner drivers from the ACT must obey the 80km/h limit while driving in NSW.

P plate drivers from the ACT may drive at the posted speed limit while driving in NSW.

The last two questions at this page – http://www.roadready.act.gov.au/c/roadready?a=da&did=1002908 – cover these questions specifically.

00davist 1:50 pm 22 Dec 11

Rusalka said :

I believe that the P-plate speed rules are a term of your licence. So NSW P-platers can’t go more than 90 or 100 because of the terms and conditions on their NSW licence. ACT P-platers do not have these terms and conditions, you just have to obey the speed limits.

I never had a problem when I was a P-plater driving at 100 or 110 in NSW. Although if you want to be sure, the email idea 00davist suggested in #24 is not a bad one. And again, like previously stated, you drive at what you are comfortable at not the speed limit. So even though the Clyde or Brown is 60 or 40 in spots, it’s okay to go slower.

A Very good point, especially if you end up with some d*ck tailgating you, Remember, It’s OK not to be bullied into speeding by them, and also, if you pull over, and let them rush past when it’s safe to, that’s in no way admitting defeat or anything as such, it is simply choosing the safest way to handle the situation, and letting them race merrily off to their next crash!

00davist 1:47 pm 22 Dec 11

jayskette said :

Jethro said :

This question has probably been answered on here before, but what would the rules be for this driver, seeing as she is an ACT P Plater driving in NSW, where P Platers are not allowed to drive at 100? Is she allowed to drive at 100 since she’s an ACT P Plater or does she have to drive at the speed set for NSW P Platers?

You would follow the NSW rules which is max 90kmh for red Ps.

I am on the full licence for 10 years and it was scary the first time I drove the King’s Highway, but there is a website full of pictures of the Highway at various bends/intersections I googled up the day prior to the drive which lessened my fears. good luck

Incorrect, Well partially;

For Lerners, yes, as in NSW the law is written “Lerner Drivers on NSW Roads Must…” but for P Plater, no, ACT P Platers may do the signposted limit in NSW, this is due to the fact that NSW has a Dual P-Plate System (P1/Red and P2/Green) therefore the laws are written as “NSW P1 Licenholders must…” and “NSW P2 Licenceholdes must…”

There is no laws written along the lines of “P Platers on NSW roads mus…”

This can all be confirmed with the NSW RTA, and ACT P Platers will also receive in info sheet with their licence detailing this.

I recommend, for ACT P Platers doing over 90kmph in NSW to contact the NSW RTA by email, and have them confirm this by Email, then carry the ACT P Plater Info Sheet, and a print out of the NSW RTA response in your car, as many NSW police are unaware of this particular point. (Trust me, this helped me out a few times)

An Interesting side note, is that the 90km limit is actually written as a licence restriction, and as such NSW red P Platers cannot legally exceed 90kmph in the ACT!

creative_canberran 12:46 pm 22 Dec 11

I drove on this road solo about a week after getting my Ps. It’s certainly not a road I would class as easy, so it’s a judgement call on the skill and maturity of your P plater. Also, what kinds of speeds are they used to? Might be an idea to try out the Federal to Goulburn.

By itself, the road is decent and the speed limits have been reduced along many stretches. I struggle to even call it a Highway anymore given it’s pokier and slower than many main Canberra roads. The only real parts to look out for are the mountain corners than an inexperienced driver may overcook, particularly in a RRD car if lacking experience. Here again, if you’re worried, I’d suggest going out to a place like Royalla or up Red Hill.

Biggest problem is other drivers. At least once every trip, I see each of the following:
*Car overtaking not realising on coming traffic and having to quickly move back into correct lane
*Car in opposite direction coming over centre line, particularly on corners
*Car over cooking bend on Clyde Mountain
*Car not dipping high beam at night.

Overall, the only way to learn is to drive so my advice is let them drive in good light at least the first time, and if there’s any areas you feel they may not be ready for, have them try it in Canberra first. Frankly though the only problems I’ve ever seen or had to deal with are not of my control and it was my ability to cope with a sudden need to stop or steer that was the key.

