Poor driving on Bungendore Rd

Sgt.Bungers 11 May 2009 27

Heading home this evening I witnessed a display of horrendous driving typical of too many Canberran drivers on country roads. The person was a caucasian male with a grayish beard driving a late 90’s model Mazda.

At about 5pm, driving away from Bungendore, up Smiths Gap, I caught up to a slow moving medium rigid truck struggling up the hill. One other vehicle behind me. The driver of the Mazda caught up to the vehicle behind me, and immediately overtook that vehicle and myself, despite a blind corner coming up. Fortunately no traffic came around the corner during this maneuver.

The driver then maintained a following distance of 1-2 metres behind the truck moving at 10-20km/h, at one point coming extremely close to running up the back of the truck when the truck slowed further whilst the driver changed down another gear.

After we rounded the corner, the driver of the Mazda overtook the truck, on double solid lines, with oncoming traffic approx 200 metres away… all when there was an overtaking lane 100 metres up the road.

I passed the truck, got to the top of the hill, and spotted the mazda less than a kilometre in the distance before I turned off.

This person was prepared to risk his life, his passengers life, my life, the lives of the people in the car behind me, the life of the truck driver and her passenger, the life of any driver that may have come around the blind corner during the first overtaking maneuver, and the lives of the people in the two oncoming vehicles in his second reckless overtaking maneuver, all so that he could gain a few hundred metres. Willing to risk killing or injuring up to 10 people, so he could save up to 30 seconds on his trip home. All of which will have been lost at the first set of traffic lights encountered in Canberra.

Why? There cannot be any valid excuse for being so selfish, and so negligent in any situation… the fact that he had so little to gain from his actions… his thought process is simply incomprehensible.

It is people like this that need to be removed from the road until they get their road safety priorities sorted. Yet with road safety enforcement being increasingly based on speed cameras, drivers like this are less and less likely to get their comeuppance… at least not until an innocent family is killed.

The most annoying thing… it’s almost certain this driver hasn’t thought twice about his actions, and would be of the opinion that he’s a safe driver who did nothing wrong.


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27 Responses to Poor driving on Bungendore Rd
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Posh Posh 10:09 am 12 May 09

Primal: I saw an unmarked police ute on Adelaide Ave the other week… they are getting sneakier!

Yeah, I saw a policeman parking a silver ute – in the disabled carpark by the way – at the back of the labor club, belconnen the other day at lunch time.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:58 am 12 May 09

To be fair, not waiting a few hundred metres for an overtaking lane is pretty poor form.

I remember one trip down the coast road, however, where there was hepas of traffic, and so everyone seemed to just decide not to worry, and we all cruised along at 85-90km/h until the mountain. Used bugger all fuel, too. I guess sometimes you just get a good run.

ant ant 11:04 pm 11 May 09

Sgt.Bungers said :

CK: I’m by no means saying that all Canberran drivers are bad. However, living near Bungendore and having to deal with coast traffic every weekend, I can assure you, 90% of the time I witness an insane maneuvre, or general poor driving worth noting, the vehicle is bearing Canberran number plates.

The majority of the time, it is just tailgating.

I can see the lights of cars going along the King’s Hwy from here (and also teh Captain’s Flat Rd), and you often see bunches of them going along at hwy speeds, practically nose to tail. Way too close if they’re doing 100 or thereabouts.

I cannot fathom why they do it, but so many do.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 8:03 pm 11 May 09

Pesty, you’re right, however the overtaking lane starts half way up the hill. This all happened 300-100 metres before the overtaking lane.

astrojax astrojax 7:36 pm 11 May 09

from sgt b’s post, it does seem that it is indeed a ‘duel’ lane… ; )

Pesty Pesty 5:15 pm 11 May 09

I thought that the road up Smiths gap was duel lane? If the truck was going that slow why didn’t you all overtake it?

p1 p1 3:23 pm 11 May 09

CK: I’m by no means saying that all Canberran drivers are bad. However, living near Bungendore and having to deal with coast traffic every weekend, I can assure you, 90% of the time I witness an insane maneuvre, or general poor driving worth noting, the vehicle is bearing Canberran number plates.

Who wants to bet that 90% of cars on that road have Canberra plates?

As someone said earlier, people that drive primarily in the city tend to be worse on country roads. Add to that people who are just bad at driving (most of them think they are good), plus people who are actually pretty good, but you just happen to see them make their one stupid move of the year and all of a sudden you realise that the roads are covered in morons.

This is not Canberra specific in the slightest. While there are some things Canberristanis do a lot (right lane…) it is a Australia World wide problem.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 1:46 pm 11 May 09

Grrrr: Please correct me if I’m wrong, however as I understand it in your post at #18, you justify people performing illegal, risky actions whilst driving even if it saves them 30 seconds?

At your typical country road speed of 100km/h, a vehicle travels 1km every 36 seconds. This driver was willing to perform reckless, illegal maneuvers to get past an obstacle on the road, putting other people at risk, which gained him 30 odd seconds tops. All of which could have easily been lost at the first red light encountered in Canberra.

Yes it was a wide road, but I don’t see how that’s relevant. It was a steep hill. Even modern trucks regularly struggle up this hill. 10-20km/h is the unavoidable norm. Any one stuck behind it has to wait for a safe, legal opportunity to pass. Simple. No alternatives, no excuses. If someone is late for something, they should have left earlier.

This person first overtook on the blind corner when there was an “Overtaking lane 200m metres ahead” sign, perfectly visible to him. The second stunt, pulling out into oncoming traffic coming down a hill, was with the overtaking lane 100 metres ahead. So he did not have to wait long for a safe opportunity to pass.

