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Police say Canberra driver behaviour ‘simply not good enough’

By Glynis Quinlan - 5 September 2017 14


Police are frustrated with the increasing number of Canberra drivers going through stop signs and red lights – and generally not handling intersections safely.

Last month ACT Policing issued more than triple the number of traffic infringement notices for intersection-related offences that they did for the month of August last year – issuing 326 notices as opposed to 107.

Top of the list of these offences were people not stopping at stop signs, with 161 drivers detected committing stop sign offences.

Second on the list came drivers not stopping at red lights, with 86 infringements issued during August 2017.

Officer in Charge of Traffic, Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said the number of drivers caught is beyond comprehension.

“The road rules are there for your safety,” Station Sergeant Boorman said.

“Half of all collisions occur at intersections because people disregard or do not understand their obligations on the road. It is your job to educate yourself.

“This type of behaviour is reckless and it can have disastrous consequences. This is not about revenue raising, it is about saving lives,” he said.

“I urge you to think of your own family and friends and how you feel about putting them at risk.

“This behaviour on our roads is simply not good enough Canberra.”

ACT Policing targeted intersections during August as part of a multi-agency strategy.

Do you think police have good reason to be concerned? How often do you observe Canberra drivers doing the wrong thing at stop signs and traffic lights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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14 Responses to
Police say Canberra driver behaviour ‘simply not good enough’
dungfungus 8:36 am 10 Sep 17

What happens if a bicyclist runs a red light and activates the red light camera?

Who do they send the infringement notice to?

wildturkeycanoe 6:29 am 09 Sep 17

gazket said :

why do we have to stop at every set of traffic lights now ?

This never used to be the case a year or 2 ago but now if I leave a set of traffic lights the next set will always be red or just changing to red when I’m 100/50 meters away even if there are no cars waiting at the cross road red light.

It seems they’re now designed to tempt people into running red lights.

That is exactly why people run amber lights and sometimes red ones. It has been getting worse. You can accelerate as fast as your family sedan can go, but 9 times out of 10 the next set of lights will turn amber just before you get there regardless if cars are waiting or not. One I know of, you have to hit the gas pretty hard and do 90km/h to just get through the next green, otherwise it’s guaranteed to be red every single time. By design, Canberra traffic lights impede smooth traffic flow and Canberra drivers are sick to death of it. Also, some traffic sensors are not picking up cars so unless there is someone in the turning lane next to you, there could be as many as 3 cycles before you are given a green light. I reported one such non-functioning sensor to TAMS, who replied to me by saying they were aware of it and will get the crew to fix it when they have time. That was many months ago and it still doesn’t work. Perhaps our regular maintenance crews should be dragged away from Northbourne Ave for a few weeks to look after interests other than the government’s pet project?!
The new 80° slip lanes, recently added at great expense and driver frustration, are worse than the old ones. You may get a better view of traffic but now have to slow so much that after you enter the road the cars behind will have to slow down for you too till you pick up speed again. It is like putting a stop sign on the Parkway slip lanes…totally counterproductive. There are seriously a bunch of clowns running this place.

Leon Arundell 8:54 am 08 Sep 17

Police have good reason to be concerned. Like most of Canberra’s surviving pedestrians, I have learned to give way to vehicles that illegally turn across my path while their drivers – protected by airbags and tonnes of metal – are looking in the other direction.

Holden Caulfield 8:52 pm 07 Sep 17

Calochilus said :

Actually, road engineering in the ACT is second rate. It is predicated by a policy of impeding traffic flow (Statement from ACT Govt published in Canberra times) Examples abound, two traffic lanes merging into 1 immediately before an intersection (too numerous to mention). Slip lanes tapered instead of having clear car width for their full length allowing vehicles to pull into the slip lane before braking. Three lane to one merges (A particularly stupid one in Weston to allow for 20 metres of non-continuous bike path, another in Phillip) The stupidity of inappropriate speed limits (Weston 80 K/h out to Coppins Crossing 60 K/h) Insufficient lengths of merge lanes coming out of roundabouts. Serious issues of lack of safety verges on heavily trafficked roads (at least 1 death on Drakeford Drive that I am aware of. I could go on for ever!

The new Constitution Ave is clearly designed to be less car friendly. That’s also going to be happening on Commonwealth Ave and Kings Ave. Lots of casual car parking spaces in the city have been removed over recent years, so regardless of whether there’s been a published statement saying the ACT Gov has a policy of impeding traffic flow, the intent is clear by witnessing their actions.

