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Old school driving techniques

By FarrerGirl - 2 September 2013 23

I am just back from a weekend down at the far South Coast of NSW. As with many coastal towns, there is a large population of elderly drivers down that way. Not once, but twice did I end up in an intersection ‘stalemate’ with this genre of driver.

On both occasions I was at a four-way intersection. My road had a stop sign and I wanted to turn right, the car opposite (also with a stop sign) wanted to travel straight across. Clearly I had to give way as I was crossing the opposing car’s path. However, both times the other car would not move – either they did not know they had right of way OR they were being courteous…….Is there an old school rule about this? Perhaps they were working on the ‘got there first rule’ – i.e they thought I had right of way as I got to the intersection a couple of seconds before them? The stalemates ended when elderly driver 1 drove through (though clearly annoyed that I had not (illegally) driven across the intersection); and when elderly driver 2 waved me through with big flapping arm movements.

My issue is that (as the fat controller says) this causes “confusion and delay” – there is no way I am going to assume right of way just because a random person is driving to old school rules…! If it is a case of them being courteous, I would much rather they proceeded through – I am happy to wait at intersections for a couple of extra seconds rather than risk a car accident (which I would be at fault as I would NOT have right of way).

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23 Responses to
Old school driving techniques
JC 10:52 pm 02 Sep 13

JimCharles said :

“Perhaps they were working on the ‘got there first rule’ – i.e they thought I had right of way as I got to the intersection a couple of seconds before them? “

Forgive me, if you both arrived at the same time, the right of way is obviously theirs to proceed straight over. But…..if they hadn’t arrived at the junction and would have been required to come to a complete stop anyway, wouldn’t the right of way be automatically yours because you should already be engaged in your manouvre to turn right when the other vehicle hasn’t even arrived at the Stop sign so isn’t engaged?

The answer is it all depends. If you can complete your manoeuvre before they stop and are ready to move then you are still giving way to them. But if they stop and then cannot go because you are in their way then you have failed to give way. In this case it will come down to mere seconds of difference.

JimCharles said :

What happens if there is 1 car waiting to turn right, but 20 cars wanting to go straight over. Do you have to sit there and let them all through?

Technically yes. The turning car needs to give way.

Postalgeek 10:28 pm 02 Sep 13

tim_c said :

It’s not just old-school drivers, or south-coast retirees, it is a very common confusion also in Canberra, even from those fresh out of driving school.

see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG7yYt1TNLs

Interesting that you point out that intersection. I was thinking about that intersection when I saw this thread. The intersection is an absolute moron-magnet, though I get the opposite result, where people pull across in front of me when I’m going straight ahead.

Wentworth Avenue on the other side of Kingston is also rife with people who should not be driving. I don’t know what it is about Kingston that attracts them.

Postalgeek 10:19 pm 02 Sep 13

m_ratt said :

It was a kiwi thing ( http://slightlyodd.com/2010/03/new-zealands-stupid-right-hand-turn-rule ), which changed last year ( http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/around-nz/road-user-rule.html ), and if I recall correctly was the same in Victoria until only about 5-or-so years ago.

Another argument for regular re-education and re-testing for every driver.

As far as I can tell, those rule changes don’t apply to this scenario, where the green car wants to drive straight ahead and the red car wants to turn across the path of the green car. But I’d agree with you about re-testing, even if it’s every decade. It’s not old school, or hasn’t been for the 25 years since I’ve been driving.

Deref said :

No – there’s no “old school” rule about it. Stupidity knows no age.

What he said ^^^

EvanJames 10:18 pm 02 Sep 13

m_ratt said :

Of course, if it was a four-way-stop-sign (I don’t even know if they exist in NSW), did you stop at the line before they did?

I’ve only encountered them in the US, where you ignore who is going where, and instead give way to those who stopped at their line before you did.

We’ll never see those in Australia, we just haven’t got the road temperament for it (we’re rude, ignorant and pushy). and they’re quite simple, each car takes its turn based on when it arrived at the intersection. Everyone adheres to it, including mexicans, it works well. but WE get traffic lights, or maybe a roundabout. Maybe. 4 way stop signs are much cheaper, you just erect 4 signs and paint lines on the road. but we can’t have them.

knuckles 8:16 pm 02 Sep 13

The far South Coast, also known as God’s waiting room, is full of old retired people with nothing to do and very little reason to live. Giving way to everyone else at intersections helps them pass away the day.

screaming banshee 7:56 pm 02 Sep 13

Don’t bother looking at indicators, look at the driver this will tell you all you need to know. If they have made eye contact and are not moving, move forward and keep watching them. If they are not looking at you then hold or move out slowly.

This holds true for all situations, the drivers head movements will reveal their attention level and intentions long before they indicate or move.

In this situation if someone is too stupid or slow to take their right of way I will proceed…with caution

JimCharles 6:59 pm 02 Sep 13

“Perhaps they were working on the ‘got there first rule’ – i.e they thought I had right of way as I got to the intersection a couple of seconds before them? “

Forgive me, if you both arrived at the same time, the right of way is obviously theirs to proceed straight over. But…..if they hadn’t arrived at the junction and would have been required to come to a complete stop anyway, wouldn’t the right of way be automatically yours because you should already be engaged in your manouvre to turn right when the other vehicle hasn’t even arrived at the Stop sign so isn’t engaged?

What happens if there is 1 car waiting to turn right, but 20 cars wanting to go straight over. Do you have to sit there and let them all through?

I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of this arriving well 2nd at a Stop junction and just observing a stationary car sitting there staring at me. I just thought they were a bit slow on the uptake and wouldn’t get home til midnight, but you’re saying this is what you’re meant to do? You learn something new every day.

m_ratt 5:53 pm 02 Sep 13

Of course, if it was a four-way-stop-sign (I don’t even know if they exist in NSW), did you stop at the line before they did?

I’ve only encountered them in the US, where you ignore who is going where, and instead give way to those who stopped at their line before you did.

m_ratt 5:51 pm 02 Sep 13

It was a kiwi thing ( http://slightlyodd.com/2010/03/new-zealands-stupid-right-hand-turn-rule ), which changed last year ( http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/around-nz/road-user-rule.html ), and if I recall correctly was the same in Victoria until only about 5-or-so years ago.

Another argument for regular re-education and re-testing for every driver.

milkman 5:46 pm 02 Sep 13

This is just old people being over-cautious If they won’t go then just go yourself and get on with your life.

JC 5:46 pm 02 Sep 13

I find the reverse is true here in Canberra. Most mornings I turn left from Goodwin Street onto Wattle Street, which has a stop sign and at least once a week I will have a car coming the other way from Scrivener Street turning right, also at a stop sign turn in front of me. I gather they are going by the theory they were there first so go first. Big fail of course. Also a big fail to the 75% of drivers who don’t stop at this intersection too (coming from Goodwin Street). It is a stop sign for a reason you fools. (the reason being visibility to the right on approach)

Robertson 4:36 pm 02 Sep 13

If you cross the intersection, then reverse up the road to the East, then go forwards again, then they are correct: you now have right of way.

tim_c 4:33 pm 02 Sep 13

It’s not just old-school drivers, or south-coast retirees, it is a very common confusion also in Canberra, even from those fresh out of driving school.

see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG7yYt1TNLs

Deref 4:21 pm 02 Sep 13

No – there’s no “old school” rule about it. Stupidity knows no age.

Dilandach 4:06 pm 02 Sep 13

Assure them they have right of way. Honk your horn repeatedly in long and quick succession. Flash your high beams as well and just in case they’re hard of hearing, lean out of your car window and start yelling rather loudly at them.

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