Regardless… tell me, how much time is necessary for someone to potentially save… before it is reasonable for them to risk killing you or anyone else in order to save it?

SheepGroper SheepGroper 1:30 pm 11 May 09

dvaey said :

ChrisinTurner said :

I hope you reported this driver to the AFP Traffic Intelligence unit.

Unlikely it was reported. Its easier to have a rant on RA than to bother taking down the rego, and reporting it to the authorities.

Why bother reporting? Nothing appears to happen.

Grrrr Grrrr 12:45 pm 11 May 09

So, someone overtook you before – but not on – a blind corner, presumably with the permission of dotted lines … and then sat close to a truck going slower up the hill than I could on my bicycle? (20kmh)

They then got sick of doing 20kmh on wide open roads and overtook on double-white while the oncoming traffic was a good 10 seconds away .. and after that it took you so long to reach the overtaking lane that once you got past the truck they were 1km ahead?

Perhaps it’s just your description, but you sound like someone who isn’t a great judge of gaps and speeds.

Sure, they broke the law crossing double-white lines. If you want to stick to the letter of the law – well, almost every Canberra driver does it when turning right into a side-street.

Also, there’s so many stop signs in Canberra that should really be give-way signs. In cities elsewhere, there’s changes being made to traffic rules to all cyclists to treat Stop signs as Give-way signs. I’m in favour of that happening here. It’d give drivers one less thing to be able to whinge about, if nothing else.

dvaey dvaey 12:29 pm 11 May 09

ChrisinTurner said :

I hope you reported this driver to the AFP Traffic Intelligence unit.

Unlikely it was reported. Its easier to have a rant on RA than to bother taking down the rego, and reporting it to the authorities.

Also..

If more unmarked police cars were used they would see the same idiots that we see.

Although, having said that, I did notice about 3 weeks ago there was a significant increase in police on our roads. Probably due to the cops all wanting overtime for easter/anzac weekends. Unfortunately, after the long weekend, the visible police presence on our roads has almost disappeared again. (I drive 5-6hrs per day for my job, so I have a lot of exposure to police on the roads, if/when theyre there).

farnarkler farnarkler 12:14 pm 11 May 09

In WA the police impound cars of drivers caught being idiots on the roads. The offender has to front a magistrate and state their case why their car shouldn’t be crushed.

Sounds like a good idea.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:52 am 11 May 09

slightly, that is

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:52 am 11 May 09

A good number of the tailgating, lane weaving and speeding drivers on Canberra roads have interstate, mainly NSW plates.

Because they need to keep changing lanes to get past all the Canberrans driving below the speed limit in the right lane. NSW drivers also don’t have as much ‘fear’ of exceeding the speed limit slight to maintain traffic flow.

threeze threeze 11:46 am 11 May 09

Not that we don’t need more of them on the road, but I saw an unmarked Commodore run two stop signs in Barton yesterday. I think everyone needs to lift their game when it comes to driving.

monomania monomania 11:24 am 11 May 09

ChrisinTurner said :

I hope you reported this driver to the AFP Traffic Intelligence unit.

If more unmarked police cars were used they would see the same idiots that we see.

Why when Captain’s Flat is in NSW where it would appear some of the most avid critics of Canberra’s drivers come from. A good number of the tailgating, lane weaving and speeding drivers on Canberra roads have interstate, mainly NSW plates.

caf caf 10:54 am 11 May 09

Or it could just be confirmation bias.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 10:47 am 11 May 09

Clown Killer said :

On a recent drive to Fraser Island and back via the back roads of NSW and Queensland I witnessed, on a daily basis acts of driving similar to (and indeed worse) than this. There’s things people do on the roads that leave you in a cold sweat. The only point I’d add is to pull you up on the bullsh!t about it being a phenomenon particular to Canberra drivers – there is absolutely no franchise on stupidity when it come to driving.

CK: I’m by no means saying that all Canberran drivers are bad. However, living near Bungendore and having to deal with coast traffic every weekend, I can assure you, 90% of the time I witness an insane maneuvre, or general poor driving worth noting, the vehicle is bearing Canberran number plates.

The majority of the time, it is just tailgating. Often it is driving too fast for the conditions, and occasionally it is a reckless, dangerous, pointless overtaking stunt.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 10:13 am 11 May 09

I’ve always said, though – Canberra people really have no idea how to drive on a single land highway.

I tend to agree, although it applies to lots of people who drive primarily in cities. The concept of maintaining a sensible distance while traveling at prevailing traffic speeds seems lost on many. Further, overtaking on single lane roads is a skill in itself, balancing judgment of required distance while handling a car safely at higher speeds.

Personally I am a fan of spending as little time as possible on the wrong side of the road. If that means exceeding the speed limit by a small amount for a few seconds then so be it, as it is much safer than oozing past a semi-trailer for a kilometre or more.

trevar trevar 9:29 am 11 May 09

cantanga said :

“It is people like this that need to be removed from the road until they get their road safety priorities sorted.”

One way or another they will be removed from the road, unfortunatly they will probably take someone with them.

I’m not so optimistic. I think these people have an inordinate share of luck, and this, along with the more cautious attitudes of most drivers, allows them to survive more than they should.

More policing would help, but I don’t know where they’d come from; it’s hard enough for the police forces to recruit as it is. Years ago, NSW was trialling giving RTA staff the authority to book motorists for traffic offences. I’m not sure what happened to this idea, but it seems a relatively good one. Easier to recruit staff for, and allows police to deal with more highly-specialised law enforcement needs.

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