Calochilus 6:38 pm 07 Sep 17

Actually, road engineering in the ACT is second rate. It is predicated by a policy of impeding traffic flow (Statement from ACT Govt published in Canberra times) Examples abound, two traffic lanes merging into 1 immediately before an intersection (too numerous to mention). Slip lanes tapered instead of having clear car width for their full length allowing vehicles to pull into the slip lane before braking. Three lane to one merges (A particularly stupid one in Weston to allow for 20 metres of non-continuous bike path, another in Phillip) The stupidity of inappropriate speed limits (Weston 80 K/h out to Coppins Crossing 60 K/h) Insufficient lengths of merge lanes coming out of roundabouts. Serious issues of lack of safety verges on heavily trafficked roads (at least 1 death on Drakeford Drive that I am aware of. I could go on for ever!

Russ 7:05 pm 06 Sep 17

Unless the police “targeted” intersections with the same level of resources both August last year and this year, making a comparison is a disingenuous load of c@#p. People rolling through stop signs is very common, typically not particularly dangerous, but *very* easy to police – if your wheels do not come to a complete stop, you’re done – a cop sets up camp nearby and can issue TINs continuously.

I’d argue running red lights is significantly more dangerous, and far more prevalent, particularly since the introduction of red light cameras (which send the message that red lights are enforced at *this* intersection, and therefore not so much at others) but these infringements are much harder to police.

Dale Moore 6:45 pm 06 Sep 17

gazket said :

why do we have to stop at every set of traffic lights now ?

This never used to be the case a year or 2 ago but now if I leave a set of traffic lights the next set will always be red or just changing to red when I’m 100/50 meters away even if there are no cars waiting at the cross road red light.

It seems they’re now designed to tempt people into running red lights.

Are you saying that you passed your driving test, received a driver’s licence, and have been driving under the impression that, until ‘a year or 2 ago’ it was perfectly legal to run a red light as long as no one was using the cross road?

Holden Caulfield 12:52 pm 06 Sep 17

bigred said :

My traffic engineer mate tells me there are the three Es to making safe roads; being Engineering, Education and Enforcement.

My judgement says the Engineering aspect is pretty good, but the Education and Enforcement have quite a way to go. While the good Sgt Boorman sounds like a decent guy from his electronic media appearances, he will not make the admission that traffic enforcement needs to be a higher priority for ACT Policing. Spending a month each year on traffic lights and stop signs is not my idea of a priority.

Does your mate have any comments on intersections marked as Give Way that should probably be Stop, or intersections marked as Stop that should probably be Give Way? And who decides these things, because there are some very bad examples of this on our roads.

Holden Caulfield 12:48 pm 06 Sep 17

Dale Moore said :

Talk about pot- kettle. I almost ran into the side of a marked police station wagon a couple of months ago at an intersection as he pulled out instead of giving way. He then saw me coming and stopped in the middle of the intersection, and his passenger put his head in his hands. Talk about getting your licence from a cereal box. He then gave me an apologetic wave and they drove off.

I had a similar experience a few years ago, where a marked car failed to give way to me in Reid. I had to brake to avoid t-boning him. He followed me, pulled me over, apologised first and then advised that I slow down.

That would have been all well and good if I was speeding. I wasn’t.

He knew very well he was in the wrong and I suspect pulled me over to gauge if I was likely to make an official complaint.

bigred 11:32 am 06 Sep 17

My traffic engineer mate tells me there are the three Es to making safe roads; being Engineering, Education and Enforcement. My judgement says the Engineering aspect is pretty good, but the Education and Enforcement have quite a way to go. While the good Sgt Boorman sounds like a decent guy from his electronic media appearances, he will not make the admission that traffic enforcement needs to be a higher priority for ACT Policing. Spending a month each year on traffic lights and stop signs is not my idea of a priority.

Dale Moore 7:54 am 06 Sep 17

Talk about pot- kettle. I almost ran into the side of a marked police station wagon a couple of months ago at an intersection as he pulled out instead of giving way. He then saw me coming and stopped in the middle of the intersection, and his passenger put his head in his hands. Talk about getting your licence from a cereal box. He then gave me an apologetic wave and they drove off.

gazket 8:57 pm 05 Sep 17

why do we have to stop at every set of traffic lights now ?

This never used to be the case a year or 2 ago but now if I leave a set of traffic lights the next set will always be red or just changing to red when I’m 100/50 meters away even if there are no cars waiting at the cross road red light.

It seems they’re now designed to tempt people into running red lights.

gazket 8:51 pm 05 Sep 17

why is the ACT gov changing left turn slip lanes at traffic light intersections into a 80 degree T-bone intersections which are more dangerous if an accident was to happen ?

Bolbi 6:33 pm 05 Sep 17

Maybe cause for concern, but saying they caught triple the number this year, when it is their traffic focus for the month is perhaps not surprising.

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