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Stupid Canberra Drivers 1000001

By JC - 28 April 2011 27

3-4 weeks ago the intersection of Ginninderra Drive and Kingsford Smith Drive was resurfaced and had the lanes and traffic signals adjusted. Previously in each direction there were 2 straight through lanes and one turn lane, with each straight and turn direction operating independently on the lights. Now heading towards the city (east bound) on Ginninderra drive the left lane is straight through, the middle lane is straight AND now right turn and the right lane is right turn only, clearly meaning 2 lanes of traffic can now turn right. The lights were also adjusted to match meaning that heading towards the city the straight and turn operate together, same too with the west bound direction, however no changes were made to lanes or lights on the Kingsford Smith Drive direction.

Now since this has been done I have personally observed 1 accident where a car has turned from the right lane and then come straight across onto a car that was turning right from the middle lane. Judging by the glass in the intersection I have no doubt there have been a few similar accidents. I have also seen 2 near misses where cars on the right have come across only to find a car (legally) turning on their left and just this afternoon was on the receiving end of a long blast of a horn and a dick head hand gesture whilst turning right from the middle lane when a car wanted to turn right then get straight into the left hand lane where I was.

Now I must ask are people really that stupid that they cannot see that the road layout has changed? I mean to say on the approach to the intersection the directions one can go from each lane is very clearly marked, thanks to the new road surface. Likewise the turn lanes are also very clearly marked with dashes funneling the right lane into the right lane of Kingsford Smith and the middle lane into the left hand lane of Kingsford Smith. Besides when turning right you should never actually go to the left hand lane anyway, so why the accidents, near misses and stupidity of drivers with this change?

Overall I think it is a good change. Of late east bound traffic wanting to turn right at this intersection has been blocking through traffic on Ginninderra Drive in the AM peak, so this solves this. Only odd thing is I don’t understand why going the other way they have not allowed the turn right from the middle lane towards Mt Rogers. Whilst I never saw traffic in the PM peak block Ginninderra Drive, having two turn lanes would be much better and would, now the lights have been reconfigured be as simple as some new lane marking to implement.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Stupid Canberra Drivers 1000001
Keijidosha 2:04 pm 28 Apr 11

Mysteryman said :

JC said :

Keijidosha said :

As for the accidents caused by the new lane markings, I can sympathise with those involved as I have a habit of promptly moving into the left lane when turning right onto a dual carriageway to allow impatient drivers to pass.

Do you do this without looking? That’s the only way an accident can happen in this situation.

EXACTLY. Head check EVERY TIME. I don’t care how good a driver you think you are, you aren’t that good if you don’t observe your surroundings.

Fair call, and yes I do check before changing lanes. However there have been times where I have performed this manouver only to find that the impatient driver behind me has loaded up through the intersection and tried to round me up on the outside. To clarify, I am sympathetic to the innocent parties in these accidents. 😉

Mysteryman 1:02 pm 28 Apr 11

JC said :

Keijidosha said :

As for the accidents caused by the new lane markings, I can sympathise with those involved as I have a habit of promptly moving into the left lane when turning right onto a dual carriageway to allow impatient drivers to pass.

Do you do this without looking? That’s the only way an accident can happen in this situation.

EXACTLY. Head check EVERY TIME. I don’t care how good a driver you think you are, you aren’t that good if you don’t observe your surroundings.

I drove through that intersection a few weeks back and immediately noticed the changes. I guess I’m in the small minority of drivers who actually pay attention to what’s going on around me. I think being a motorcyclist has a lot to do with it.

triffid 12:59 pm 28 Apr 11

Keijidosha said :

As for the accidents caused by the new lane markings, I can sympathise with those involved as I have a habit of promptly moving into the left lane when turning right onto a dual carriageway to allow impatient drivers to pass.

Fuggem! Take your time, indicate and shoulder check before you change (correctly) into the LH lane. I’d be surprised if anyone (from my observation) was behind you in that scenario anyway! Anyone would think the rule here was to simply charge into the LH lane.

triffid 12:53 pm 28 Apr 11

tonkatuff82 said :

The actual problem isn’t the new road changes, it’s that most morons haven’t removed their heads from their bums before taking to the road. Bit hard to see the changes when you’re wearing your lower colon as a hat

One thing the olden (and golden) days of rallying (secret route . . . none of this recce and pace notes stuff the kids of today use) taught you was to always be alert and to drive the road as you see it. That means that, even if you travel the same road day in day out, you will immediately see any change (such as this) and respond accordingly. It’s an extension of the skill that enables you to arrive at a blind crest, at night, on gravel, at eleventy seventy million miles an hour and, no matter which way the road jinks over the top, you can always negotiate it safely (so at 60 km, on tarmac, in broad daylight, stuff like this change is a doddle).