Rusalka 12:41 pm 22 Dec 11

I believe that the P-plate speed rules are a term of your licence. So NSW P-platers can’t go more than 90 or 100 because of the terms and conditions on their NSW licence. ACT P-platers do not have these terms and conditions, you just have to obey the speed limits.

I never had a problem when I was a P-plater driving at 100 or 110 in NSW. Although if you want to be sure, the email idea 00davist suggested in #24 is not a bad one. And again, like previously stated, you drive at what you are comfortable at not the speed limit. So even though the Clyde or Brown is 60 or 40 in spots, it’s okay to go slower.

jayskette 12:08 pm 22 Dec 11

Jethro said :

This question has probably been answered on here before, but what would the rules be for this driver, seeing as she is an ACT P Plater driving in NSW, where P Platers are not allowed to drive at 100? Is she allowed to drive at 100 since she’s an ACT P Plater or does she have to drive at the speed set for NSW P Platers?

You would follow the NSW rules which is max 90kmh for red Ps.

I am on the full licence for 10 years and it was scary the first time I drove the King’s Highway, but there is a website full of pictures of the Highway at various bends/intersections I googled up the day prior to the drive which lessened my fears. good luck

Jethro 11:55 am 22 Dec 11

This question has probably been answered on here before, but what would the rules be for this driver, seeing as she is an ACT P Plater driving in NSW, where P Platers are not allowed to drive at 100? Is she allowed to drive at 100 since she’s an ACT P Plater or does she have to drive at the speed set for NSW P Platers?

54-11 11:40 am 22 Dec 11

Overheard said :

harvyk1 said :

Tell her if she is only doing 80 km/h when not at overtaking lanes, she should not speed up to 110km/h when there is an overtaking lane. Lots of slow drivers do just that because typically overtaking lanes are big and “safe”

I’m a big fan of the ‘learn by doing’ approach and she should definitely drive out on the big, bad roads rather than logging all those hours in the back blocks and parking lots.

BUT I’m also a very strong advocate of the ‘if you can’t maintain the speed limit — or are legally not allowed to — pull over occasionally and let the traffic pass’ approach.

If you really want to see a bunch of red-veined stress-heads, toodle along at 80kmh in a single lane for an extended period in holiday traffic. This applies as much to L-platers and P-platers as it does to to grey nomads and drivers of larger vehicles. I’ve occasionally driven larger vehicles down the Clyde and it’s just common bloody courtesy to pull over when safe and let other traffic soon if you can’t muster the speed limit.

Reminds me of a line from a British sitcom: ‘The speed limit is a maximum, not something to aspire to’.

I agree also. Just being courteous by allowing faster drivers through makes the expereince far more relaxing for everyone. That way, she can take her time and drive to her skills, and let more experienced people through. Many cars are designed for higher performance and can travel more quickly quite safely, but if she’s in an old banger, then her speed will necessarily be lower.

Remind her of that and she will be fine.

deye 11:16 am 22 Dec 11

There are plenty of great mountain roads to practice on to the West, South and East of us, let her take you for a drive on a few weekends out those ways before hand, make sure the drive will take a few hours (about the same length as to Pambula) and also go on a few dirt roads to see the difference.

If she does go down Kings and it’s near dusk tell her not to be too surprised about the signs that light up as you approach the steep bits.

fgzk 11:10 am 22 Dec 11

Check for keys in the ignition, broken windows or bump starting.

EvanJames 10:54 am 22 Dec 11

Leinna said :

Pambula – Shouldn’t she be driving down Brown Mountain instead?

Yup! Monaro Hwy, turn left-ish at Cooma, keep going left, turn right at Bega. Or something like that. Make sure the girl knows how to change a tyre, knows about roos at dusk and dawn, has NRMA membership and let her go.

