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Poor driving on Bungendore Rd

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Poor driving on Bungendore Rd
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:52 am 11 May 09

slightly, that is

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 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 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 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 10:54 am 11 May 09

Or it could just be confirmation bias.

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_ 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 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.

Clown Killer 9:24 am 11 May 09

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.

Primal 9:18 am 11 May 09

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

ChrisinTurner 9:09 am 11 May 09

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.

ant 9:03 am 11 May 09

Spot on, Sgt Bungers. You see this kind of mentality ALL the time, but evidently it’s not against the law any more because nothing is done. I drive the Captain’s Flat Rd pretty-well every day, and the display of ignorance and stupidity on that is amazing.

Qbn city council have stuck up signs on their bit of the road saying “Do Not Tailgate, Kangaroos jump out at you randomly” but it has absolutly no effect whatsoever. It’s a poor bit of road, very bumpy with bad edges, and quite narrow when you encounter a logging truck or earthmoving low-loader, but too many drivers feel the 90 and 80 km/hr limit is too low for their superior skills. Occasionally the Qbn cops come out with their hairdryer, I just wish they’d spend a bit more time here.

Then there’s the P platers (quite a lot of them) who do all of the above, overtake on blind areas, leave their high beams up if they think they can get away with it, and generally put everyone else on the road at risk.

And there are quite a few crashes in this locality… and the roadsides are littered with dead roos. and wombats too.

Madame Workalot 8:51 am 11 May 09

astrojax said :

excellent post – nothing to add really, except to endorse that these morons should be taken off the road but am flummoxed at how to achieve this aim. how do we slow down a community’s perception of time sufficiently that it means so little to them to stop such otherwise irrational behaviour with such serious possible consequences?

+1

I drove out to Bungendore last week, and was amazed at how badly people drove. I’ve always said, though – Canberra people really have no idea how to drive on a single land highway.

Glad you were ok, Sgt Bungers!

cantanga 8:50 am 11 May 09

“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.

astrojax 8:40 am 11 May 09

excellent post – nothing to add really, except to endorse that these morons should be taken off the road but am flummoxed at how to achieve this aim. how do we slow down a community’s perception of time sufficiently that it means so little to them to stop such otherwise irrational behaviour with such serious possible consequences?

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