JC 12:41 pm 28 Apr 11

Keijidosha said :

As for the accidents caused by the new lane markings, I can sympathise with those involved as I have a habit of promptly moving into the left lane when turning right onto a dual carriageway to allow impatient drivers to pass.

Do you do this without looking? That’s the only way an accident can happen in this situation.

JC 12:39 pm 28 Apr 11

thatsnotme said :

I may have just missed it, but is there any type of ‘new traffic arrangements’ sign before the intersection? I know that when I went through, there were other cars already at the intersection, parked on top of the new turn markers on the road. It wasn’t until I got into the intersection that I had a chance to see the new dashes on the road, and finally figured out that things had changed.

Quite stupidly there were no changed condition signs, not that people would take notice anyway. As for the turn markings they go back quite a way down Ginninderra drive, so to not see them would mean one hell of a queue of cars.

anotherpublicserv 12:14 pm 28 Apr 11

Inappropriate said :

To be fair, they just upped and changed the intersection without any signs or indications that it’s happen. Most people are just driving along in ‘auto-pilot’ and doing what they’ve always done (doesn’t make it right however).

It’s took my a few goes through that intersection to realise that it had changed because mostly, there are cars all around you, so you can’t see the new arrows and guidelines.

I suppose that’s a point- in WA they will always put up signs saying ‘Road Layout Changed Ahead’. Not exactly hard to do this and then people really have no excuse.

anotherpublicserv 12:13 pm 28 Apr 11

I agree that this happens frequently Jim Jones… and unfortunately, it happens in roundabouts all the time too (exiting from a non exit lane etc). Highly problematic given the number of roundabouts here. One would think that people would get experienced and learn how to use them. Apparently not.

georgesgenitals 12:07 pm 28 Apr 11

Jim Jones said :

And yes, it is worth noting that it is illegal to wander across lanes when you’re turning (despite the fact that this is common practice in Canberra). I’ve seen any number of accidents caused by people doing this.

Agreed. Staying in your lane is actually kinda important.

Inappropriate 11:57 am 28 Apr 11

To be fair, they just upped and changed the intersection without any signs or indications that it’s happen. Most people are just driving along in ‘auto-pilot’ and doing what they’ve always done (doesn’t make it right however).

It’s took my a few goes through that intersection to realise that it had changed because mostly, there are cars all around you, so you can’t see the new arrows and guidelines.

Jim Jones 11:40 am 28 Apr 11

And yes, it is worth noting that it is illegal to wander across lanes when you’re turning (despite the fact that this is common practice in Canberra). I’ve seen any number of accidents caused by people doing this.

Keijidosha 11:39 am 28 Apr 11

I agree that the westbound lanes of Ginninderra Drive should have been marked to match the eastbound lanes. Uniformity would only reduce confusion about the new signal and turning lane arrangments.

As for the accidents caused by the new lane markings, I can sympathise with those involved as I have a habit of promptly moving into the left lane when turning right onto a dual carriageway to allow impatient drivers to pass.

Jim Jones 11:35 am 28 Apr 11

“are people really that stupid that they cannot see that the road layout has changed”

Yes

thatsnotme 11:31 am 28 Apr 11

The changes at that intersection surprised me the first time I went through over the weekend, travelling straight through using the middle lane. At first I thought the car ahead of me had just forgotten to turn his indicator off, until he actually did turn right.

I may have just missed it, but is there any type of ‘new traffic arrangements’ sign before the intersection? I know that when I went through, there were other cars already at the intersection, parked on top of the new turn markers on the road. It wasn’t until I got into the intersection that I had a chance to see the new dashes on the road, and finally figured out that things had changed.

tonkatuff82 11:14 am 28 Apr 11

The actual problem isn’t the new road changes, it’s that most morons haven’t removed their heads from their bums before taking to the road. Bit hard to see the changes when you’re wearing your lower colon as a hat

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