Grail 10:43 am 22 Dec 11

I’ll echo the sentiments in previous posts: take your P-plater out for a driver via the Cotter, head up Brindabella Road to Picadilly circus, and down to Tharwa. Tell the young driver that this is your test to see if they’re allowed to drive solo to the coast, that should put enough pressure on the young driver to make a mistake or two and give you ample wiggle room to say, “no” 🙂

On the other hand, I was driving the coast road during Christmas holidays on my learner’s permit, because my parents wanted me to actually learn how to drive (as opposed to learning how to steer an automatic vehicle up and down the parkway to get to work each day).

Attempting to protect your child from the realities of life is only setting them up for failure.

00davist 10:31 am 22 Dec 11

Overheard said :

harvyk1 said :

Tell her if she is only doing 80 km/h when not at overtaking lanes, she should not speed up to 110km/h when there is an overtaking lane. Lots of slow drivers do just that because typically overtaking lanes are big and “safe”

I’m a big fan of the ‘learn by doing’ approach and she should definitely drive out on the big, bad roads rather than logging all those hours in the back blocks and parking lots.

BUT I’m also a very strong advocate of the ‘if you can’t maintain the speed limit — or are legally not allowed to — pull over occasionally and let the traffic pass’ approach.

If you really want to see a bunch of red-veined stress-heads, toodle along at 80kmh in a single lane for an extended period in holiday traffic. This applies as much to L-platers and P-platers as it does to to grey nomads and drivers of larger vehicles. I’ve occasionally driven larger vehicles down the Clyde and it’s just common bloody courtesy to pull over when safe and let other traffic soon if you can’t muster the speed limit.

Reminds me of a line from a British sitcom: ‘The speed limit is a maximum, not something to aspire to’.

+1

Whilst the truth of the matter is that an ACT P Plater can doo the full limit in NSW (This is due to NSW having P1 and P2, the 90km limit is whitten as “All NSW P1 Drivers” which does not cover ACT P Platers) Being only a fresh P Plater, going the little bit slower might be a good idea, and yes, the jorney will be much safer and allot more pleasant if there is the occasional slip to the side to allow others past.

Also, if Your daughter (or any ACT P plater) is travelling through NSW, and has decided they would like to do the full limit, I would suggest shooting an email off to the NSW rta first, asking them to verify this. Keep the reply in the car with you, as many of the cops are not aware of this one.

I used to travel to Mittagong each weekend on my P’s, and after some time, I decided I was comfortable enough on the Hume to do 110 (I built up by doing 100 for a few weeks too) and I can say now, that email from the RTA helped me out allot (Make sure it’s from the NSW RTA, the cops dont care if it’s from the ACT)

dazzab 10:27 am 22 Dec 11

I understand your concern. It can be a dangerous drive and there have been a few deaths including young people on those roads. But as others have said, it’s a great learning experience. Why not just go with her so she can get the experience and have you there for guidance. That way she learns and you are reassured. My first few trips in to a big city (way back when in San Francisco) my Dad came with me and I’m glad that he did. It worked out quite well and helped me build up my experience and confidence.

Overheard 10:22 am 22 Dec 11

* and let other traffic pass *

Overheard 10:20 am 22 Dec 11

harvyk1 said :

Tell her if she is only doing 80 km/h when not at overtaking lanes, she should not speed up to 110km/h when there is an overtaking lane. Lots of slow drivers do just that because typically overtaking lanes are big and “safe”

I’m a big fan of the ‘learn by doing’ approach and she should definitely drive out on the big, bad roads rather than logging all those hours in the back blocks and parking lots.

BUT I’m also a very strong advocate of the ‘if you can’t maintain the speed limit — or are legally not allowed to — pull over occasionally and let the traffic pass’ approach.

If you really want to see a bunch of red-veined stress-heads, toodle along at 80kmh in a single lane for an extended period in holiday traffic. This applies as much to L-platers and P-platers as it does to to grey nomads and drivers of larger vehicles. I’ve occasionally driven larger vehicles down the Clyde and it’s just common bloody courtesy to pull over when safe and let other traffic soon if you can’t muster the speed limit.

Reminds me of a line from a British sitcom: ‘The speed limit is a maximum, not something to aspire to’.

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